Keep Your 2021 Resolutions Alive
A new year and health improvement resolutions go hand-in-hand. For many, it could mean changing routines for exercise, implementing strength training, or making time for preparing meals. Although these are great objectives, New Year’s resolutions, particularly by mid-February, are notorious for being broken. The good news, however, is that making mistakes is part of the process, and even better, these mistakes can help you in the long run to achieve your resolutions.
Bill Daniels, a certified personal trainer, says, “There is a lot that goes into making a change that actually sticks and works for you.” “It is important to let go of an all or nothing mentality and to understand that it can actually make a world of difference to reflect on your journey, even if things have not gone as you planned.”
Here, experts offer their best tips on resolutions that have gone off track to better reflect on:
When you hit a snag with your resolutions, the first thing to do is to ask yourself why you want to accomplish this particular thing, says Daniels. “If you want to make a change, connecting emotionally with your ‘why’ is critical,” he adds. If it’s just a number on the scale, if you make a misstep, that’s probably not strong enough to pull you back in.” Alternatively, Daniels recommends going a little deeper: “What’s beyond that? “You may want to feel better about how you look, improve whatever sport or activity you enjoy, or want to keep up with your children.” If you slip up, he adds, don’t be too hard on yourself. Research demonstrates that people with perfectionist tendencies are worse at achieving their objectives. At the next opportunity, instead of dwelling on overeating or a missed workout, instill healthy habits.
Will my objectives line up?
Having big aspirations is normal, but sometimes you have to take a step back and ask yourself whether you’re trying to do too much all at once. “Ideally, you come up with goals that are linked to each other,” says Bianca Grover, a physiologist and personal trainer for exercise. “If you’re trying to lose weight, for instance, we know that this isn’t just something that comes from exercise.” Therefore, setting adjacent nutrition goals such as drinking more water and adding more quality protein and veggies to your meals is a good idea. With yourself, check-in and look for roadblocks. If you’re not hydrating, try seltzer or adding fruit because you’re bored with regular water. If you are having a hard time adding veggies to your diet, prepare them to keep things exciting in a different way (i.e., roasted instead of steamed).
Evaluate whether your goal is “SMART” enough
By now, you have probably heard of the acronym “SMART”: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timebound. Ask yourself if they fall into all of these categories when you are reflecting on your resolutions. “The more you can be specific about what you want, the better,” Grover says. For instance, shift it to a time-bound, achievable target of 1-2 pounds per week instead of going after a lofty goal of losing 30 pounds. This increases your motivation to continue to improve week over week.
GET assistance from the experts
If you’re struggling (and even when you’re not), getting some external feedback from professionals is always a good idea. Grover says, “Seek out a coach who understands your objectives.” “Working with a registered dietitian, doctor, personal trainer or physical therapist who can create an individualized plan may just be the boost you need to achieve your goals. They are there to help, and two brains work better than one.” The appropriate coach also allows you to find some of the answers for yourself, she adds. “Your objective should be to become efficient with their training over time.”
Have a plan B
Remember, things won’t always go according to plan more often than not, and that’s all right. There will be ups and downs with weight loss,” says Daniels, which is why it’s a good idea to plan for those troublesome days.” “Anticipate roadblocks that might pop up and ask yourself what you’re going to do when something happens.” For instance, have a plan for what you’re going to snack on if you tend to give in to cravings in the evening. Making healthier swaps can help you sleep better without breaking the calorie bank, such as Greek yogurt with berries rather than a bag of chips. Or, if you can’t fit in the 45-minute workout you’d planned because you have a work deadline for the last minute, find ways to squeeze in some extra movement, such as a few poses of yoga at your desk or quick 10-minute walking breaks. You will be better equipped to deal with the barriers as they arise and be successful in the long term when you have a backup plan.
Celebrate the victories – Keep your 2021 resolutions alive
It takes time for a long-lasting change, and it is important to make sure that you recognize the small steps along the way. If you are rewarding yourself for good behavior when reflecting on resolutions, ask yourself. As important to the big picture as the final destination, small wins are just as important. In reality, research demonstrates immediate rewards that make you more likely to stick to your resolutions, particularly when it comes to achieving long-term goals such as weight loss. These rewards can be small, such as treating yourself to a post-workout warm bubble bath, or larger, such as buying new walking shoes. Writing them down helps to keep you motivated along the way to check off every win.