No one wants to be a quitter, but we all start the year off knowing there’s a good chance our goals will fizzle out. In the back of our minds, we wonder if this is just like all the other years and we’re just like all the other people. Friends, this year can be different. Here are 4 ways to keep your resolutions all year. No, seriously.
I’m not talking about your healthy friend texting you every now and then to see if you’ve used your new gym shoes yet. I’m talking the kind of accountability that really makes you stick with what you set out to do.
Find (or more realistically pay) someone to hold you to your goals. Set up a rewards system or even a consequence depending on your personality, and give them the authority in your life to help enforce those systems. Here are some tips:
- Check in with someone regularly
- track your consistency so you can report exactly how you’re doing
- change things up if they aren’t working – ask them for their input
- allow them to enforce consequences and celebrate rewards with you!
I’ve written extensively on this, so check out my favorite post on accountability to make it work for you this year. Your motivation will only last you so long. Accountability will help ensure you stay disciplined no matter how you feel.
2. Set Doable Goals
Part of why New Year’s Resolutions fizzle out is you try too much too soon or set overly ambitious goals. I’m insanely guilty of this, too. I’m an Enneagram 1, so rest assured I never have less than 72 goals at any given moment and at least 5 are impossible.
Make sure your goals are doable but challenging. If you don’t even remember the last time you ran, setting a goal of running a half marathon might be too ambitious. If you can barely squeeze in 30 minute workouts, the long runs on the weekends might not be doable. And if you are currently eating one veggie a day, starting something like the Whole30 might be a one-way ticket to Quittersville.
Even if you’re determined to set 1,000 goals or insanely ambitious goals this year, determine the most important steps to getting there. Maybe you want to lose 20 pounds and do a Spartan race. Break it down into what will really get you results. Focus on stopping before you’re full or adding protein in at meals. Make your main focus exercising for 30 minutes a day or a starter goal to be able to run a mile without stopping.
Tracking those mini, doable goals along the way will build up momentum and confidence! And if you do them, they will bring you much closer to achieving your overall goal!
3. Have a Back-up Plan for When Life Gets Crazy
Let’s face it. Very few of us will go hard core on our new year’s goals and stay hard core for 365 days. Nope. For the average person, this is rare. And that’s OK. Our society and culture are actually designed to keep us overweight, tired, and lazy. In order to fight against that, it’s necessary to have a contingency plan for when life feels overwhelming.
Let’s say your goals are to workout 5 days per week and stick to your meal plan every day except going out on Friday night. But then you get a big project at work and don’t even see your stove for an entire week. Most of your exercise is either walking to the bathroom or taking deep breaths. Insert whatever your scenario is here, because you have one.
We all have that life circumstance that throws us off.
Even if it’s your cycle. Or a rough night of sleep. Or your roommate ordered pizza on a day you didn’t meal prep.
You need a back-up plan because stopping and then re-starting your goals is much harder than going at a snail’s pace during a few busy days and then getting back to your normal pace.
Create a back-up plan and focus on doable during this hectic week. Maybe your goal is to meal prep on Sunday to limit how much you eat out since you won’t have time to cook at night. Or you want to get up 10 minutes early to stretch since workouts aren’t foreseeable this week. Giving yourself healthy goals to focus on even in the craziness will help you stay on track. Sometimes it’s damage control week, and that’s OK!
- I wrote an entire post about this here: How to Adjust Your Fitness Goals when Life Gets Busy
4. Set Lifestyle Goals
This is similar to #2, but by setting goals that fit into your lifestyle, you’ll significantly increase your chances of reaching them or sticking them out all year!
If exercise, fat loss, learning a new skill, or building a new habit is on your list, figure out what will fit into your lifestyle or your weekly routine. You can set big, overall goals, but plan out the roadmap by focusing on building habits into your daily or weekly rhythm. You’ll find them much easier to stick with.
Perhaps your goal is to lose 20% body fat. Instead of focusing on that number or starting an unsustainable diet, determine to set aside some time on Sundays to meal prep. Find a workout routine that fits into the 20 minutes you have to spare each day.
Figure out what practically will fit into your lifestyle to keep working towards your goals. Big goals sound way sexier and exciting, but they are only met by daily decisions.
This is Your Year!
Motivation is awesome, and if you have it, run with it! Just don’t let it set you up for failure by setting difficult-to-achieve goals that you won’t be able to accomplish without it.
Take that motivation and channel it through these four strategies to help you make this year THE year you stick it out, January through December! That’s not just wishful thinking. It’s entirely possible by implementing these tips!
I’m cheering you on, friends! Let me know if I can help you achieve your health and fitness goals this year. Check out my plans to see if one meets your needs, or send me an email!
Happy New Year!