Keep Working on Those New Year's Resolutions!

Get back on track to achieving your goals... 

Healthy & Fit Magazine March 2018

Did you make a New Year’s resolution? Are you still working on it now, 2 months later? If not, you’re not alone! Only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually keep them and 80% stop working on them by February. But now’s a great time to re-start your resolution!

The resolution is the “what,” for example, to lose weight. But the more important piece is the “how.” This is the specific action you will take to get to the “what.” However, the more important question is how are you going to lose the weight? You have to be specific – are you going to go to the gym 3 days per week? Are you going to eat healthier? That’s also very broad. Maybe the “what” of eating healthier is to try one new fruit or vegetable each week or include a fruit or vegetable in every meal or snack.

Knowing your “why” is also important. Why do you want to lose weight? What will that bring you? Better health? More happiness because you can play with your kids more easily or participate in activities you had previously given up? Know your “why” and make sure it’s big enough to keep you going. Your “why” needs to be a strong enough driver to keep you working toward your goals.

If you worked on your resolution but gave up or didn’t see the results you expected, next is problem solving what went wrong. Are your goals realistic? If you made a goal of working out every day, how realistic is that actually? Try starting smaller – plan to work out just 2 days a week for a month, then increase to 3 or 4 days per week. Think about striving for progress not perfection. All you really need is to be better than you were the day before, even if it’s just 1% better.

Starting out with huge goals can sometimes set you up to be less than successful. If you set a goal of exercising 5 days per week, but find yourself only making it to the gym 2 days per week – what happened? What were the challenges or barriers you faced in getting there? Did you forget about your kids’ activities 2 or 3 times per week that prevent you from going to the gym after work? What is a solution to overcome that challenge? Maybe you plan to exercise before work if possible on those days.

 Olbrich Botanical Gardens - Madison, WI  Photo credit:  Bradow Photography

Olbrich Botanical Gardens - Madison, WI

Photo credit: Bradow Photography

Make a plan, be specific in the actions you are going to take to achieve your goals and anticipate any challenges that may trip you up. If you plan ahead and know the big “why” of your goals you’ll set yourself up for success long-term.

This article originally appeared in the March 2018 issue of Healthy & Fit Magazine.