Everyone makes them, but unfortunately after a few short days of perfect habits life kicks back into gear and most people fall right into the day to day routine all over again. “This year is going to be different!” We all say it, but when the rubber meets the road, it is difficult to stick to any change in our lifestyle unless a person is either motivated or has good coaching. If you stick with me through this article I will share with you the common sense method to empower you to keep any new years resolution.
Step 1 – Making a Realistic Goal
This first step is by far the most important step to follow. Set a realistic goal that can be achieved easily. Ever hear someone say they set the bar too high? If a bar is set to high it will be difficult and most often impossible to reach once the day to day routine is back into full swing. How do you determine a realistic goal you ask? Well, the simple answer is to start small. Let’s take losing weight as an example: Losing weight is one of the top new years resolutions that is both made and broken within the first week of the new year. Losing weight can be very difficult for some people, but doesn’t have to be. Hopefully, after reading this you will see that it is possible as long as you set realistic goals. For our example, we will set a realistic goal to loose 5 lbs in two months. Sounds pretty easy right, that’s exactly my point!
Step 2 – Make a Plan of Action
To make a plan of action we need to first understand why many new years resolutions fail. In the case of weight loss, the first big mistake that people make is that they feel they need to make a drastic change to their daily lifestyle. Cutting back on snack time, maybe going without a favorite treat like chocolate or even going as extreme as purchasing a gym membership or workout equipment. If you have already done one or some of these items, good for you, but if you want to stay on task I recommend making a “simple” realistic plan of action. Start small, very small. In our example, I would start with the amount of exercise you get. Look at your routine and find the easiest place to make a change without much physical effort and then build from there once you have adopted the change as a habit. A good place to start that can really pay off is parking further away from the door when going to work. I have used this and can say that this simple change in parking location is something that is easy to remember from day to day and helps to get a person walking for more exercise. As long as you can remember where you park your car this should be a good first step. You get the idea, simple and memorable.
Step 3 – Add Verses Subtract
So you want to lose weight, right? Then let me challenge you to think differently than the traditional method of subtracting food from your diet. Instead, I would challenge you to ADD to your diet the items that you know are good for you in moderation. Remember the key to success is a realistic goal and smart decisions that follow a plan of action. In our example, I have lost weight simply by choosing to add more vegetables and water into my diet. Sounds like common sense, but what most people don’t realize is that is why it works so well. To make the decision to eat a few carrots or an apple as a snack along with bringing a water bottle with you everywhere you go will ultimately make you less hungry. During lunch and dinner your body will maintain a higher metabolism and you will crave less unhealthy snacks. Overtime, adding good alternatives to your schedule will result in less time for the unhealthy. Without feeling deprived of anything, you are gradually making a healthier lifestyle.
Step 4 – Repeat Steps 1 – 3 Until You Meet Your Goal.
Keep it simple and enjoy life.