Over 75% of resolutions are to lose weight, eat healthier, or start exercising. Most people unfortunately say they fail their resolutions. So, today I’m going to be giving you some tips for succeeding on your weight loss (or other health) resolutions this year.
First, let’s talk about resolutions. The problem most people have with resolutions is that they want something, yet they don’t set themselves up to get it.
FIND YOUR WHY
Obviously, if you want something, there is some level of desire there, but how often do you sit down and write out exactly WHY you want something. The first step in getting what you want is knowing why.
Some people want to lose weight to be healthier, some because they don’t like how they look in photos, some because they think people will like them more if they lose weight. Dig deep and figure out your real intentions in losing weight (or exercising more, or eating better).
Once you know the WHY, ask yourself if your why is motivating enough for you to lose weight. Now you need to ask yourself if that reason, if your WHY, is big enough motivation to keep you going.
If it isn’t, maybe it’s time to sit down and reconsider your why. Obviously you want to lose weight badly enough that you think about it, but if, let’s say, how you look in photos, isn’t enough to keep you motivated, then maybe that’s not the underlying reason that’s driving you. Maybe you need to find a new WHY, or change your resolution all together.
SET GOALS- NOT RESOLUTIONS
Once you have your why, it’s time to set goals, not resolutions.
A resolution is often a big picture- I want to be happier, I want to be skinny, and I want to be healthier… Because resolutions are often so big and so broad they’re hard to keep. Most resolutions would take a lot of hard work and discipline to achieve. Not just for a year either-forever.
A goal, unlike a resolution, is a specific thing you want to achieve in a specific amount of time. It also has an element that is measureable. For instance, instead of resolving to lose weight- you would set a goal to lose 30 pounds by December 31st, 2018. . So, every week you would need to lose .625 pounds. This is a realistic goal that can be easily planned, tracked and accomplished.
HOW TO PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
First, take some time to think about what resolutions you were going to make this year.
Now, ask yourself why. Is your why motivating enough?
If the answer is yes, then what is a realistic goal you can set for this year?
Remember when you set a goal they should be SMART- specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time based.
So, for example, If you want to exercise more, how much more and is it realistic? Perhaps twice a week, all year, is as realistic as it gets this year, and that’s okay. It’s better to start small and succeed at something small, then fail, and get in a pattern of failing your goals. Also ask yourself how you’re going to accomplish this goal. Are you getting a new gym membership? Doing a Julian Michaels program? Swimming? What’s the most realistic way you can accomplish your goal?
Now lay your goal out and add your why to it.
“I will attend the gym 104 times by December 31st, 2018 so that I can keep up with my grand kids”.
“I will attend 52 kickboxing classes and 42 dance classes by December 31st 2018 so I can enter the tango competition next year”.
Now let’s go back to the weight loss goal.
If your goal is to lose weight, how much do you want to lose? More than 2-3 pounds a week is probably unrealistic. If you need to lose 150 pounds, you should maybe focus on getting off the first 50-70 pounds this year and setting new goals for the next year. Sometimes when we look at how far we have to go, it can be discouraging. But what’s more discouraging, knowing you can only realistically lose half the weight you want to this year, or failing to lose any at all? Making sure you can realistically achieve your weight loss is the KEY to success. So after figuring out your why, ask yourself what’s attainable.
While “dieting” in the sense of calorie counting isn’t necessary, it is important to do your homework and understand that to lose one pound of weight you need to burn off 3500 calories. My favorite workout is Crossfit, which is a high intensity workout that combines functional movements with Olympic weight lifting. In a one hour session I burn approximately 250 calories… which is the equivalent of losing a half-pound a week. That’s one hour of intense exercise, every day, for half a pound of weight loss a week.
I didn’t give you that illustration to scare or discourage you, but to challenge you to really look at what you need to do to accomplish your goals, before you set them. Losing even a pound of weight in a week, while completely doable, still hard work and dedication.
An example of a SMART weight loss goal that is inspired by your WHY however can help you succeed at finally making the changes you want to make!
Here’s an example of what you might come up with….
“I will lose 30 pounds by December 31st, 2018 by doing Julian Michaels three times a week and eating 500 less calories a day. I will do this because my weight is a reflection of how I feel about my body, and I want to love my body”.
“I will lose 20 pounds by December 31st, 2018 by swimming for an hour every-day and eating greens with every meal. I will do this so I can fulfill my dream of competing in Masters Swim competitions”.
A Different New Years
If setting goals and resolutions is all off-putting to you, another solution I heard this year is to have a friend of family member you know well and trust pick a challenge for you for to accomplish during the New Year.
I heard this idea first from Jeff Walker and I fell in love with it.
So, let’s say you have a close friend and you decide to exchange New Year challenges with him. Perhaps he’s always wanted to travel overseas, but never has. So maybe that’s what you challenge him to do this year. In exchange, he might challenge you to write a children’s book that you talked about once upon a time and enter it in a children’s book competition.
Obviously, you have to know the person well enough that the challenge is realistic and fits the person well, but this could be an amazing new tradition.
I know I’m going to be trying it this year, and maybe it’s a perfect thing for some of you guys to try as well!
So, that’s it! Hopefully this was helpful in guiding you to having a successful new year health-wise! And if not, maybe it at least brought this other idea of challenging someone you love to do something they’ve always wanted to do, but never have.