To “Resolution” OR Not…

Are you a resolution-er? I was on the fence about it for a long time. I’d just blow it off, thinking it was kind of lame. Who follows through with them anyway, right? They’re usually proclaimed haphazardly, after the third glass of wine and 10th dip into the box of chocolates. But then I realized that I never reached my goals, not because they weren’t attainable (well, maybe some of them), but because I didn’t go about it in the right way. So this year, I’m reclaiming my Resolution-er status!

First off, it’s extremely important to WRITE IT DOWN. So grab some paper or a journal and write out what it is you really want to accomplish. Make sure you’re relaxed, alert, and focused. Start with something general and work on the details as you begin brainstorming. Make sure your goal is something that really resonates deep within you. You have to connect with it and truly desire it, otherwise it won’t hold enough weight to help keep you accountable.

Next, you want to add the details. Your goal must be SPECIFIC. It’s not enough to say you want to lose weight, or eat healthier, or get more sleep. How much weight, what kinds of foods, how long of a sleep?? If you don’t have the specifics, you won’t be able to MEASURE it. How are you going to know if you’re following through? How will you know if you’ve achieved it? There must be a way to MONITOR your progress or you will simply lose track and lose motivation.

Perhaps most importantly, your goal must be ATTAINABLE. Can you actually achieve this goal? It is absolutely fine to dream big and fantasize about a huge shift in your life, but make sure you break it down into smaller more manageable steps. You must create an ACTION plan. This is a crucial step. Without an action plan you won’t know what to do next. Where do you begin? How do you go from A to B? The real key element here is that action based goals are something you can control. You can control whether you eat a donut or a salad. You can control whether you go to bed at midnight or 9pm. What you can’t always control is the outcome. Maybe you went to bed at 9pm but you still had a bad sleep. Perhaps you did eat the salad but the scale still didn’t budge this week. That’s OK. You stuck with the correct ACTIONS, therefore you’re still moving along the right path. So keep going and don’t give up!

Ensure that your goals are REALISTIC. If weight loss is your goal, you have to realize it’s a long process with many ups and downs. Making a goal to lose 20 lbs in a month is not realistic. It may not even be realistic in 3 months. Sustainable weight loss takes time.  Don’t over shoot your goals and end up quitting because you’re disappointed. The other thing to consider is that a goal might be completely realistic for one person, but not another. You have to scale it to your individual situation. It might be completely realistic for someone to say they will never eat sugar again, but perhaps they’ve already been eating clean, real food for some time. If you’re just starting to change your diet, make your goal smaller so that you don’t feel so overwhelmed. Make sure your goals are REACHABLE! There’s nothing like the disappointment of not achieving what you set out to do. Ensure that your goal is actually something YOU can manage.

Lastly, you must set yourself a TIME limited. If you don’t have a timed goal, it will never get done. Create a deadline and put it in your calendar. Check in with yourself weekly, or even daily. Are you staying on track?

If Resolutions are still not your thing, don’t worry, you can still achieve your goals! Goal setting can be done ANY time of year. Wanting to improve ourselves is a natural human desire. We often pick the beginning of a year because it’s a clean slate. We can start fresh! Whatever you decide, just make sure you move in a positive direction. All it takes is one step forward, do SOMETHING, big or small, to take you in the direction you really desire to go! And if you need an accountability partner to keep you moving forward and on track, hire yourself one! It’s proven that most people don’t achieve their goals simply because they require outer accountability. They need someone to check in on them and motivate them to keep going. If that’s you, then check out my Nutrition Coaching services and contact me today!