Each year, millions of Canadians make New Year's resolutions. However, most people have given up on their resolutions within a month. Today being the ½ way point through January, I challenge you to take stock of where you are.
Setting and achieving goals is a great feeling that will filter into all areas of your life. Don't you love that feeling of success? I do. Here are some tips to help you stay on track.
Check in on your goals.
Reflect on your resolutions. Do they still serve you? Are they realistic? Reflecting on these questions can help determine if you were over-eager when setting your resolutions. It'sIt's okay to modify them. For example, if your goal was to run every day, is that too often based on your busy life? Take a look at your calendar and determine when you can run. You may want to start with a walking program if you've never run. There's no shame in tweaking your resolutions to better fit your needs or schedule or even dialling back specific goals if you've found them unrealistic. Big scary goals are great, but making and keeping a simple goal is better than creating and dropping a big one. A few smaller goals will set you up for success on your big goals.
Have a strong WHY
When motivation wavers, a strong why will keep you going. If health and fitness are your goals, what is your why? Think about what compelled you to make your resolutions. You may want to feel healthier when you get out of bed. Just wanting to lose weight and get fit is not enough to get you out the door on a bad day. Have a strong why. Did you get a poor physical last year and get a warning from your doctor? Are you tired of being tired all the time? Are you planning an epic trip with lots of walking through European streets? Write your why's down and read them every day.
It's okay to need help
You may need help; it is not easy to change alone. Consider a personal trainer, life coach, or naturopath. These experts are there to lend a hand, so don't hesitate to use them. Sometimes just spending money on these experts helps keep you motivated. If you can't afford these helpers, consider joining a small micro gym or studio where you matter. Somewhere they know your name, and you can chat with the trainers. Look for local running groups; a great one that runs Saturday morning worldwide is the "Park Run". A free 5k running group for all paces, these free timed runs will help you track your progress. Success is motivating.
Eat to Live
Eating healthy is one of the pillars of good health. If one of your resolutions is to eat better this year, it set's never been easier to find recipes online. Try to plan the majority of your meals and double recipes. Check their oil and sugar content, and reduce when necessary. You'll notice improved performance and energy when you cut back on sugar and processed foods. Do you drink too much? Alcohol is empty calories. You can add it back in slowly once you reach your goals. Try a dry January or February to reduce calories while losing weight.
Exercising more is always a great goal. If you're new to fitness, start by walking. If you're more accustomed to exercise, try running, lifting weights or taking a HIIT or Pilates class. Changing it up can help relieve boredom. A fit body is also functional. If you've lost your range of motion, try yoga; if you want to improve your posture and have a stronger core try Pilates. Don't leave out the weights, as you age, you begin to lose muscle mass. Mix it up for a stronger, more functional body.
Track your success
It's easy to let your goals slip away as February rolls around. Have a plan, keep a journal or use an online fitness app to track your success. I use Map My Run, and Strava. Strava helps me to connect to others and be motivated by their success. Community matters. Find me on Strava (Sheree Nicholson), and we will encourage each other.
Making resolutions is easy; keeping resolutions is hard. Set yourself up for success with realistic goals and a plan to help you achieve them. You're bound to get off track on occasion — everyone does. The key is not to beat yourself up when you stumble but to have strategies to help pick you back up.
Ready to take the next step? Reach out to Sheree Nicholson @ email@example.com for a free no, obligation consultation. Sheree owns and operates Live With Spirit Yoga & Fitness in Whitby, Ontario. She is a personal trainer, Senior Yoga instructor, and Transformation Coach. She has a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from eCornell.