The New Year means a new beginning, hitting the reset button and getting a fresh start. Like many people, you may have come up with a list of resolutions. Will it be easy to follow through on your list or you will just simply forget about it when you face difficulties or failure? Willpower is very important and but how your day and the method to reach your goals is also important. Here are some easy steps on how to keep your resolutions and reach your goals.
Set realistic and short term goals
When you set your goal, you have to be specific. Let us say that your New Year’s resolution is keeping fit and healthy for the rest of the year. But how are you going to do that? Set goals that are doable, possible and easy to achieve. You may even want to follow the S.M.A.R.T. method, which stands for “specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time- bound”.
If you are planning to shed some weight, you might set goals such as, “I’m going to lose 1.4 stone (20 lbs.) by doing at least 160 minutes of cardio, including running and a fitness class, during the week and not eating fast food”. The numbers allow you to gauge and track your progress. This year I set up a daily chart to track a number of metrics as I try to work off my holiday weight. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it!
Short term goals are like baby steps in order for you to achieve your overall long term goal. Grab some running shoes and a new gym outfit and get to working out!
Create a contingency plan
You can’t expect your plan to be all smooth sailing. If your plan does not turn out the way you expected or you have fallen off of your path, creating a backup plan can help to put yourself back right on where you should be heading to. Identify some issues that may cause you to stop following your weight loss plans or keep you from lighting up that cigarette. For example, if you know that a stressful day as work causes you to overeat, be sure to keep only healthy snacks at home and at the office. You could also consider food alternatives. For example, if you reach for salty bags of snack machine goodies consider popcorn or some olives instead.
Also, if you fall off of the bandwagon, it is fine to get back on at any time. Back in 2015 I hit a point where I had not worked out in weeks. I was feeling bloated and unhealthy, but then a girlfriend invited me to join her on a 10K. This got me back into training and helped me realise how much I liked my daily runs.
Rewarding yourself for the short-term goals you achieve will encourage you to pursue and push through until you meet your long-term goal. However, this does not mean that you should reward yourself with something that can set back your goals such as indulging in a sumptuous piece of cake or having a cheat day to your diet plan. Instead, consider splurging on a new swimsuit to show off those abs or buy a new kitchen device to help keep up the good work by living a healthy life at home. When I was in grad school I felt like I could barely make it through the term. Instead of letting myself feel sorry, I bought a gorgeous new dress for graduation day. I looked at it for the next few months when I was feeling down. Although it rained on graduation day, I still felt like seeing the dress and thinking about how it would make me feel to wear it, help me work towards my goal.