- Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine
Fitness Resolutions for 2018
Millions of us have the best intention to make our lives better beginning in the new year, but the vast majority simply don’t get there. Let’s take a quick look at why this happens, and what we can do to vastly increase our chances of success. Following are my top ten tips to achieve health and fitness goals this year.
1. Define Your Goal. Be as precise as you can be! “Losing weight” or “getting fit” is simply not adequate. Go a little deeper and look at how much weight you want to lose or how fit you want to be. Is it 20 pounds in 20 weeks? Or do you want to be able to run a half marathon by September? You need to specify a goal that you can stick with for the long haul, not for two weeks. More importantly, shift your thoughts from the goal itself, to the feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment you will feel both during the process and upon achieving the goal. Realize that the joy comes not from the end reward, but in the daily habits and rituals you have established to transform yourself.
2. Have a Plan and Keep it Simple.
As Benjamin Franklin wisely said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” How are you going to achieve your goal? Make a plan, focus on one habit at a time, put it in your calendar and stick to it. If it is written down, you are far more likely to do it. Do you need to enlist help? Do you need weekly meal plans? Do you need to schedule time for exercising? Keep it simple and track your progress. If you don’t know what you need then spend a little time finding out.
3. Be Accountable!
I simply cannot stress highly enough, the importance of accountability. It is so important and yet so often overlooked. A study by the American Society of Training and Development found that accountability will increase the odds of achieving goals by up to 85%. That is huge! Life is hectic and sometimes we are going to fall down. We also have a myriad of excuses for skipping exercise and eating poorly. If the only pact that you have made is with yourself, then it is quite easy to quit when (not if, but when) the going gets tough. A great way to get through this is to make yourself accountable to a coach, a friend or a group. Make your resolutions together and discuss your progress, your feelings and your fears. Celebrate even the smallest of gains, together!
4. Establish a Morning Routine.
Did I hear you say, “I’m not a morning person?” You are limiting yourself by defining what you are not. A morning routine, no matter when your morning starts, will set the tone for your entire day. An enormous amount of highly successful people have a morning routine and it is easy to understand why. Start by getting up 30 minutes earlier each day, and see what happens. Spend it meditating, exercising, reading and/or journal writing. Regardless of what the day brings, you will be better prepared to handle it because you started the day with you. I highly recommend reading the book “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod.
5. Prioritize Your Goals (remember the “why.”)
The difference between achieving, or not achieving, your goals can often be a matter of prioritization. So, take time to think about “why” you are doing this. Write it down! It is always more than weight loss and fitness. Is it family, health, love, happiness, wellbeing, self-confidence? Maybe it is all of the above! The “who” and the “why” that add up to your reasons will be a huge motivational factor and enable you to prioritize your daily goal-seeking efforts. Dig deep to understand why it is important to you.
6. Celebrate Your Wins!
Winning is all about moving forward consistently and incrementally. Write down each WIN, no matter how large or small. You may have simply added protein to your breakfast or cut down on sugar. Great! Write them down, look at them often and see how they add up! Individually, they may seem insignificant but over the course of a week, a month, six months or a year, I assure you the will add up to pure progress. Celebrate each and every one, knowing where they are leading: to a healthier, happier you!
7. Not Motivated? Go Through the Motions.
Even as a professional, I don’t always feel motivated. However, I do it anyway. Did you feel like brushing your teeth this morning? Probably not. Did you do it? Yes. When all else fails, go through the motions. Getting out of bed early and exercising can be difficult for me. So, what do I do? I set an alarm and place it out of reach. The night before, I lay out my clothes, I tell my husband what I am doing (accountability!) and I just do not give myself a choice.
8. No Time? Bite-size It!
It is also valuable to shift thoughts on exercise. You do not need an hour or more everyday to exercise if you simply do not have that extra time. Every minute counts! I am a busy mom of two and sometimes all I can commit to working out is 30 minutes. The important thing is that I use those minutes. Let me be brutally honest. If you have time to scroll through social media, then you have some extra time somewhere. The little red button at
the top of your remote is handy for creating extra time too!
9. Drink More Water.
A well-hydrated body positively elevates your mental state, improves your skin, boosts your metabolism, and even makes you happy. Rule of thumb: Drink ½ your bodyweight in ounces of water. So, if you weigh 180 pounds, drink 90 ounces of water daily. There are so many tips that help with water consumption, but one of the easiest to jumpstart your day is to begin by drinking 20 ounces of water before anything else every morning.
10. Elevate Your Gratitude.
Be thankful and say thank you every single day. We all need a little more positivity in our days, right? A gratitude list can shift your focus from all that is wrong, to all that is right. But how about actually expressing that gratitude towards others. I recently started writing three notes of gratitude to people every day. Start today by sending three text messages (or better yet, handwritten thank you notes) to others in your life to acknowledge them, and thank them, for even the smallest act. Notice the impact in your life. If it were possible, I would pocket the feelings I have experienced as a result of this practice.