Each year, we have this funny habit of making promises to ourselves. We start the year off with high hopes that maybe this year will be different. About a month later, these “resolutions” start dropping like flies as life gets busy and seemingly more important things come up. We make excuses for returning to unhealthy habits and lifestyles and forget the strong resolve we felt coming into the new year. So how can you keep your resolution to be healthy in 2017? Here are five tips:
5 Tips – Keep Your Resolution to be Healthy
- Don’t make a New Year’s resolution. What I mean, is that you need to change your focus from temporary goals to lifelong goals. Resolutions are typically focused on finite goals instead of sustainable life change. For challengers, this isn’t really a goal to lose 20 lbs. Ideally, it’s a goal to learn new, healthy habits and the 20 lb. goal is just to kick-start it.
- Don’t Make Promises to (just) Yourself. Life change is hard and the chances that you’ll see your resolution to be healthy through without help is almost none. Accountability is a huge part of making big changes because our emotions are fickle. Motivation from your accountability “cheerleaders” can help carry you through the slumps and temptations that will come (and they will come).
- Set Smaller Goals for Along the Way. “I want to lose 50 lbs. this year,” is a pretty big goal and can be discouraging if there is one week you aren’t seeing the pounds fall off. Instead, set a few smaller goals to focus on along the way and celebrate/share those victories with those keeping you accountable. For example, if you’re just starting out (and you’re not already in a 6-week challenge), make it a goal to get in a gallon of water each day and commit to “X” number of days in a row you’ll do it. Once that’s a solid habit, add in something else, like going to bed at the same time every night, walking a mile every day, or to lose 5 lbs by a certain date.
- Understand that Setbacks are a Part of Life. So often people feel like they have to be perfect and will fall into a trap of shame if they goof up. Setbacks happen. Acknowledge your mistakes, learn from them, and keep moving forward or all of your previous effort were for nothing. Even if you don’t quite make your big goal(s) by the end of the year, you’ll have those smaller victories to keep you in focus.
- Find Your Motivation for Change. Don’t ask what you’re doing, but rather ask WHY you’re doing it. Is it so you can be there for your kids or grand kids? Did your doctor hand you an unfortunate prognosis? Joints hurting? Tired of feeling bad? See, we find our motivation for permanent, sustainable change when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of making changes. When the road gets tough, remind yourself of the pain (physical, emotional, the idea of not being there for your family, etc.) to help push you through.
If you’re new to the Fit for Life 6-Week Challenge, you’re about to experience a culture which fosters this idea of permanent life change. Fit for Life isn’t just a gym; we actually want to see you succeed. It’s going to be hard, and it’s likely you’ll make a mistake or two. Don’t fall off the wagon. Communicate early on with your trainers if something isn’t working or if you’re struggling in some area of the challenge. That’s what we’re here for, Fit for Life family!