Today, I’m so excited to share with you five impactful ways to keep your resolutions this year. This is really critical, because the average individual who sets a resolution, and even a goal throughout the year, tend to have some sort of failure or fall-off of the follow-through. These five tips are going to help you be more successful, and ultimately achieve those goals so you optimize your wellness and your experience with this New Year’s resolution.
Set a Specific Goal
All right, so tip number one is to get specific, and it goes beyond just having a goal. It is getting really specific with that goal itself. I think what I see in a lot of my patients is that a lot of their goals are not specific enough. For instance, “I want to lose weight this year.” That’s great, but let’s quantify it. One, I always ask is it quantifiable and two, is it achievable?
For instance, maybe some of your goals might require a certain amount of money, and maybe you don’t have that budgeted in this coming year. That’s okay. Maybe you want to push that off to the following year and maybe set the baby-step goal of saving up money for next year’s goal. Those are really two key questions – is it achievable and is it quantifiable?
When we are focusing on quantifiable goals, it’s really, really important to zero in on specifics. For instance, “losing weight” versus “I want to lose 10 pounds,” “I want to lose four inches in my waist,” “I want to bench press X amount of pounds,” “I want to achieve an ability to run a fitness course or some CrossFit program by X date.” Then also, I have a lot of patients that want to have lowered, or balanced, laboratory results. I recommend quantifying that as well. If it’s lowering your blood pressure, lowering your cholesterol, get specific and quantify it.
Create A Plan For Your Goal
Now, number two is the key factor here – planning the goal. You set a very specific, quantifiable, achievable goal. Now we need to plan for it. And planning, I always ask the five Ws. What is it? What is the goal? Actually, this isn’t a W, but there are five questions:
- What is it?
- How do you do it? How can it be achieved? What steps are involved?
- What do you need? What materials? What resources? What equipment might you need? What supplements or food menu items do you need?
- When do you do it? When is this occurring, this goal? How much time are you allocating, or do you need to allocate, on a daily, weekly, monthly basis, to focus on achieving your resolution?
- Why are you doing this? What are your motivations?
Understand Your “Why”
I want to go back to some of my additional resources that I’ve mentioned. I really like for folks to vision board, to create an actual, quantifiable list that showcases and demonstrates what those goals are. In vision boarding, creative visualization, is really critical in helping support the why. If we might be looking to save money this year, maybe the why is, “We want to go on a trip.” If we’re looking to lose weight, the why is maybe, “I have so-and-so’s wedding,” or “I am looking to achieve X fitness goal.”
Understanding the why is really important when you get to those barriers of self-doubt, maybe you hit a plateau, maybe this is a significant change and you need that additional motivation. The why is something you can always come back to and it is your purpose and it’s your power, personal power, that you can tap into that gets you there. It gets you in the right mind space to achieve the physical part of your goal.
Keep Track in a Journal
Also, in incorporating planning your goals, I like to recommend folks grab a specific notebook and have that be your either resolution journal or just the journal that you keep that’s specific to these goals, or this goal. To begin with a list, so answer those five questions. Maybe on each page, the first pages, you list on the first page what the goal or goals are. Page two, you write how am I doing it or these. You basically identify lists that might identify all those factors. What do you need? Are there any barriers that you need to be aware of? Anticipating things that might prevent you from achieving success or might be in the past, would’ve prevented you from moving forward with the success of your goal.
Being aware of all of those. Pros and cons lists are very common. Even I have had patients when we’re going through this process, I’ll have them even identify budgets for some of those goals. Some fitness goals do require additional expenses and additional time. All of that is really critical to be aware of, to identify, to chart out, and to list.
Planning, honestly, preparation and planning is really critical. If you’re not prepared for some of the hurdles or roadblocks that might come your way, it tends to be a situation where that is one of the things that’s really where people fall and they fail. I really wanted you to focus on that plan, but really zeroing in on the why. The why are you doing this. Maybe it’s for your kids. You want to be healthy so you’re around to see your kids grow up, your grandkids, to optimize retirement. Whatever it is.
Start Small for Better Success
Number three, this is really important. Start small. I have found that when my patients, and even myself, when I have set new year’s resolutions or any type of life goal, and it’s drastic, it’s really big, in some cases it’s so overwhelming that I don’t get started. With a lot of my patients, their health and fitness related goals can be so drastic. Unfortunately, there can be deprivation. Sometimes it’s caloric deprivation. Sometimes it’s sleep deprivation. Sometimes it is muscular. Just the state of their muscles are not ready yet.
Start small. Slow and steady wins this race. The Turtle and the Hare, I’ve read that story to Gabriel a thousand times, my six-year-old son. You want to be the turtle when it comes to you achieving your resolutions and your goals. The key here, turtles, slow and steady, equals sustainability. It becomes habitual. What we see is that when you create these changes and you are looking at achieving your goals and you track them and you get really zeroed in on that focus, and you’re doing this every day, when you get to the 28 days, you’ve now created a habitual lifestyle change. The habituality is sustainable. It allows you to continue to move forward and achieve those goals. Ultimately, you’ll have greater success. Start small and also, if you need to, break it out into sizeable sections.
Set Reminders for Yourself
Number four is really critical. We need daily reminders. We need daily reminders of why we’re doing this. Going back to the goal planning, why. What’s your why?
In-Your-Face Post-It Notes
Sometimes it’s as simple as putting on… I love post-it notes, friends. I love post-it notes. Make sure you put post-it notes on your list of items to grab this season because you can use post-it notes in really impactful ways as daily reminders.
I have found that when I, and I recommend to patients when they write the goal, or the activity, or the tasks that they have on their resolution list, that if they post it on the mirror where they brush their teeth in the morning and the evening. They post it in their car – dashboard’s really impactful. They also put it on their computer and laptop or whatever workspace they have. That becomes really great because you’re constantly looking at that when you’re brushing your teeth, you can now go into a meditative, kind of goal-focused state, where you’re focused on, “Okay, what’s my why? I’m doing this for X, Y, and Z. I need to do X, Y, and Z.” It’s on your mind first thing you when you wake up. It’s on your mind the last thing on your mind before you go to bed. That really helps incorporate that focus. Post-its are great to use.
Use Phone Apps, Vision Boards, and Journaling
Phone apps are great. I’ve detailed that as well, some information for you guys, as well as vision boards. Use the vision boards. You can post those at work and actually we used to do this when I was in the corporate world, before I got into natural medicine. We would, as a company, we would have each individual create vision boards. We had a very metaphysical group vice president. We would do these like group effort vision boards. We’d have individual vision boards and then we’d present to our team and then we’d have an overall group vision board. I tell you what, we were highly successful when we were doing that. Also, consider journaling. Journaling can be very impactful. I love the five-minute daily journal that tends to be gratitude-oriented, but it also allows you to notate the goals that you achieved and tasks that you did to achieve those goals.
Set Realistic Expectations for Yourself
Five, last and final, is set realistic expectations for yourself. This becomes really impactful when we are looking at some of these big lifestyle changes. If you have never worked out or you haven’t trained for a marathon before, or whatever that goal might be, and it’s new, I want you to make sure you give yourself daily grace. It’s okay if you didn’t hit X, Y, and Z reps. It’s okay if you didn’t achieve all of the micronutrient density, or you skipped a keto day or whatever it might be. Patience with your body is going to be really critical in helping you achieve that goal. Our body time, especially in the health and fitness world, our body time does not operate on human time. Our body time is a lot slower. It takes months sometimes to realize some of these changes. Sometimes you just have to have faith that your body will achieve those goals. You might not see it. Kind of put aside the whole instant gratification and needing to see inches and the scale moving and really focus in on giving your body the grace and space to achieve these goals.
Resolution setting, goal-setting, is a process. It’s daily and it needs to be, again it’s sizable and achievable. It’s a behavioral change and behavioral changes do not happen overnight. It’s a process, and it will be a process that you encounter for the rest of your life. Especially if you are adding 80% greens and whole fresh food, or making a change in addressing heart disease, or trying to really support your body and your muscle mass so you reverse osteopenia or osteoporosis, or achieve a big goal, either financial or personal, just know slow and steady wins the race. Have faith in your body and give yourself grace.
Those are my five tips. I’m so excited to celebrate the new year with you. I know you are going to do it. Have faith in yourself. You deserve all the success in the world.