You make ’em…..Then you break ’em. They begin with the best intentions, but then real life gets in the way and sabotages them.
Does that describe your experience with New Year’s resolutions? Especially ones involving weight loss?
It doesn’t have to be that way. But, it does take work, and a bit of planning on your part. If you’ve resolved to get back in shape, or get in better shape, you’re not alone. In fact, I’m right there with you. The crazy holidays and a two-week illness last month really set me back fitness-wise, so I have a few goals of my own. No, trainers are not perfect, by any means. We have to work hard, too! I’ll be using techniques like the following to keep my mental focus and get me back on track. You may find them useful too…
1. Who do you want to be six months from now? Visualize that person. Dig deep to recognize your internal motivations for getting healthier. Sure, you want to fit into those skinny jeans. But what else? Do you want to be able to play sports with your kids without getting winded? Remind yourself of these motivations regularly.
2. Schedule your workouts into your calendar, like appointments. Figure out ahead of time how much time per week you can devote to exercise, and stick to your schedule–Even if this means you have to wake up an hour earlier. You may even start looking forward to this quiet time to yourself. It will take a month or so to get used to your new schedule, and hopefully will become more of a habit.
3. Use short-term nutrition goals. Pick 2 goals for yourself (For example, eat breakfast everyday, cut out excess sugar). Give yourself one or two weeks to adjust. Once you’ve mastered them, be proud of yourself, choose two more, and so on.
4. Give yourself attainable, specific, concrete fitness goals, and make a contract with yourself to reach them. For example, sign up for a 5k or another sports event with a friend. If you’ve committed to it, you’re less likely to skip training. Some people find that fitness apps like myfitnesspal really help to track their progress and keep their motivation up.
5. Start a food log. Write down everything you eat, and when you eat it. For some people, this can be very helpful because it can help you detect what foods/behaviors may be sabotaging your diet. Too much grazing? “Problem” foods you didn’t detect before? A food log can bring them to light. Just be very specific, and brutally honest with yourself. Also, you may wish to share your log with a registered dietician and ask for recommendations.
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
–Jum Ryun, former world-class runner