Ahh, the start of a new year. It’s filled with resolutions, inspirations and inevitably – failure and regret. But did you know that it doesn’t have to be this way? There are ways to set goals for yourself and actually achieve them, and it’s not nearly as difficult as you may think.
Don’t fall for magic tricks – We’ve all done it. We’ve seen that infomercial or read that review that made us see a certain pill or powder as the end all be all for dieting and weight loss. You buy the product and before long, realize that it’s having a less than magical effect on your body. Stop falling for these gimmicks! There is no pill that will shed 20 pounds while you eat chocolate cake and watch Bird Box on Netfilx. There’s no special protein powder that will replace healthy eating, leaving you lean and strong without effort. Sure, supplements have their place and their importance, but they simply support your weight loss efforts. They will never replace them.
Be ready to do work – If you’re going into your weight loss plan believing you can achieve it with a brisk walk 15 minutes a day and simply cutting out soda, you’re already setting yourself up for failure. Don’t get me wrong, every little bit does help, but minor changes are not enough to achieve major results. Being healthy and in shape takes work. If it were easy, no one would struggle with weight loss. Before you begin, you need to mentally prepare yourself that this will not be easy. You will be sore. You will be tired. You will get cranky and sometimes hungry as your body adjusts. You will want to quit, but in the end, only YOU can keep yourself on track. Once your mind is right, don’t worry – your body will follow. And it DOES get easier over time as you adapt it as part of your lifestyle.
Don’t over commit – Telling yourself you will commit to working out at least 30 minutes five times a week while tracking all calories on a fitness app is doable. Telling yourself you will do two-a-day workouts, six days a week while scaling back to a 15g carbs a day, 1,000 calorie diet is NOT doable. As mentioned above, yes – you must mentally prepare to work. However, thinking you can go to extremes right out of the gate will not only lead to failure, it could also lead to injuries and damage to your body. Start with a schedule and diet you feel comfortable with, and then SLOWLY push yourself out of your comfort zone. Add a few minutes to your run each week, weight to the bar, or commit to cutting down on total overall calories. Doing so will ensure your body and mind adapt to the changes you’re putting them through and you don’t give up and revert to old habits.
Live in a sabotage-free mind zone – Whether you self-sabotage or you allow others to do it for you, letting negativity get into your head will shut down your ability to achieve goals in a New York minute! Maybe you tell yourself you deserve a giant bucket of popcorn tonight because you worked out today, but then find yourself so depressed after you eat it that you just keep eating crap the next day and totally give up on your diet. Maybe your best friend tells you that you don’t need to lose weight and by hitting the gym tonight, you’ll be missing out on margaritas and girl talk. So you skip and sip, feel bad about it and don’t return to the gym for a week because you figure, “what’s the point?” Look, I’m in no way saying you don’t deserve a treat or you shouldn’t prioritize time with friends over workouts. What I am saying is, if you’re not feeling mentally strong enough yet to have a slip, keep it small and then pick up where you left off the next day and stay on track, then don’t do it. You are worth this. You deserve the results you desire. So don’t let your mind or other people’s priorities cancel out your efforts!
Keep your goals manageable and your attitude positive and anything can happen. Remember, it’s not about getting off track; it’s about getting yourself back on track once you’ve strayed, and believing in yourself enough to achieve your goals.