My friends, January 1st has come and gone. Some of us sat down, took a good, hard look at our lives and decided that the New Year was a great time for a new start. So, we made ourselves a New Year’s Resolution and we said that this year was the year we would actually see it through. We would not fail. We would reach our goals!
How’s that going for you? We talked in a previous post about setting SMART goals and why those who follow the SMART Goal criteria are usually pretty successful in seeing their resolutions through to a positive outcome. Staying motivated to see some of our harder-to-accomplish resolutions through can be a hard path to walk, though. If you’ve found yourself straying from your path, making excuses for why you’re not making more progress towards your goals, or if you’ve already given up completely, we’d like to help you get back on track. We’re only just shy of a month and a half into the year; it’s FAR from “too late” to salvage your mission to save money, travel, read more books or the ever popular: lose weight. Here are 5 Quick Tips you can use to pull yourself up by your boot straps and get back on track:
1. Give your willpower a workout
Staying driven and motivated is hard. If it were easy, none of us would be trying to lose weight. Everyone is 100% aware that cheeseburgers and French fries are more delicious and celebratory than a grilled chicken salad with dressing on the side. Joining your neighbors for a glass of wine and some apps during the Super Bowl this Sunday sounds WAY better than putting on a pair of boots and trudging out for your nightly speed walk! But neither of the aforementioned scenarios are going to bring you closer to your goal. Self-control (the control you exert over your feelings and actions), self-efficacy (your perception of your ability to change) and self-reliance (your ability to depend on your powers, capabilities and resources) are all “muscles.” You can’t see them when you’re flexing in the mirror, but they behave in exactly the same manner as those glutes and biceps: You have to access them and push them and USE them in order for them to grow strong. So put away the negative self-talk, put any setbacks in your rear view mirror, and let’s keep moving forward. It’s not going to be easy, but it will be worth it and we’re all in this together!!
2. Make Small Changes
Saying that you’re going to lose 30 pounds seems like a pretty straightforward statement that should involve two steps: Eating Right and Exercising. But there are probably a hundred sub-steps you might have to take in order to reach that goal. Breaking them down into manageable, baby-steps and making one small change at a time will make this a much easier mountain to climb. For example, improving your nutrition means changing the way you shop, what you cook, and where you eat. This week, just decide that you are going to find five healthy recipes and shop for their ingredients. Next week, you are going to include these new recipes in your meal plans. Baby steps.
3. Have some FUN
Watch a funny movie, read a good book, go dancing! Do just about anything that you truly enjoy and that will put you in a good mood. Feeling happy is a great tool to use when your willpower starts to wear down. Find enjoyment wherever you can and you will feel more fulfilled and be less likely to abandon your goals when the going gets tough.
4. Outsmart your Inner Rebel
To give your willpower a little room to flex its muscles, try to avoid making sweeping blanket statements about things you will not do, no matter what. Instead of saying “I am giving up fried food,” try a more flexible restriction like “I’ll only eat French fries twice a month, and only when I’ve planned the rest of my nutrition that day around that special treat.” Don’t set yourself up with overly-strict rules that you’ll only try to find ways to get around.
5. Know when to quit
No, not on your resolution! Learn to recognize when enough is enough. Nobody has limitless willpower so it is really important to know when your resistance is tapped out. Stress, hunger and exhaustion will wear your willpower down to the nub so take care of yourself. Keep healthy snacks on hand, stay hydrated and get plenty of rest. And when you’ve found yourself in a spot where you Literally Can’t Even, get away from whatever is tempting you until you’ve eaten and rested. Your willpower will have the boost it needs to see you through another day and you’ll be one day closer to your goals!
Take a look back at what your resolution was this year. If it’s still something you’re committed to pursuing, forgive yourself for slacking off and jump back on the wagon. Just because you’ve stumbled, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get back up and try again. The truth is, you don’t have to wait for a special moment like a new year, a Monday or the first of the month to start again. You can start again anytime you want! How about right now?Tweet