Welcome to January. The gym is suddenly jam-packed, the shops are full of workout equipment and protein bars, and by Valentines Day everyone is back on the chocolate and wine.
Here are a few tips to help you stay motivated!
Set Short-term goals.
Maybe we should choose “New Month’s Resolutions” every 30 or 31 days instead of New Year’s resolutions once a year. Try breaking down a larger goal into shorter periods of time.
Why not shorten the timing of your resolution to what suits your particular goal rather than something that fits neatly on the calendar?
Start with humble, achievable goals to improve your chances of success. It’s very easy to overwhelm yourself with huge goals whilst you’re feeling motivated but then get dejected later if you can’t live up to your grand plans. So for example, rather than say I’m going to the gym 6 days this week, say 3 would be great. If you can consistently do 3 for a couple of weeks then reward yourself with an extra workout day and build up from there. Earn it and then look forward to more when you’re ready.
Knock off a few important steps early in the process.
For example, say your resolution is to get on track for weight loss. If you have a pretty good idea that you are behind in your weight loss goal, don’t wait until you have completed an exhaustive and thorough 6 week Boot Camp. Bump up your visits to the gym or make small diet changes right away — even if it’s only a little bit.
Taking small steps, even if they seem ridiculously small can have a profoundly positive affect. For example researching boot camps in your area may be a step in the right direction if you think boot camps are the answer for you. Even buying a new pair of runners to perk yourself up can create momentum. Then put them where you can see them every day to remind you. Every time to complete a micro step like that, it makes you feel good and creates momentum in the direction of your ultimate goals.
A little reminder can go a long way — especially when you remind yourself why you want to accomplish this goal. Skip “Dump Your New Year Resolutions Day” and simply set up reminders to encourage yourself to stick with it.
Use the calendar on your smartphone or work computer. Set a recurring reminder or appointment to review your progress toward your goal.
Ask others to remind you to check in and do the same for them. Set up a private group on Facebook, use a group Google Docs goal sheet, or sign up for an app like MyFitnessPal that is meant for group interaction and reminders. Encourage each other to stick with your promises to yourselves.
The New Year is a time to hope and dream and to make those dreams a reality, but it takes work. You can set yourself up for success by starting early, setting up realistic action steps, and engaging supportive people so 2016 becomes a year of great accomplishments for you.
One of the best ways to stick to a plan and achieve your goals is to write it down. NLP research backs this up. Grab a cup of tea, a piece of paper and pen and write down 1-3 goals you want to achieve in the next 3-12 months. Write them in present tense like you’ve already achieved it and put it somewhere prominent like next to the bathroom mirror or on your main cupboard door so you have to see it at least twice a day. If you commit to reading those goals out aloud twice a day, you will be shocked at how it stimulates the parts of your brain that make things happen. Be as specific and descriptive as possible saying what you did to achieve the goal and how it makes you feel now that you’ve done it. If you don’t have a compelling vision of your future that is pulling your forward, then the chains from the past and old habit will probably win. Write it down. Stick it somewhere prominent. Read it twice a day (out load is best). Then marvel at your own genius.
By taking this step you will increase your chances of success by around 400%. Example: It’s July 15th 2016 and I’m sitting on a beach in Thailand in my new swimmers (that I bought myself as a reward) looking hot as because I lost 5kg of body fat and firmed up by doing resistance training 3 days a week, swimming at least 1km twice a week and cutting sugar and refined carbs from my diet. I stuck to this plan no matter what. No excuses. I’m so proud of myself.