By Darren Floro-Bryant
What’s your new year’s resolution for 2018?
I’m going to lose weight in 2018!
I’m going to eat healthy in 2018!
I’m going to exercise more in 2018!
While these are great resolutions to have, when it comes to health and fitness goals, many people put so much weight into these aspirations that any perceived failure can break their resolve. The equally important question is, how do you make your resolution stick?
So many of us make these broad resolutions with the best of intentions, yet we find ourselves giving up at the first set-back. It’s now three weeks into 2018; the perfect time to ask: Are you having challenges keeping on track?
First and foremost, you need to remember that no one is going to do it for you, and you are only accountable to yourself. Make yourself a priority! Next, if you stray from the path, forgive yourself and rather than abandon your goal, permit yourself to start again. Once you accept these philosophies, your resolutions will be easier to stick with, and you’ll be closer to achieving your goals.
Now, if you’ve made any of the broad resolutions listed above, keep them, but break them down into smaller, more achievable mini-goals that build on each other toward your ultimate resolution. Let’s take “I’m going to lose weight in 2018!” as an example. Don’t start with a broad ‘lose weight’ goal or even a sizable weight loss goal. Instead, set mini-goals of losing 2-3 lbs. per week that will build toward your ultimate resolution.
Or, if your goal is “I’m going to exercise more in 2018!”, figure out what motivates you. What will you enjoy doing? And then build a more specific exercise resolution around it. Exercise means something different to every individual. If running is not your thing but yoga is, develop your resolution around that. If you decide you want to do yoga but don’t like being in groups, either find an individual instructor or maybe an online source. On the other hand, don’t rely on an online site if you know you will find a way out of it because it is easy to put off. Ultimately, understand and accept what works for you rather than against you, and personalize your exercise resolution so that it will keep you motivated. These resolutions need to be as individual as you are.
Staying on Track
Once you have broken down your resolution into mini-goals and made them more specific and achievable, you can now seek out tips and tricks from friends, family members, magazines, or online resources to find what will work for YOU! Just remember, there is no one formula that will work for every individual.
Below are a few tips that may help you stay focused, motivated, and on track:
Find a friend who shares this resolution, someone you can depend on and who will depend on you to keep each other motivated.
Hire a professional; a financial commitment may keep you on track.
Lay out your exercise clothes or gear the night before, you will have already done half the work and set your intentions for the next day.
Set an appointment in your calendar and set up reminders on your phone or computer (creating a routine will help make it a habit).
Celebrate your success! Share your achievements with others, giving yourself a sense of accomplishment and pride.
Reward yourself as you achieve each mini-goal, just be sure it’s not a reward that risks setting you back.
Create a grocery list before shopping – and don’t go shopping while hungry!
Prepare snacks and meals in advance; it will help you to avoid cravings or temptations.
One thing we all need to understand is that sometimes life happens, and it might interrupt your progress, but it does not mean you should abandon your resolution. It is your resolution, forgive yourself if you slip-up and can get right back in stride with your goal.
In conclusion, create for yourself a focused, measured, and achievable resolution that will be true to your goals. Remember, you are only accountable to yourself so be sure to take a light-hearted approach to it, giving yourself a break when needed. Create your resolutions and remember the quicker you achieve your goals, the sooner you can celebrate your success! Have a great 2018!
Darren Floro-Bryant is originally from Ontario, Canada, but now lives and works in Atlanta, GA. Darren has worked as a certified Group Fitness Instructor, Fitness Coach, and Personal Trainer for more than 25 Years. Currently, he owns DFB Fitness and Foundation Fitness, operating out of Gravity Fitness. DFBFitness.com / FoundationFitness.co.