Are you ready for 2017? Do you have some resolutions set?
I’ve actually never been someone to set resolutions. When I was younger I would watch the people around me have these big, unachievable goals that they would never stick to…
This taught me that small changes over time lead to permanent results. I don’t really believe in deprivation or in misery when it comes to healthy eating or working out. If I don’t enjoy it I won’t stick with it and I believe the same goes for most others that I know as well…
That’s why over the last 6 years I’ve always been in some process of improving my nutrition, my exercise, my self-care, and whatever it is that I need at any given time… It fluctuates and it’s always a continuous process that never ends for me… Let me be clear though, that it’s not this unattainable goal that I will never reach. It’s simply striving to feel and look my best!!!
Here are some tips that I’ve learned and utilized with my friends and clients over the years:
- Be specific with your goals
For example, if your goal is to get in better shape you could state:
- I will work out for 30 minutes a minimum of 4 days during the week.
- I will do cardio on Monday and Wednesday and strength on Tuesday and Friday. If I miss a day during the week I will make it up on Saturday morning before anything else.
If your goal is to eat better you could state:
- I will eat one serving of vegetables at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- I will eat one serving of fruit for my afternoon snack.
- I will spend Sunday afternoon cutting up fresh fruits and veggies to have them easily available to me during the week for meals.
2. Be reasonable with your goals
For example, saying that you’ll never eat your favorite food again will lead to disaster… Instead you could state:
- You’ll have it less than you do now… So if you have it once a day, perhaps take that down to 2 or 3 days a week, after you’ve eaten your fruits and veggies for the day
If you don’t work out now but want to make fitness a part of your life I wouldn’t recommend stating that you’re going to work out for 60 minutes a day 6 days a week… Instead you could say:
- I’ll work out 30 minutes, 3 times a week
- I’ll go for a short walk during my lunch break
- I’ll set a timer to get up from my desk every 60 minutes and walk briefly around the office
3. Track your progress
For me, I used to track my food in an online app – SparkPeople was my favorite! And every once in awhile I’ll randomly track a day to just see where I’m at, but it honestly never changes! It’s still good to know…
I have a calendar on my desk here that I use to track my fitness so I can easily see where I’m at during any given week and when I need to pick it up a little bit!
I also can track on my SparkPeople account too, which is great for when I’m on the go!
So track somewhere that you are going to frequently see it, whatever this takes for you!
4. We all have bad days, just don’t give up!
I’m sure you know that it takes a minimum of 21 straight days to make something a habit, but I would go as far to say at least 30 days… If something gets you off track one day, that’s okay, life happens.
Just get right back to it the following day to keep in that positive pattern. I can tell you from my own personal experience it gets easier over time. Just keep taking these baby steps to get you towards your goal. Every little step in the right direction counts!
5. Reward yourself! (This one is my favorite, of course)
Set yourself up with tiny rewards to keep yourself motivated! What interests you?
Did you manage to workout 4 days your first week? Go to a movie with friends!
Did you stick with working out 4 days a week for the entire month of January? Buy yourself a new pair of your favorite workout pants!
Did you hit your goal of eating a fruit and a vegetable at each meal during the week? Go get a manicure or pedicure!
6. Remember where you started (and celebrate)!
I know it’s really easy to forget where we started or how much we’ve improved ourselves over time! I remind a lot of my clients to do this as frequently as I can! If you need to keep a little journal to write down your wins and look at it often!
I’ll use me as an example of the successes that I now remember to celebrate… 7 years ago, I followed along with how most other Americans fed their children… I saw numerous people (that I looked up to) feed their children Kraft macaroni and cheese and fake pancake mix so I did that as well (for a very short time, mind you…)
The honest to goodness biggest struggle I’ve had on my journey was my husband. So over the last 6 years it’s been about baby steps for him to adapt to what I’ve learned and what I won’t compromise on. What does that mean for us?
- We no longer buy fake syrup at the store
- We no longer buy fake pancake and waffle mix
- We no longer buy fake crescent rolls, biscuits, or cinnamon rolls
- We no longer buy the pre-packaged oatmeal with trans-fats and horrible ingredients
- I limit the dairy consumed by me and my daughter as much as possible
- We buy chicken without added hormones and antibiotics
- We buy only organic eggs
- We only buy local, grass fed beef
- We buy only organic products when they are pre-packaged
- I make nearly all of her snacks for gymnastics
- We don’t eat out at fast food restaurants
- We make our own desserts so we know what is in our food
- Our entire family exercises to keep healthy, strong, and fit
- We do fun events like aerial yoga or bike riding, or walking trails together to make exercise fun
And the list goes on and on and on… Now did this happen overnight for us? HECK NO…!!!!!! All of these little steps took 6 years!!! It was a really hard and challenging process, one of the hardest that I’ve ever had to go through! But I can look back at where we started and now I can see that every tiny step is cause for a celebration! Every step improves our lives and that of our daughter. Everything that she sees now, she will take with her when she grows up.. And that makes it worth it.
I am wishing you the best of luck on your resolutions for the year! If you need any help setting and meeting your goals reach out to me and I can help you get ready for success!