According to an article published by the University of Scranton in 2012, almost 45% of Americans make a New Year’s Resolution. The number one resolution people make is, you guessed it, losing weight! However, according to a US news article written by Toby Amidor in December 2013, did you know that of those resolution makers only 8 percent achieve them!! Research from the University of Scranton shows that 25% of people give up on their resolution in the first week, the FIRST WEEK!
In an effort to help achieve our goals there are some basic things we can do to stay on course, continue to motivate ourselves, and not set ourselves up for failure.
Set Achievable Goals: Setting a resolution to shed thirty pounds is not a healthy achievable goal for the immediate future. It is more of a long term goal, but to get there from here, we need to make shorter achievable goals to keep us motivated on the way.
In an attempt to train for a marathon it would not be good to head out that ﬁrst day and see if you could run 10 miles if going up a ﬂight of steps gets you already winded.
Instead, make clearly deﬁnable and attainable goals like:
- I will make breakfast twice this week.
- I will go to the gym 3 times this week.
- I will walk on my lunch break for 15 minutes 2 times this week.
These goals are well deﬁned, simple, and achievable. As you progress your goals will change along with you.
Record Everything: The easiest way to know what goals to set is to know what you are currently doing. Take 3-5 days and write down everything you eat and the approximate portion size. Write down how much you exercise (frequency, intensity, duration).
This will be your starting point and can easily guide you towards making those short term goals. It will illustrate what your good and not so good habits currently are. For example, if you ﬁnd you eat sweet and sugary snacks after lunch, then make a goal of eating a fresh piece of fruit 2 times this week.
Variety > Boredom: The success of programs like p90x are based on confusing your muscles into working harder than they are. If you approach your ﬁtness in the same manner, the workouts will stay fresh and continue to be challenging, both physically and mentally.
Despite the doldrums of winter weather, try to break up stale routines by running, biking, hiking, or performing other activities outside; just do something different every workout.