Written by Dana Brown
The New Year is the perfect time to reflect on the past and set goals for the future. Many people will set fitness related goals, only to fall back into unhealthy patterns within the first two weeks. The reasons for giving up are as unique as the individual, but more often than not, it’s because they are focusing their attention on the end result as opposed to the process. People become overwhelmed and frustrated and eventually revert back to old lifestyle patterns. Fortunately, with a little discipline, planning and a shift in focus, 2020 CAN be YOUR year!
- Focus on YOU and understand what is driving your goal. It is too easy to compare ourselves to others and set goals based on what we see other people achieving. This attitude is not healthy or productive! It’s ok to be inspired by other people’s lifestyles and achievements, but this is your journey. Your goals should be relevant to where you are in your life right now. Be realistic, practical and honest with yourself about how much time and energy you are willing and able to put into making the necessary changes to achieve your goal.
- Focus on one small, attainable and sustainable goal at a time – baby steps! Let’s say that your goal is to start working out and eating healthier. Set a goal to break a sweat 3 days/week and start packing a healthy lunch instead of eating out for 30 days. Just think how good you’ll feel when you realize how easy it was and you’ve achieved this goal! Now you’ve built up some confidence and will be ready to tackle a new goal for the next month.
- Show yourself the same patience and kindness that you would to others. Instant gratification is nice, but not realistic when it comes to fitness. Think of your goal as a lifestyle change as opposed to a quick fix. New habits take time to form and know that life is sometimes going to get in the way. If you miss a workout or splurge on dessert, don’t throw in the towel. Be flexible with yourself, celebrate small victories and get back on track the next day.
- Hold yourself accountable by journaling. Write down your goals, fears, challenges and successes. Journaling also helps your track your progress.
- Recruit the help of others. Only share your goals with people who will encourage, inspire and motivate you. Hiring a professional fitness trainer or nutritionist who understands your specific needs is not a luxury – it can be a valuable investment in your future. Do your research and don’t be afraid to interview potential health and wellness experts to make sure that they’re a good fit for you.
Believe in yourself and the process. If you’ve been considering a lifestyle change but have been putting it off, stop delaying. There will never be a better time than the present to start living a healthier lifestyle!