Many people make resolutions for the New Year, and most fail before March. Here are some simple tips to succeed in executing yours.
We have all been there- New Year’s comes and you are ready to turn over a new leaf. Start things fresh, accomplish new goals, and better your life. The vast majority of people have New Year’s resolutions. Whether it is to lose weight, become more active, or build muscle-the most popular are about health and fitness. The beginning of the year has kicked off, and you are actually doing what you put off all last year.
But the year is long, and old habits die hard. How can you ensure that you meet your goals and stay motivated throughout the whole year? I have fallen flat on plenty of resolutions, and succeeded with others. Something that I have found across the board, no matter the goal is you need to have structure to succeed. Here are four easy ways to master your New Year’s resolution, and be happy with the results.
Make Reasonable Goals
One problem people face is they set the bar too high, or have a very general standard for themselves. Don’t just say “I want to lose XX pounds”, and leave it at that. Set a specific goal of XX pounds within 3 months, which gives you a more manageable task. A goal with certain checkpoints is easier to attain, and the bite-sized goals help you feel good about progress, reinforcing positive behavior.
For example, your reasonable goal would be to lose XX pounds within 3 months, with a checkpoint to run 4 miles each week. The next step is to follow up on that with action to ensure your goals can be met, such as getting the proper running shoes. Psychologically, the easier it is for us to reach the goals we set, the more likely we are to continue working towards them. Having footwear that provides comfort and performance will help prepare you for meeting those checkpoints regularly.
Take Small Steps (And Measure Them)
Keeping track of your progress is paramount to reaching any target, both to map out past performance and hold yourself accountable. If you have a fitness resolution you can use a health app to easily visualize your headway as it is made, and since most of us are always near our phones a reminder of the goal is never out of sight. There are tons of health apps out there, and many are tailored for a specific need such as weight loss, strength training, endurance, etc.
Heart rate monitors are great aids to providing the most information about your activity as possible. Most have functions that measure your pulse and calories burned, which can help further guide you on your fitness quest.
Support Your Goal with an Actionable Plan
No matter what your resolution is, you need to put in the work to see results, and keep at it. Changing your previous behavior and thought patterns will help you to be successful, but it is hard. Physiologically, in order to change habits you need to create new neural pathways in your brain, and altering thinking patterns is pivotal to this. A plan that you can put into action, especially in phases will give you a more structured way to create a new routine and change the thought patterns.
Dietary supplements are a great way to help keep your body primed for success and maximize the effects of your new routine. There are a wide variety of vitamins to promote healthy bodies and living, and to have the optimal wellness these should be incorporated into your plan. To get a boost in your efforts, sports nutrition supplements offer everything from fat burning characteristics to muscle mass and energy aids. These can help produce results along with your actionable plan, but nothing can take the place of healthy eating and exercising.
This goes for any resolution; if you don’t make a plan of action that changes behavior and acts as a roadmap to success, your chances of failing are much higher.
Change the Scenery
One of the greatest influencers on our behavior is our surroundings. If you begin to have trouble sticking with your new plan of action, change the scenery! For example, if you find that going to the gym or working out at home is becoming a bore or too much of a hassle with your schedule, switch it up. Substitute a cardio day at the gym with a nice bike ride. If like me you spend your workdays inside and don’t get out much, it is a welcome change of pace to spend time outside- weather permitting of course.
Whatever your goals are for 2016, following these tips and implementing structure will help you stick to your plan and make the change you want. What are your resolutions for the New Year?