Just because you’ve set resolutions for the new year doesn’t mean that you’ll magically accomplish them. Yes, framing your resolutions as SMART goals will help, but then what? Your habits are fairly set at this point and we’re creatures of habits and routines. You need a plan to change from what you’re currently doing to what you want to do. So where do you start?
Break It Down
Your resolution is about the end product. Now you need to figure out the individual steps to get there. These steps should be small and build up over time. You have a whole year to achieve your goals, so take your time to get it right. In fact, you can start with really, really small steps and still succeed. Right now, it’s more important to get in the habit of doing something than it is to a meet health benchmarks of 30 minutes of exercise or 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day.
Focus on Consistency
To really emphasize this point, it’s more important to do something than to hit a target number of minutes or servings, etc when you’re first starting out. Aim to work on your goal every day, preferably at the same time every day. This will help it to become part of your routine and eventually an automatic habit. You can take a cue from Jerry Seinfeld’s calendar trick to help keep you motivated to grow your chain of days that you’ve worked towards your goal.
Write it Down
Get your goal and your plan out of your head and write it down. It helps you clarify your intentions and makes you more likely to follow through on your plan. Keep your plan in a visible spot and review periodically. Make sure to set up a way to track your progress. It can be the chain calendar mentioned above, a food or exercise diary, or even an app. Use whatever works best for you.
Find Your Support
Part of your plan should include how to get your family or friends on board to help you. What are some ways they can help you be successful? It can be as simple as agreeing to eat new foods you’re cooking or watching the kids while you exercise. Even better, they can be your workout buddy or help with meal prep.
Put in Backup Plans
Part of your plan is to make a backup plan because life is messy and gets in the way. Take this unfortunate cold snap, If you planned to take a 20-minute walk after dinner, subzero wind chill and snow for the eastern side of the state will make even the most diehard exercisers think about calling it off. So instead of snuggling in on the couch, you can move on to plan B – a Move More, Virginia workout video. Without a backup plan, it’s much easier to throw your hands up and say it’s too difficult to work on your goal when something comes up. With a backup plan, you’ve already made the decision in advance to stick with your goal and modify your specific step to accommodate this bump in the road.
Whatever your New Year’s Resolution is, I’m confident you can accomplish it. Commit to your goals, make a plan of how to do so, and crush it in 2018!