Every year you say to yourself, “This will be the year!” and then…it isn’t. Why? Probably various reasons. If you’re like me, you’re really good at talking yourself out of things and making excuses.
That being said! If you’re dedicated to making a change in your life, be it exercising, eating right or whatever else, you need to have some tools and the right mind set if you’re going to get off the starting block.
Here it goes…
1) Keep your goals reasonable. Don’t start off saying, “I will never eat dessert EVER again” or “I will exercise for one hour EVERY single day without fail”. While these are great goals, they aren’t necessarily realistic. There may be days where you can’t fit in your hour long exercise or you fall off the wagon and eat a scoop of ice cream. You’re ultimately setting yourself up to fail because you’re not being realistic. Not to mention you might just get burnt out on the rigidness of your plan.
2) Be flexible with your aspirations. Give yourself some wiggle room (not too much though!). If you want to start exercising, commit to incorporate so many hours of exercise in per week. This allows for some flexibility and if you can’t fit in an hour one day, you can do a little more the next day or just push yourself harder. If you’re dieting, don’t swear off dessert entirely, but maybe say you’ll only treat yourself once a week to a scoop of ice cream or make healthier dessert choices.
3) Understand that you are in control of the choices YOU make. With any commitment, you will find yourself being tempted to go off your track. Be aware that this will happen BEFORE you start. Don’t just assume that this will be easy. You are going to crave foods you shouldn’t eat. You are going to want to sleep in and skip your workout. Prepare for these in advance. Have healthy choices in the house. Throw yourself out of bed regardless of how tired your are. Recognize you have choices in front of you and you can decide what you’re going to do. Each one will have a consequence. If you lay in bed, you will get sleep, but you won’t get in shape. If you eat that double quarter pounder you will be full, but your body will not like you for it. You are in control.
4) Surround yourself with positive people. You’re going to need people in your life who support you and will be there for you when you need them. This doesn’t mean you have to completely ditch those who just aren’t fitting in with your life, but be aware that people can be noxious. These are the people that make you feel completely drained just by talking to them, they bring you down. They are not the type of people you’ll want to listen to if you’re sincerely committed to your goals and aspirations.
Instead, find people who will be honest and supportive. Family, friends, neighbors, coworkers or whoever you know will be there for you when you need them.
5) Learn to brush yourself off. If you fall off or lose sight of your goals, get back up and try again! This does not mean you failed. This means you get another go around. Keep sight of the light at the end of the tunnel and remember all the reasons you made the commitment in the first place. Do NOT punish yourself. This is not productive. Do NOT beat yourself up. Just admit that you went off track and find the reason for it. Maybe the snacks in your pantry were too tempting, so get rid of those snacks and replace them with healthy options. Then try AGAIN!
The bottom line is that we all have goals in our life or things we aspire to achieve. They are not easily obtained, but the things we want in life are never necessarily easy. Anything worth having is worth striving for. Go into this with a positive attitude and with positive people. Acknowledge there will be difficulties and keep going!