Can you believe we’re a month into the New Year already? Time is really flying by!
One month into the New Year also means one month of working on New Year’s resolutions and health goals.
Studies show this is the average time that most people give up on their goals.
About 5 years ago, I was not living a very healthy lifestyle. To be honest, I was eating and living like my husband (burgers, pizza, beer, you name it).
So that year, I started off the New Year with an overreaching goal like many of us do.
My plan was to go on a juice cleanse for 2 weeks! I literally thought I was going to survive on juice and only juice for 2 whole weeks.
Needless to say, this did not last.
I found I was actually dreaming about food, I was so hungry. All I could think about was sinking my teeth into food again.
About 3 days into this “cleanse” I threw in the towel and went out to eat. I was so starving that all I wanted was a burger and fries.
However, as I sat down at the restaurant to order, I realized that I wanted more for myself.
No, I couldn’t survive on just freshly made juices anymore. But, I didn’t have to go back to my old habits either.
I ended up ordering a grilled chicken salad that day and began my journey towards my current healthy lifestyle.
If you set unrealistic goals for yourself and you’re ready to throw in the towel, pause for a moment.
Maybe your original goals won’t stick, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up completely.
Learn how to stick with your goals this year and finally live the healthier life you’ve been dreaming of.
How to Stick With Your Goals
The best way to stick with your goals is by setting a SMART goal from the getgo.
One key feature of setting a SMART goal is to make sure your goal is realistic for your lifestyle.
My goal of living off of smoothies was not realistic for my lifestyle, and it didn’t last.
When you’re setting goals for yourself, think “SMART”.
SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound (read more about setting SMART goals here).
Instead of saying “I’m going to lose 50 pounds this year”, a SMART goal would be “I’m going to exercise 5 days per week for 30 minutes over the next two weeks”.
As you can see, the SMART goal is something that you can measure and check off once you accomplish it.
I always recommend starting small and in short intervals. This way, every 2-4 weeks you can check back in with your goals and make sure you’re still on track.
When your goals are too broad or too difficult, you’re much more likely to veer off track or give up altogether.
Set-backs are a completely normal part of change. From time to time it’s completely normal to get off track.
The most important thing to do when setbacks occur is to evaluate why they happened.
Take a moment to reflect on what was going on in your life. Were you stressed, busy, bored, was it a special occasion?
Whatever the reason, try to acknowledge it, learn from it, and move forward. Try not to get hung up in your failures, but instead focus on the big picture and how far you’ve come.
Keep track of what you’ve accomplished so far and keep working towards your larger, long-term goal.
Sign Up For An Event
One great way to stay motivated is to plan an event to work towards. This could be an upcoming vacation, summer holiday, wedding, birthday, etc.
Choose an event that you want to feel better and look better for.
Alternatively, you can sign up for a race or a Mud Run. Pick something that will keep you motivated and excited to accomplish.
Make sure to allow yourself enough time to train, but not so far in advance that you get bored or burnt out.
Another great option for staying motivated is to have an accountability partner.
This can be someone who goes through these changes with you, or just somebody who knows what you’re trying to do and is there to support you.
Choose someone who you’re comfortable with and who you know will encourage you to stay on track.
My accountability partner is actually my brother who lives all the way in Alabama. A few years ago, I got him into my favorite YouTube workout channels.
Now, every morning we text each other and compare which workout we did.
This small act of checking in holds me accountable to workout each morning. I know he’ll be asking what workout I did, so I’m motivated to get up and exercise.
Living a healthy lifestyle is not something that happens overnight.
Change occurs slowly over time with each small step you take. Every time you choose a serving of vegetables over chips, you’re making progress.
Each morning you put on your workout clothes and move more, you’re taking a step.
Put the scale away for a while and instead, focus on every small step in the right direction you’re making.
Success is showing up for yourself day in and day out.
Even if you don’t hit your long-term goal as quickly as you’d hoped, if you just keep trying and working towards your goal, that is a success.
Staying on track towards your goals is not easy. If it were, everyone would be healthy and fit.
However, it can be done and you can do it.
If you’re ready for an accountability partner to keep you on track, join my 30-day challenge which begins in March!