It’s officially February, also known as the month when most well intentioned New Year’s resolutions die. If you’re like most Americans, and as reported by U.S. News, 80 percent of resolutions are dead and buried by this month. Valentine’s Day is around the corner so you’re thinking about decadent dinners and chocolate indulgences. Plus, that month at the gym coupled with intense calorie restriction has depleted your body’s reserves. Winter’s in full swing, it’s gray and rainy, and you’re just over it.
Or are you?
Consider this: 90 percent of startups also fail. That’s a higher percentage of failures compared to New Year’s resolutions, but there are constant influxes of stories about successes. Here’s the deal: Although most startups fail, those that succeed are often an entrepreneur’s second, third, and even twentieth attempt. They just keep trying. Odds are, this isn’t your first New Year’s resolution. In other words, you’re in the perfect position to finally enjoy a success.
Make 2017 the year you nail your resolutions for good. It might take some modification and tweaking, but that’s okay. Here’s how to re-work your resolutions, even if you’re already slipping.
Re-name the Monster
Maybe your resolution was to lose five pounds in one month. While that’s certainly possible for some people, it’s very ambitious and doesn’t hold a very holistic view. For starters, maybe what you really want is to gain muscle and lose a little bit of fat. Maybe your metabolism is traumatized after years of yo-yo dieting. Maybe holding yourself to such an arbitrary number isn’t your best way to get in better health.
Instead of choosing a specific number on the scale or calorie per day, try abiding by how you feel, how your clothes fit, and maybe monthly measurements of your neck (for men), chest, biceps, waist, thighs and calves. For most people, if your waist stays the same or gets smaller while the other areas maintain or get bigger, you’re on the right path.
Re-name your resolution. Aim for qualitative goals instead of quantitative. You’ll be happier and a lot less stressed.
Create Both Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
You need both to succeed, but that can seem very overwhelming. Consider the staircase approach, a popular tool with wellness coaches. It’s just what it sounds like: Create a staircase with small goals leading to bigger goals. Write it down, and in pen by hand if possible. Sometimes you might need to revisit a step, and that’s perfectly okay. Overall, you’re still climbing towards that bigger goal.
Daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goal setting is a common tool with personal trainers. The shorter the goal timeframe (i.e. daily and weekly), the more detailed the goal. You can do the same for your own goals. Part of “periodization training” in the fitness industry, it helps you see the small and big picture—while also goal-setting accordingly.
Go after Easy Wins
As you re-dedicate yourself to getting fit, don’t forget the many ways you can work exercise into your day without having to add a completely new activity to the mix. For example, take the stairs in your office building rather than the elevator. Take your dog on an extra walk each day or offer to walk a busy neighbor’s pooch–dog walking makes for a fun and rewarding side gig. When you’re out running errands, park farther back in the parking lot so you can squeeze in a few extra steps. Meeting your fitness goals should be fun, not stressful. These little extras are great ways to get closer to your goals without further taxing your daily schedule.
Practice Cognitive Restructuring
There’s a problem with the title of this article you’re reading. It has negative leaning. “Failure,” “loser,” and “can’t” are three common words we assign to ourselves when we don’t achieve what we see as feasible goals. Why can’t we look like an Instagram model? It seems like thousands of people can do it! We also live in a society where sarcasm and self-deprecation are heralded as witty. However, self-talk is a very real and very powerful tool in our cognitive structuring. Our brains are really good at making our self-talk come true.
One New Year’s resolution you should consider adding is actively cognitively restructuring your self-talk. Speak kindly to yourself. Choose an internal pet name if that works for you. Comfort yourself, encourage yourself and when you don’t achieve what you had in mind, tell yourself it’s okay. You and your goals will respond much better to kindness than brashness.
You haven’t failed your New Year’s resolutions because there is no such thing. You’re in control of goal setting and modification. It’s simply time to re-assess, re-structure, and try a different angle.
Image by markusspiske via Pixabay
Article by Paige at Learnfit