New Year’s is almost here. Along with that comes the overly optimistic setting of New Year’s resolutions. According to Wikipedia, 33 percent of participants set unrealistic goals, 33 percent don’t track their progress and 23 percent forget about their goals altogether. That’s a pretty substantial failure rate.
So how do we set ourselves up for success in 2018? No matter what you resolve to do, try these tips to increase your success:
1. Be realistic. Picking too many goals, especially life-changing ones, will quickly become overwhelming and cause us to wave the white flag. Just as important, don’t underestimate the time it will take to accomplish that goal. Losing 30 pounds in 30 days might be doable, but will leave you miserable, drop your metabolism and cause you to lose more muscle than fat.
2. Have a deadline and break it down into bite-size chunks. Dropping from size 18 to size 12 is doable, but focusing on one size at a time and celebrating each goal reached will motivate you and keep you dedicated to keep going.
3. Make it an effort-based goal. Instead of becoming frustrated when the results don’t show up at your convenience, focus on the formula that can get you there. Instead of setting a goal of losing 20 pounds, try choosing a goal such as hitting the gym three days a week or cutting out soda.
4. Know your “why.” We all hit a point where the excitement and newness of the goal wears off. Our “why” must be so big and so important that we can get past the obstacles and keep going, even when we don’t feel like it.
5. Find a way to be accountable. Pay a trainer, involve a good friend or training partner, participate in a challenge or start an online support network. Having someone to answer to will help avoid justifying those choices that may get us off track.
6. Start with the right plan. Before jumping in, it might be a good idea to do some research as to what the best plan might be. If you are sedentary, hitting the gym seven days a week might be too much for you. If you are already athletic and trying to get to the next level, only cutting out alcohol during the week (only to eat, drink and be merry on the weekends) will probably not be enough to get you as lean as you hope.
There are people who DO succeed at their resolutions. They start with the right goals and the right mindset. And remember, you are making a life change— which is more about a lifestyle than a temporary sacrifice. Do what it takes to make this change successful for the new year AND the rest of your life.