As the New Year approaches, many of us are contemplating our resolutions and goals and usually improving our fitness or losing weight is high on that list. Even though losing weight is probably one of the most broken resolutions, it’s consistent placement on our lists exemplifies how important our weight loss and fitness levels are to us. Some people have weight loss on their resolution list every year! Unfortunately, often those resolutions are slowly broken after a month or two which is why they are always on our lists. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just check that off your list for good? There is no reason why you can’t. Maybe the goal this year should be to not have to make getting in shape a resolution next year!
When someone starts a weight loss program for the first time their motivation is very high, but when results come slower than they imagined or the workouts seem too challenging that motivation can begin to taper. When I am faced with a challenge, I like to know right up front how challenging it will probably be. I don’t like to underestimate something b/c in my mind that makes the task seem much harder than if I had known it would be very difficult from the beginning. I will save you that frustration here. Losing weight and getting in shape is HARD. You will want to give up. You will want to go back to unhealthy eating. You may even want to cry. That is all normal, but what will separate you from the others who will have the same weight loss resolution next year? You will refuse to quit. That scale may not budge like you want it to all the time, but every day you stick with your plan you are winning. We may not always realize it, but our bodies react positively to exercise EVERY time we do it. EVERY workout is progress for our bodies and is part of the stepping stone to our ultimate goal.
Why do these weight loss and fitness goals seem so attainable in January yet seem nearly impossible after 2-3 months? I think a big problem is that we set our goals too high in the beginning. I am not saying that you should sell yourself short on what you want to achieve, but it helps to break your goal into smaller goals. For instance, if your goal is to lose 40 lbs., break that goal into smaller 5lb. or 10lb. goals. Reward yourself (without food of course 🙂 ) for each milestone. I always think a new piece of workout clothing is a great reward and motivation for staying the course.
Another way to stay on track is to keep a journal. I know we are all busy, but just by jotting down your meals and snacks gives you some accountability for your day. Before I had my 2 children I never kept a food journal, but I started one after my son was born to help me lose the baby weight. I was amazed how quickly calories add up and how much mindless eating one can do. Realizing this really helped me lose the weight. After all we must be aware of our bad habits before we can change them.
Perhaps one of the best motivators of all is to picture yourself having to make this same resolution next year. When you are frustrated with the scale, tired of exercising and feel like giving up, stop and think about next January 1st. Will you will be making the same resolution that you are now, or will you be the person who stuck through your plan even when it seemed hopeless but is now focused on new goals b/c your weight is under control and fitness is a way of life?
By making your goals smaller (thus more victories to keep you motivated), keeping a journal to reveal habits that will keep us from our goals, and by sheer willpower and refusal to give up – you can make this the last year to ever make weight loss or getting into shape a resolution ever again. Don’t ever give up!
What are some of your fitness goals for 2013? Any more creative ideas on how to keep them? Please share your ideas!