Yep, it’s that time of year again….
Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Do you reflect on the previous year and wonder where the time went? When exactly was it that all those good intentions to get healthy went out the window?
Well, you are in good company! I think 90% of people give up after just a few weeks…. You’re not alone if you lose that well intentioned drive and motivation.
This year, let’s shake things up, try implementing these simple (and surprisingly fun) strategies to help you stay on track with your weight-loss and fitness success or any other goals you have for the upcoming year.
- Create SMART Goals
Think about what you’d like to accomplish — whether it’s losing weight, eating more whole foods, consuming less sugar, drinking more water, cooking regularly, or starting a new exercise plan — then create two to three challenging, but achievable goals.
To make your goal more achievable make it Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time based.
To create goals you can stick with, start small. If your goal is too far out, it’s easy to lose momentum and procrastinate.
Instead of committing to losing weight, a goal that’s well-intentioned but too broad, try making a more specific goal to lose 10 pounds in five weeks.
For every goal, write down several easy, actionable steps you can take each day, week, and month to achieve it.
- Create a Vision Board
It’s a real-life, tangible Pinterest, only more focused and personal. A vision board is literally a visual representation of your resolution, with illustrated ways you plan to achieve it. Include encouraging quotes to inspire, yummy and healthy recipes to make, photos of exercises you plan to do, images of parks or trails you plan to hike or run on — whatever empowers you to take control of your health and remind yourself why you’re doing these things.
Focus on how you want to feel, not just how you want to look (No need for those sexy swimsuit model photos, don’t go there).
The more you can visually represent how exercising, eating clean, sleeping more, enjoying life, etc., can make you feel like a better version of yourself, the more effective it will be at inspiring you to actually become that person.
Make sure to hang it where you’ll see it every day, don’t leave it laying around only to end up in a closest later.
- Make Meal Prep Part of Your Routine
Invest a few hours of your time each weekend to plan and prepare as many of your weekly meals as possible.
Keeping your home stocked up with healthy foods on hand makes sticking to your goals much easier. Deciding what to eat before the hunger sets in, can help if you are prone to eating whatever you see, it can also help you make healthier choices that are aligned with your weight-loss goals. Try storing your food in serving sizes that are appropriate for your daily calorie goals.
An example for success; put all of the fruits and veggies you’ll need for one smoothie together in a bag and store in the freezer. When hunger sets in, it will only take 2 minutes to throw it all in your blender, add protein, liquid and VOILA!! Better than a snickers bar!
- Exercise Regularly
The more active you are, the more energized and empowered you’ll feel. When you make the choice to make exercise a daily routine, you’ll start to make your general health and self-care more of a priority.
Working out can rev up your metabolism, increase your amount of lean muscle mass, and help you maintain an overall healthier and high-functioning body.
Exercise and increasing your daily activity (walking, taking the stairs, cleaning the house, riding a bike) can also have the benefit of improved sleep quality, give you a better mental outlook on life, help with self-esteem, and productivity. All of which are just bonuses if you only started as a way of losing weight!
- Have an accountability partner or group
Having a buddy who will work out with you, meal prep with you, hold you accountable and encourage you is the secret sauce, the gold, the icing on the cake…
Don’t let the pandemic get in your way of attaining your health goals, try joining an online group of people who have similar nutrition goals as you. Having a space where you can encourage one another, ask questions, and dispense advice makes you feel less alone.
- Record Your Progress
Each day take five minutes to jot down what you ate, how you moved, and how you feel as a result, mentally and physically. You can also include notes about dishes you loved, new recipes you tried, cravings you had, soreness you felt, how many reps you completed, or challenges you overcame.
Logging is key to learning. This trick can help you figure out what foods are helping you reach your goals, discover food intolerances, and even help fill in nutritional gaps you might not otherwise notice.
Logging can help you track your progress over time and hold you accountable when you’re motivation lags. It can be a powerful motivator to have a streak of clean eating and workouts logged. No one wants to break a streak. You want to look back on the past year and see successes not regrets.
If you can get in the habit of keeping detailed notes on how you respond to a diet plan or exercise regimen you are following, you’ll start to see what works for you and what doesn’t.
And, if you need to make tweaks to your routine, if you hit a weight-loss plateau or fall off the health wagon for a little bit, you’ll have a great place to start.
Now let’s crush some health goals!
2021 HERE WE COME!