Resolutions VS. Lifestyle Changes (Plus, Success Tips)
Whether you’ve made a resolution this year or not, this article will help you in setting goals, sticking to them and actually achieving them. Keep reading to find out why we feel lifestyle changes trump resolutions any day of the year!
If you’re one of those rare people who make a New Year’s resolution and actually keep it, congratulations! But what happens once you realize your resolution? Do you keep it for a lifetime or do you eventually revert back to your old habits?
Then there are those who make resolutions, try hard to keep them, but unfortunately fail after a month or two. This is extremely disheartening and can have a highly negative impact on our psyche.
If you’re a long-time reader of our blog, you’ll know we are proponents of lifestyle changes rather than seasonal changes. Resolutions, especially, have a pervasive “short-term” feeling to them, mainly because it’s common knowledge many people fail to keep them.
Read: What?! Start Our New Year’s Resolutions NOW? for drawbacks to making resolutions and 5 success tips in making long-lasting changes.
Success Tips in Creating Real Long-Term Change
Here are a few ideas to try out when you’re working on goals (anytime of the year). We link to several past blog posts for more success tips (like the one above), and the most effective of these success tips we repeat below with a few more examples added with hopes that at least one of those examples will resonate with you.
- Find a workout buddy. For many people, physical activity is more fun with a friend. When exercise is fun, you’re more likely to do it! Personal trainers are another option here because a good trainer keeps your workouts fun and engaging, like we do with our kickboxing-inspired workouts. Whether your buddy is a personal trainer or friend, involving another person adds a sense of accountability – it’s your integrity at stake! It’s much easier to let ourselves down than others.
- Join a studio class. What’s better than having a workout buddy? Having many of them! A studio-based gym that offers classes provides you with a fun activity that evolves per week to keep it challenging with the added bonus of peers AND a coach (which is almost like having a personal trainer).
- Schedule. This tip is the difference between “I want” and “I will.” We schedule our doctor’s appointments, kids’ soccer games, meetings with the boss… every important task we have we set a time for it and schedule it in our agenda. Exercise and nutrition are just as important; arguably more so. Along these same lines, use a timer. Say you want to increase your metabolism by eating every 2 hours. Set your alarm to notify you when it’s meal or snack time.
- Many successful people write down their goals. There’s power in the act of writing, as we blogged about in Make It Real: The Power of Writing. Access this post to find different, creative ways in writing down your goals.
- Make realistic goals for where you are right now. If you’re a couch potato inspired to shed 50 pounds and run a 10K marathon in three months, you might not only be headed for disappointment but also harming yourself!
- Assess your current state of health. Our personal trainers provide fitness assessments with concrete measurements in order to identify your current state of health. This way we can help clients create realistic goals while still providing enough challenge for change in a safe manner. For additional insight, we recommend a holistic health assessment from professionals like our new partner, ExecuHealth, to discover any potential health issues or risks that may impede your success (like hormonal imbalances). Read up on the extensive total health assessment services they offer in this post.
- Create momentum with mini-goals. We suggest starting with small, manageable goals so you can achieve them one-by-one, build confidence and become healthier safely. For a couch potato who wants to run in a marathon, their first milestone goal might be to walk for 10 minutes a day for a month. Next month, they could aim for 20 minutes a day and so on until they build the cardiovascular strength needed to start jogging for 10 minutes a day. Soon enough, they’ll be strong enough to safely and successfully run that 10K marathon!
- Create an action plan that includes your big goals and milestone goals, and exactly what you’ll be doing to reach them all. This helps you keep looking forward, motivated, confident and on track. Keep in mind that health is holistic, so for instance with our couch potato aspiring to be a marathon runner, they will also want to come up with a nutrition plan to help support their training. Read more in First 2 Steps in Creating a Personalized Health Plan.
- Find 6 more success tips in our blog post: Sticking to Your 2013 Health & Fitness Goals.
If you just want to start somewhere, the most important success tip here is making small goals. A healthy lifestyle is made up of an overall healthy routine. Small changes, over time (i.e. consistency), turn into big results. If you don’t usually eat breakfast, for example, one goal could be to eat a healthy breakfast for a month to increase your metabolism. The idea is to create habit and the more consistent you are, you will see change even with this one small daily change.
Through these success tips, can you see why so many people fail in keeping their New Year’s resolutions? Not only are there mental barriers with resolutions, they are usually unrealistic (too big), vague and made without much thought.
As Benjamin Franklin said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
We hope this article has helped you mentally prepare to aim for lifestyle changes made at any time of the year rather than opt for a resolution that happens only once a year. When you’re ready to make real, long-term health improvements and would like some knowledge and guidance, please contact us for a free consultation!