Another New Year’s Resolution; Make This Year Different
Many of us use the New Year as a jumping off point, a landmark for motivation where we set goals to correct or improve the errors of the past year. The unfortunate truth for most of us is that this is not the first time we have made these very same resolutions and have come up short only to find them on our list again the following year. You would be hard pressed to find a list that did not include some goal connected to fitness or more specifically weight loss. The problem with a goal focused solely on weight loss versus actual changes in behavior is that the results for the former are short lived if achieved at all. This year I suggest making resolutions connected to behavior. Behavior changes are what drive the end results that we are all looking for, so why not start with changing the journey versus obsessing about the destination.
Here are some examples:
1. I will strength train 3 times per week for at least 30 minutes each session. Write down the dates each week and mark them off when completed. The effects of checking something off a list are very powerful as it relates to self-efficacy and self-confidence, which are connected to adherence.
2. I will not skip meals.
Skipping meals is a recipe for disaster. Many people skip breakfast and even lunch thinking that they are reducing caloric intake. Eventually it catches up to you. You end up binging and consuming more calories in one sitting than if you had eaten the meals that you skipped. Also remember from past blogs that your metabolism is a fire, and fires need to be fed in order to keep burning.
3. I will eat more fruits and vegetables.
You need to be specific here. Make a commitment to eating fruit at least two times during the day, either at two meals or for a snack. Apply the same rule to vegetables. In addition to vegetables being filling and fruits satisfying your sweet tooth they’re good for you!
4. I will perform 60 minutes (for example) of aerobic exercise per week.
The only caveat is that it not all be in one day and that a single session be at least 10 minutes in duration.
5. I will eat when I am hungry and won’t when I am not.
This is the biggest problem that most of us face. We eat when we are bored, stressed, depressed, and tired. Find an alternative behavior. Hint, hint…exercise! And if it is late at night, have a glass and water and go to bed.
6. I will get more sleep.
Specifically we need between 7-9 hours of sleep each night; everyone is different and there is no “catching up on the weekends.” Like everything else on this list sleep needs to be part of a plan, which means in the beginning it is a good idea to write it down.
In conclusion, a great business usually has a great plan; your body is no different. If you really want to make this year different it’s not enough to have outcome-based goals. You need to have behavior driven goals, because these are the goals that comprise your plan for success. Think it, write it, do it, and then check it off.