Sunday, January 10, 2010

How to Make a New Year's Resolution and Stick to It!

Happy New Year!  I bet many of you already made your New Year's Resolution and some of you may have failed already.  The reasons people fail year after year is not because they lack willpower or are just not serious about it but it's because most people make resolutions not really knowing how to make them properly so you can succeed at it.  It's not too late!  There is still plenty of time, so I'm going to help you make your resolutions that you can stick with and succeed!

A few mistakes people make when deciding what resolutions you should make are creating general resolutions without realizing what goes into creating that resolution.  For example, many people say that their New Years Resolution is to lose weight.  Well that's great but how much do you want to lose, how do you plan on doing it and what is your time frame for it?  This is clear cut resolution failures.  When giving a general resolution your thoughts will change from day to day on how to achieve them b/c you didn't set any specific guidelines. 

The first thing when making a resolution is to decide what you would like to happen in the New Year that is feasible.  A resolution like hoping my boss gives me a raise is not a good resolution to make b/c it is not up to you, therefor you have a 50/50 chance of it coming true.  When you decide on a resolution such as the ever so popular, losing weight, then you must really think about it.  Questions to ask are:  Why are you overweight, what lifestyle changes made you overweight such as....working long hours so I stopped exercising and got fast food for lunch and on the way home.  Or I had kids and it's easier to grab snacks all day to try to give yourself a pick me up. 

Once you figure out the why, then you need to start making realistic goals to set to help achieve your resolution.  For example, you may need to stop having snacks in the house.  If they are there for a once in awhile snack yet when you get tired or stressed and you eat them all in one sitting then it is time to get them out of the house.  Temptation is a hard thing to overcome and it is a lot easier to get rid of the temptation.  I know for myself I don't let the kids get sugary cereals b/c I will eat it too and eat most of it in one sitting.  So since I know my will power is weak for this then I just don't keep it in the house.  Sorry kids, but mom needs her health so she can take care of you.  I have 3 teenagers now and they understand why I don't have it in the house and guess what, after all these years, they don't hate me.  In fact they have learned over the years about being healthy (complaining most of the way) but now they like knowing that info.  They still like to have occasional junk food but they also like telling their friends on cross country/track team and soccer team about the best way to eat to help athletic performance and improve skills in school by eating the right things.  They can tell a difference in their behavior and ability to sit still and listen attentavely when it comes to what they had to eat.  Now the reason I bring this into the article is a lot of women/men I know say it is too hard to keep things out of their house b/c of their kids.  Well, like I said, the kids will learn as long as you teach them what and why you are doing it.  Help them help you with reading labels and being involved and they may become more receptive of the idea. 

After making a list of some lifestyle changes that might need to be made to help you such as what you keep in the house, how and where you go out to eat and learning to count calories, then make some small goals to help achieve your final goal.  Such as the first goal might be to just cut back on eating out for the first two weeks, then learning when you do eat out, find out the nutritional information for that restaurant so you can look at what you should order before you even go.  For example if you are going to Outback Steak House then you can go to their website and look up calories, fat, sodium or sugar for their entrees and choose the heatlhiest option.  That way when you get there you will already know what you are getting.  This is a big plus.  If the meal is big then have them box up half the meal so you can save it for the next night. 

Setting small goals at a time makes it easier to do and the more goals you are reaching means the closer you are to your big goal!  If your goal is to start exercising then slowly add exercise here and there to slowly introduce it to your lifestyle.  Try to make it fun and it will be even easier to introduce it.  Try a really fun aerobic class like bellydancing or something that might be fun to you.  Try taking a rock climbing class or learn a new sport like martial arts or kickboxing.  You can also try training for a charity race and join a training club to help you train for the big event.  There are many ways to introduce exercise that can be fun and will make you feel good by helping others.  This year my goal is to run a 1/2 marathon and train with team challenge to help raise money for Crohn's disease.    

Make a weekly and monthly checklist with goals on each list that are easy to achieve.  This will make it easier to reach the large goals you might have.  One big thing to remember is that it is OK to fail.  Everyone is going to make mistakes.  So if you fail and say, eat a huge buffet meal until you can barely leave the restaurant, then don't beat yourself up.  Doing so may make you just give up on your goals and that is not a good thing.  If you have a moment of weakness and go back to your old ways then just get back on the wagon and keep working toward your goal like you were before.  If you slip again, then do the same thing again.  Most people will fail quite a few times before reaching their goal.  So don't get discouraged just get back up on the horse.  Making mistakes a couple times per month is a lot better than giving up and not trying at all!  Even personal trainers, athletes, singers, and actresses all have moments of weaknes but the difference is how you behave after the slip up.  Do you get right back on the horse and try again or do you just give up and go back to your old ways.  Don't let these slip ups get you down, just keep trying!  You can do it, I know it!

Finally keeping a journal will really help you keep your goals organized and where you suceeded and failed.  You might find things out that you didn't know, such as each time you slip up you had just gotten into a big fight with your loved one.  Or notice the times you succeeded you were happy and having fun.  Pay attention to things like this and knowing why you have slip ups may help you avoid the slip ups entirely.  If you find yourself really struggling and finding it just too hard then save some money and hire a personal trainer and wellness coach.  They can help you stay accountable, the personal trainer can help you get the exercise you need and a wellness coach can help you with making those lifestyle changes.  Check out my website for more information.  I really hope this helps you, it has helped me every year.  Good Luck!!!!!!!!

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