by Anne Stancil
As we anticipate turning the page from 2014 to 2015, we are faced yet again with the dreaded New Year's Resolution. If you are anything like me, your best attempts to keep your resolutions usually fall by the wayside come February (sometimes even earlier). Many of us embrace this idea of improving ourselves and making positive and healthy changes, but critics warn the Resolution sets most of us up for failure. Why? Because the typical health and fitness goals we set are often big and difficult to achieve. Just think about it: we resolve to lose weight, quit smoking, get in shape, eat healthier, etc. These goals are often in opposition to the unhealthy habits and routines that have taken us years to establish. It's difficult to know where to start. Even smaller goals can be daunting: run a marathon, race a triathlon, become vegetarian. Each of these goals requires multiple steps to achieve.
What if 2015 can be different? What if this is the year you keep your Resolution and make that positive change? I think it's possible, but with a few tweaks to the customary Resolution formula. Choose a goal and then decide what habits you need to form to achieve that goal. Pick just one habit for January to stay on track. For example, let's say you want to maintain a consistent exercise program in 2015. Ask yourself, what prevented you from working out last year? Perhaps you couldn't find the time. Getting in the habit of waking up early could be a great first step to success. Don't even worry about jumping in to a workout routine right away--just get in the habit of waking up early each day. Once that becomes a habit, adding workouts in won't seem as difficult.
Have a goal of losing weight? Instead of revamping your entire diet from the get go, form a habit of drinking more water each day. Staying well hydrated is important for weight loss and overall health. Often we mistake thirst for hunger, and end up eating more calories when our body really needs water.
Achieving a goal and sticking with a Resolution are generally the result of forming habits. Finishing a marathon begins several months prior to the race with key habits: running consistently, eating healthy, stretching, going to bed early, etc. If you've already formed these habits, the marathon part doesn't seem as daunting.
Finally, success comes with accountability. Most of us need key people in our lives to help us stay on track and form healthy habits. Share your goal with loved ones and vocalize what habits you need for success. If you are looking to run more in 2015, check out our training programs. They are a great way to stay on track with your goal. If you need help achieving your goal email me and I'll help you put a plan together.
This year think big by starting small.