Hey Friends! It’s the middle of January. Show of hands- how many of you made New Year’s resolutions that are related to your health and fitness goals? Probably most of you. Okay, now another show of hands- how many of you are still making progress towards those goals?
It just got really quiet out there…
For many of us, the New Year’s resolutions that fill us with energy and determination on January 1st can easily fall by the wayside a week later when faced with that jelly doughnut or leftover cheesecake at work. Your commitment to hit class 5 times a week drops to 3, then 2…then it’s you, the couch, and reruns of Friends or Seinfeld, your resolutions to get healthier and fitter forgotten in a haze of comfort foods and complacency.
If this is you, take heart. You’re in good company. Only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually stick to it and achieve those goals. So why bother, you ask? Well, when done well, goal-setting can help us achieve more in life, while feeling happier and more confident along the way.
Goal-setting is actually a very simple process, but most people don’t actually bother to create that process to begin with.
If you are one of the other 92%, but are determined to turn your resolutions into habits that will help you achieve your goals, here are a few ideas that may help:
1. Understand your “why”
According to Justin Su’a, Mental Skills Coach of the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Browns, the best way to keep your commitments is to make them “on purpose, with purpose.” Why do you want to lose weight? What are you trying to achieve? Really connect to the emotional reason for making your resolution, then write it down and keep it nearby where you can refer to it for inspiration when you’re tempted not to follow through.
2. Create supporting goals
Take your long-term goal and break it out into short-term goals that are challenging but doable. For example, if your goal is to lose 15 pounds this year, a short-term goal might be to track what you are currently eating for a week. That simple exercise can be eye-opening. Then break that short-term goal into a series of mini-goals, such as committing to meal prepping on Sundays, weighing yourself every morning, or recording your meals in a journal every night before you go to bed. By following this process, you’re putting systems in place to support your success.
3. Visualize the process
Research shows that sometimes, if you only visualize the end of the journey (i.e. daydreaming of your six-pack), it can de-activate the will to do what is necessary to achieve that goal. Visualizing what you want only works if you put in the necessary work to get there. Invest in the process on a deep and daily basis. Build routines around your goals that trigger an emotional reward when you take action on the behaviors you want to reinforce (see above!).
Looking for more help to get back on track? Our upcoming Whole Life Challenge is a great opportunity to build new habits that support your health and fitness goals! The game structure (and the prizes!!) keep you motivated throughout the six-week challenge, and your Dark Horse family helps keep you accountable.
If you haven’t done so already, it’s not too late to sign up! The Challenge begins on January 20th, so what are you waiting for?! Those resolutions aren’t going to become habits by themselves. Time to take massive action and join us!
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