Did you know that only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s Resolutions?  Okay, don’t give ups so quick—that’s probably because the other 92% of people aren’t setting smart goals to tackle… or, they’re trying to do too many things at once!
Make small changes
I get it: you want to lose that extra [insert number here] pounds. It might seem like it’s a better idea to just eat super well and exercise six days a week right off the hop and get used to it, but guess what? That’s a recipe for burnout by the end of the week. So, split it up. Week 1 could be that you want to go for a 10 minute walk everyday and you want to go from eating dessert 7 days a week to 5. That’s a good start! Week two you can amp up the workout time and cut the lunchtime chips except for Friday—get what I’m saying? Don’t do everything at once.
Set SMART goals!
Smart is an acronym: set goals that are:
Specific: “I want to exercise 3 days per week” is better than “I want to exercise more.”
Measurable: “I want to get healthier”… okay, how? “By having 4 servings of vegetables per day, 4 days this week”.
Attainable: Guess what? You’re not going to run a marathon on Saturday if you started training Monday. “I want to go for a walk three days this week, for at least 10 minutes.” And guess what else? It’s okay to set the bar a little low. If you know you can do ten minutes or ten push-ups, you’re less likely to avoid it, and more likely to go for eleven or twelve.
Realistic: Like the marathon again, right? It’s not realistic to tell yourself that the chips are done until next year. So, you can maybe cut the chips out of your lunch everyday but Friday, as above, but if you’re eating them after work everyday, too, well it’s not really realistic to cut them from lunch and the after work snack too. That’s a task for a few weeks down the road: keep the changes small.
Time-bound: Give yourself an end-date to reassess your progress. So, if on Monday you decide you’re going to set a goal for the week, it’s time to reassess Sunday night. Did you hit the mark? Good job! If not, what prevented you from hitting your goal? Figure it out, and re-draft the goal to make it work next time.
Enlist a buddy.
Peer pressure at its finest… positively! Get a gym buddy, a nutrition buddy, or simply a buddy whom you track your progress with. A little healthy competition is never a bad thing: first one to miss a goal has to buy the other lunch. Or, there are apps for that, too: check out Pact. [Note that I don’t actually endorse these kinds of things, but hey, if it works for you, that’s good enough for me. You could also owe yourself a certain amount of money when you skip your task for the day, and then take your buddy out for coffee—if you do well—or dinner—if you don’t…]
Remember… 92% of people aren’t going to reach their goals. That simply means it’s time to reformulate the plan. Leave yourself some prompts: if you’re going to go to the gym everyday before work, pack your gym bag the night before, and leave it so you have to trip over it on your way out—I mean, you’ll already have gotten up early. If you keep hitting snooze, maybe it’s time to check your goals: is it really realistic for you to go to the gym at 6:30 every morning if you’re not a morning person, or do you simply need a crazy alarm clock to get you moving first? [Seriously, check out those clocks.]
And, one of my favourite lyrics… “Who says it has to be the new year to start a new year?” (Cars and the Pixies by The Rocket Summer). If you don’t succeed at first? Adjust it and start again! Don’t worry about slipping up… you’re in good company! Just don’t lose hope: you can reach your goals if you make them so that they work for you!
What are your goals for 2016? Or are you, like me, not a “resolutionist”? Let us know in the comments! Can’t think of a resolution? Consider making the important choice to wear medical ID jewelry, such as an alert bracelet or identification necklace in 2016. A great new addition to our large selection is the black plated Millefiori Glass Medical Bracelet–the black tag and beads are great for dressing up, or mix up the tag with an interchangeable bracelet for more casual wear!