By Mariah McBride
If you plan on making your New Year’s resolution to lose X amount of weight, to eat healthy or to go to the gym every day, be careful. It is no secret that in January, at the beginning of the new year, there is a spike in gym attendance. A lot of people decide on December 31 that their goal is to leave unhealthy habits behind; therefore, their New Year’s resolutions reflects that desire. Although many people make their New Year’s resolution to “become healthy” or to “go to the gym often,” frequently, those people only commit to that fitness goal for the month of January. After that, they never continue. I know this might sound familiar. Maybe you have done it (I admit I have). But here are some ways to make it easier to commit to your fitness New Year’s resolution.
Do not enter the New Year without a game plan. You need to start early. I do not mean December 31, I mean now. It is crucial you take the time to decide exactly what you want to accomplish. The best way to do that is by creating a SMART goal.
Create a SMART goal.
A SMART goal is a Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely goal. An example of a goal that is not SMART is “I want to stop eating badly and exercise more.” An example of a SMART goal is “Starting January 1, 2017, I will no longer eat at fast food restaurants during the week and I will do cardio for 45 minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.” Of course, this may not resemble your SMART fitness goal, but remember when you create your goal to make sure it meets all the criteria to be SMART. This is the best way to ensure your success.
Write down your goal and put it in a noticeable place, whether it be on your desk, on your wall or as your phone screensaver. Just make sure you post it somewhere noticeable in order to remind yourself to keep working toward this goal.
Journal your experience.
If you are anything like me, you are bad at keeping journals because you forget to do it. If you are bad at journaling, keep your it simple. Instead of writing a long journal entry, use your journal to keep track of the days you accomplished your goal and the days you did not.
We are going to mess up. No one adjusts to change easily. However, it is up to you to keep trying. If you mess up one day, go the next day. If you mess up one week, go the next week and so on. Remember, you do not need to wait until 2018 to try again.