By The FIRM Master Instructor Mindy Fenske
The new year is a time to reflect on what we have done, to make plans for the future, and to celebrate with friends and family. It is also a time for resolutions. How many of you have made resolutions in past years that have somehow been, well, less than achieved? Let that all change this year. This will not be the year that a goal has been set and not met. This will be your year of success, and here are the eight simple ways to make that happen.
1. Emphasize WILL rather than WANT.
How you think of a goal is critical to achieving it. Your mindset needs to be that you WILL accomplish what you set out to do. A goal is not something you merely WANT or desire, but something that you can and WILL accomplish.
2. Be specific.
Telling yourself that you want to be thin or fit is a sure way to sabotage yourself, because no one really knows what “thin” or “fit” means. These are unknown quantities that can change depending on your mood or self-esteem (even “thin” people can think they are “fat”). Instead, focus on objective targets like a loss in weight or inches. Alternately, you can set action-oriented goals like running a 10k or a half-marathon.
3. Get real.
If you set unrealistic goals, you will fail. Period. You need to be honest with yourself about what you think you can do in the short- and long-term. If you have never been a runner, it is not realistic to think that you can run a half-marathon in three months. If you need to lose 75 pounds to reach a healthy weight, that is not going to happen in three months, either. If it does, you are starving yourself, and I guarantee that it will all come back — with some extra pounds.
4. Plan daily, weekly and monthly targets.
The long-term goal is something that you are striving for eventually. Something like, “I will lose X inches or X pounds.” In order to get there, you have to keep on putting one foot in front of the other. To stay on track and motivated, set weekly nutrition and exercise goals (again, being real). Break down what you have to do each day to reach your weekly objective. Post your daily plan to reach your week’s goal somewhere that you can’t miss it. (Best place for me is on the refrigerator door.) Plan for the week on the same day each week so that you can go grocery shopping and get your schedule ready. It is essential that you dedicate some time and energy to creating the plan and thinking about the week’s goals.
5. Expect setbacks.
Things will happen that disrupt even the best-laid plans. It’s OK to stray from your plan as long as you get right back to it. Do not let an occasional slip completely throw you off track. If you eat too much one day, forgive yourself and get right back to the plan the next day. If you miss a workout, forgive yourself and put extra effort into the next one. Do not let guilt or self-doubt from a momentary lapse ruin your progress.
6. Keep a journal.
Record daily what you eat, what exercise you have done and how you feel. Record your measurements weekly. This will keep you accountable and also be a great motivator. The record is something that you can look back on and marvel at how far you have come. In three months, you can read through the entries and see how much more energy you have and how many inches you have lost, and then you can look back on how much you have accomplished.
7. Stay accountable.
Tell people what you are doing. Get involved in The FIRM Believers Club. Join a team or one of the challenges in the forums. Not only will this force you to be answerable to someone other than yourself, but it will also remind you that you are not alone in this process and there will always be people supporting you, feeling your pain, offering encouragement and giving advice.
8. Reward yourself.
Pat yourself on the back with some kind of reward. Sweet tooth? Shopping? Wine? Whatever your pleasure, but in moderation. Give yourself permission to indulge (within strict reason) every once in a while, like once every week or two weeks.
The FIRM Master Instructor Team blog is shared courtesy of The FIRM Believers Club, an online community that helps you reach your fitness goals. With maximum-efficiency home workouts, support and motivation from The FIRM Master Instructors, daily tips, personalized workout rotation calendars, and access to other members through discussion boards, The FIRM Believers Club provides all the tools you need to get in the shape you want.