It’s that time again: New Year’s! For some, this is the time to leave the past behind, learn from our mistakes, and become better versions of ourselves—a fresh start! For many of us, this is our opportunity to start planning the big changes we want to make heading into the new year. The most popular New Year’s resolutions generally involve getting back into shape, shedding unwanted fat, and eating healthier. These are legitimate goals promising better versions of ourselves and more confidence, say, in donning that two-piece bikini come summer. But generally such changes, all at once, are overwhelming and ultimately impossible. Motivation is short-lived, and our normal everyday habits return more quickly than the time it took to make these resolutions.
When the new year rolls around, we fill our heads with lofty initiatives that we are certain we can accomplish. We are excited for the fresh start and we set many resolutions that we know we can achieve. This year is different! Nothing has changed from the previous year, but this time we have a lot more willpower. It will be done! I am going to lose 20 pounds, go to the gym 4 times a week, only eat lean meat and veggies, and abstain from alcohol. This goes swimmingly the first two weeks… you're crushing it! But then the momentum dies and you skip a day at the gym because life got in the way, and a glass of red wine doesn’t sound so bad after all. It’s all downhill from there. Another year goes by, and the goal you set out to achieve wasn’t met— again. Sound familiar?
How frustrating it must be to make the same resolutions every year without any success. After a few years, you may just forget your resolve entirely. But what if I told you there is a way to succeed and it is probably much simpler than what you have attempted in the past? Lets make 2016 YOUR year. It’s time to do something different, something PROVEN to work. Leave your failed attempts behind in 2015 and let’s finally work towards lasting results this year!
Step 1 - The WHY
First, ask yourself why this goal is so important to you. Find some emotional triggers and dig deep. You are going to need some quiet time to do this! Without the intrinsic inspiration and determination to be honest with yourself—why you want to change—you will most likely bail when the going gets tough. With true understanding of the need and rationale for your change, you can overcome the rough patches and keep striving towards your goals.
Step 2 - Small Changes
One of my favorite books, The Power of Less, describes how you can accomplish more by doing less. Author Leo Babauta shares some interesting data:
• Adopting one new habit at a time results in an 85% chance of success
• Adopting two new habits at once: a 35% chance of success
• Adopting three or more new habits at once: less than 10% chance of success
The take-away here is to be diligent in implementing one change at a time until you are able to master that behavior. Additionally, this should be a change about which you feel 90-100% confident.
Step 3 - Under-Commitment & Over-Delivery
You want to hit the new year with a bang and work out 4 times a week! Awesome! But first you should ask yourself how many hours you are working out now. If this number is zero, good luck!
I tell my clients, ALL THE TIME, to pick a number that they know with 90-100% confidence they can tackle. Sometimes this means under-committing For most people this number starts at 1 or 2 days of fitness per week and that is OKAY! When you have hit your required amount of training days per week at least 8 weeks in a row, you know you may be ready for more. Everyone is different but you have to start off with realistic goals that can be maintained over a long period of time. Under-committing sets you up for success and builds confidence along the way!
Step 4 - Consistency
Progress is not achieved by waves of motivation; it is achieved through consistent efforts made over a long period of time. In my experience as a fitness coach, those who are consistent reach their goals nearly all of the time! This can be used in all life endeavors, not just nutrition and fitness.
Step 5 - Accountability
Who is holding you accountable? This is extremely important for anyone looking to enhance their lives—again, not only in fitness, but also in business and life. Think of this person (whether a coach or a fitness partner) as your health mentor! Having someone to check in with every so often to ensure you are on track is vital to continued success. You can’t do this on your own, especially when the going gets tough.
Step 6 - Expert Knowledge
Having an expert Coach with whom to collaborate not only helps you succeed, but also proves useful in helping move past stultifying plateaus. Utilizing your time in the gym with movements that create the greatest metabolic advantage will result in your spending less time on the elliptical machine while actually reaching your goals. So farewell to those days wandering around the gym wondering, What should I do next? What will help me lose weight? Even Coaches need Coaches!
Make this Year YOURS by taking control and consulting with an expert Coach on strategies that are proven to work. Let go of the frustrations of not reaching your goals in 2015. It’s time to take a more dynamic, evidence-based approach!