It’s that time of year again, time to reflect on the year that was and make a few plans for the year ahead.
Ask anyone and I’m sure they’ll say that sticking to New Year’s resolutions can be tough. It’s tough but not impossible, let me show you how.
Perhaps you uttered a few words at midnight about what you want to achieve this year or maybe you’re one of those organised types who actually sat down and put pen to paper. If you’re in the ‘organised’ group, well done! You’re already more likely to achieve your targets. But simply writing down your goals isn’t enough to ensure your success. If you’re going to see your goals through to the end, you need a plan.
Let’s get started.
What do you want to achieve?
Grab pen and paper and write down some things you’d like to achieve this year. Don’t go into too much detail at this stage, just a few ideas. For example, you may write “I want to be healthier” or “I want to spend more time with family.”
How does it feel to achieve your goal?
This step is very important, don’t be tempted to skip over it. Pick a time when you won’t be interrupted, think about what it feels like to have already achieved your goal. Ask yourself – What does it feel like to be healthier? Now write about that feeling. So, if your goal is to be healthier, you may write things like “it feels great to be able to play with the kids, I love how my skin glows and feel so confident in this size X outfit, it feels great to be able to walk without being out of breath.” Continue to write in as much detail as possible. This is your WHY (more on this in a moment).
Are you ready to commit?
The following three steps will set you on the path to success:
- Set a goal – You’ll find a helpful how-to article here
- Break it down into actions – For example, to eat healthy meals, you might decide to follow one of my menu plans like the one in book 6, or write your own each week
- Schedule it in – For example, write exercise into your diary and always follow through. All the good intentions in the world won’t get you to your goal weight, you’ll need to take consistent daily action.
Tips for sticking to New Year’s resolutions
The three steps above are great and form the basis of achieving your goal, however understand that it won’t all be smooth sailing. Below are my tips for sticking to New Year’s resolutions.
Be realistic – It took me 20 months to lose 35 kilos and get to my healthy weight range. Some months I lost more than others, and that was okay because those scales were still heading in the right direction. Aim for a loss of half to one kilo a week, but even a loss of one kilo a month equates to 12 kilos gone by this time next year.
Set yourself up for success – Eliminate anything that will side-track you. Clean out the fridge and pantry, and make sure the tempting foods aren’t back in your grocery trolley next week. Maybe put off visiting friends who are likely to steer you off course.
Avoid getting overwhelmed – There are four main reasons a person is overweight: 1. Poor food choices, 2. Overeating, 3. Inactive lifestyle and 4. Lack of motivation. Start by improving your food choices, learn what a healthy grocery trolley looks like and mimic it – Read my Healthy grocery trolley article here
Remember your ‘why’ – When motivation starts to flag (because it will) your ‘why’ will keep you focused on the prize. Your ‘why’ is the statement you wrote about what it feels like to achieve your goal.
Track your progress – Seeing progress is a great motivator for success. I weighed in weekly, but had a rule that only the monthly weight was recorded; this allowed for the inevitable fluctuations in weight. The weekly weigh-ins were used as a guide to see if I was on track for a loss that month and allowed me to tweak my plan if I wasn’t on target.
Get support – You don’t have to do this alone, have an accountability partner or join a group for support.
Celebrate your wins – Every loss is a step in the right direction, so reward yourself for sticking with the plan. There’s one condition, the reward must not be food!
Forget perfection – There will be slip ups along the way but don’t dwell on them – “Failure is not falling down, but refusing to get back up.” Aim to stick to the plan 90 percent of the time and allow 10 percent for times when you can’t.
Sticking to New Year’s resolutions is possible when you know how and know your ‘why’.
For your daily dose of motivation, follow me on my Symply Too Good Facebook page where I give an inspirational thought each weekday morning and some helpful tips every afternoon.
Want more help? Read my 5 healthy eating tips