You’ve said it before, and you’ll say it again, “THIS will be the year I finally get in shape/lose some weight/run that race/go to the gym/eat better/etc.” But right about now, many of us find ourselves in the same predicament: creating excuses for the past and making more vague promises for the future.
But it’s not to late to get back on track and break the resolution-relapse cycle in 2014. Challenge yourself to make this year different; keep these guidelines in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to conquering those goals for the New Year:
– Change your mindset. “Resolution” has become a four letter word. Few people keep them, and most forget about them come February. So instead of feeling destined for failure, think about resolutions in terms of slow, sustainable lifestyle changes rather than cold-turkey cutoffs.
– Make it measurable. Saying that you want to “lose weight” in 2014 won’t cut it; you’ve got to define the goal and give yourself deadlines to keep things on track. For example: “I will lose one pound every two weeks for the next six months,” or “I will do three cardio sessions and two strength training sessions per week.”
– Be realistic. If you know something hasn’t worked on the past, it’s time to try a new approach instead of hitting your head against the wall over and over again each year. Positioning yourself for success means starting with do-able changes and building from there, versus choosing a grandiose goal that you know is long shot.
– Don’t expect perfection. It’s important to avoid an all-or-nothing mentality because slip-ups are inevitable. So instead of allowing a setback to completely derail you from your goal, accept it as a learning experience and move on. In the wise words of my grandfather, “Tomorrow is another day.” So don’t let today’s mistakes impede tomorrow’s successes.
– Pace yourself. Remember that the tortoise’s wisdom always rings true: Slow and steady wins the race. Rather than going full bore for a week only to end up exhausted and worn out (or worse – injured), think of your goals in terms of its longevity.
– Hold yourself accountable. Even the most committed people have peaks and valleys in enthusiasm, so use a log to track your progress and ensure you’re continually making strides towards your bigger objective. See yourself slipping? Readjust, step up your effort and get back on track before you veer too far off course.
– Don’t go it alone. Whether you thrive on the support or competitive spirit of the buddy system, there’s no doubt that having a partner in crime packs a punch towards tackling those goals. So find a like-minded friend and keep each other honest – while still managing to make the experience a fun one.
– Celebrate successes. You’re working hard, so be sure to reap the rewards along the way in order to stay inspired. Lost some weight? Buy a new shirt to show off for date night. Adopted healthy eating habits? Allow yourself one “cheat treat” a week to give yourself something to look forward to. Made it to every gym appointment this week? Schedule a massage to soothe those tired muscles. After all, you’ve earned it!
How will you make sure your resolutions stick this year?