If you have something in mind that’s just over the horizon for the new year ahead, you’d be wise to make a solid plan. For most people, it has something to do with their health or fitness level. In fact, as you can imagine, the most popular new year’s resolutions are to lose weight, get healthy, or exercise more. If you think about it, all these are just variations of the same resolution.
With that in mind, we’re here to tell you: If you fail to plan, you can plan to fail.
Like any great adventure, proper planning will make the road ahead much easier to navigate. Pitfalls happen and life might get in the way of your plans sometimes, but having something thought out — and written down — to keep your goals in sight will make results more reality and less pipe dream.
One Step at a Time
In this multi-tasking rat race we call life in 2017 (and soon 2018), we’re all in a rush to get stuff done and get somewhere. We want instant gratification. We want what we want, and we want it now. But, when it comes to weight loss and fitness, it’s just not feasible or reasonable. Start small. If you haven’t been to the gym in six months, don’t think that come January 1 you’ll hit the gym seven days a week. Shoot for three days, and stay on course. Eating too much crap for dinner? Mix up the menu one meal at a time. Don’t go from Big Macs to kale soup overnight. If you try that route, you’ll be grumpy and your body will hate you. Change one behavior at a time, and gradually get your life in gear with a one-step-at-a-time mentality.
Sure, we all want to shoot for the stars. Maybe we want the body of a Greek goddess, or maybe it’s Gisele, or JLo’s, um, curves, but are any of these options really reasonable on day one of a new fitness routine? If you’re shouting yes! you’re not paying attention. You can have long-term goals, but major body changes are not going to happen overnight. Make resolutions that you can actually keep. Make a plan on how you are going to get into the shape you seek, and make the steps to get there small (see above) and reasonable. If you have an action plan that is firm but attainable, you’ll see better results and you’re more likely to stick to that plan.
Keep Yourself Accountable
If nobody’s in the room, and you sneak a cookie from the cookie jar, did it really happen? Yes. But, nobody will really know about it unless you get your pudgy fingers stuck in the cookie jar and need to call 911 — or likely some lesser authority like your boo — for rescue. With social media so prevalent in all our lives, it’s not about bragging. It’s called sharing. And it’s holding yourself accountable to what you say you want to achieve. You should talk about it. Science suggests it keeps us on track. By sharing our experiences with family and friends, and asking for support when we need it, we’re more likely to succeed.
When you reach a goal within your action plan, reward yourself gosh darn it! You’ve earned it. And, if you hit a roadblock, don’t beat yourself up. Get back on your plan as soon as you can, keeping in mind that perfection is impossible. When you’ve had a great week of sticking with your plan and reaching your milestones, give yourself a break — and by break, we mean, a food you love! Heck, even The Rock has a cheat day. Just remember, a cheat day is just that: one day, not any day that ends with “Y.”