How to Make (and Keep) your New Years Resolutions

The start of a new year is when most of us typically make some pretty ambitious new years resolutions like losing weight, getting in shape or just feeling better. Unfortunately, over 70% of us will stop working on these resolutions after only a few weeks and that’s for a few specific reasons:

The Sacrifices are too Steep: New goals require lots of new behaviors and they often significantly alter the lifestyle we are accustomed to. For example, say you never exercised in 2018 but starting in January of 2019 you are going to work out 4 – 5 times a week. Not only is the activity a harsh shock, the sacrifices you have to make in order to do the workouts may not seem worth the effort.

All-or-Nothing Mentality: Know the phrase ‘Go big or go home?’ Yeah, that one. Well how many of you apply these to your resolutions? And how many get disheartened when you make a few mistakes and after a short time you figure you have screwed it all so you might as well stop working at it? All or nothing mentality brings out the perfectionist in most of us and trying to be perfect is a losing battle. So, when we aren’t perfect, we quit.

We Don’t Know What we are Doing: Often we KNOW we need to eat healthier, get more active and work on improving our health. But most of us don’t know what that really means. We listen to our relatives, our BFF’s (who lost a ton of weight following some fad diet) or we read some intriguing post on social media that promises we can lose weight overnight if we wrap ourselves in saran wrap or drink some supplement. We try fad diets and quick fixes because they worked for someone but without a real sense of how it will work for us or even IF it will.

We aren’t Committed to the Long Haul: Most of us want a diet or exercise or diet program that will get us in shape within a couple of weeks – at most – and overnight (optimally). We are in a hurry to achieve our goals so we can get back to the way we always lived …. even though ‘regular living’ is what caused us to be unhealthy in the first place. The yo-yo dieting and extreme exercising can have serious health repercussions such as a compromised metabolism, numerous vitamin deficiencies, screwed up hormones and more. The quick fix is definitely over-rated and it’s often the reason why so many of us have disordered eating patterns, health issues and problems reaching body weight goals.

As a nutrition coach, I talk to people who struggle with the above issues, on a regular basis. Part of my role is to help my clients succeed with respect to their health & body weight goals. To make that happen we work together to:

Set Realistic Goals  & Timeline: As a coach, I help clients define their goals and make them specific. The more specific, the better. I also advise them on the potential sacrifices they will need to make to achieve those goals. The better informed decisions my clients make, the more successful they are. Read the cost of getting lean to learn more about why this step is so important. And finally, we create a timeline that is realistic and we continually revisit it to make sure that it still fits their goals. Small, simple, achievable steps = success.

invest in your health

Learn new Habits & Skills: Did you learn to walk in a day? No. There were lots of other steps that you had to master first before you learned how to walk. As a coach I will help you learn the basics so that you can master the desired skill or achieve your goal. For example, part of successful long term weight loss involves decent cooking & food prep skills so if you don’t know how to cook or aren’t sure what constitutes healthy food, these are basic skills we are going to have to work on first to set you up for long term success.

Make it Simple: Simplicity is key to success. Seriously. Have you ever tried juggling? Very few people do it well. In fact, the more balls (or tasks) we are working on, the more fractured our focus is and the less likely we are to succeed.  I want my clients to be able to execute specific behaviors with confidence so the simpler the plan, the better. This might mean in the beginning that progress feels slow but trust me, it’s learning those simple fundamental skills and being able to do them consistently that makes ALL the difference.

Shift your Mindset: Mindset is the key to consistency and to success. Learning how to adopt a growth mindset vs an all-or-nothing mindset will put you on a positive path towards achieving your goals. I will help you make this important shift so you can focus on doing ‘just a little better’ everyday and ditch the perfectionist attitude. Improving your health is both a physical and mental journey.

Learn Ways to Make the Journey Fun: From trying new recipes to learning new skills or sports, it’s really all about the journey. That healthier you isn’t found at the end of the road, he/she is created along it so taking the time to explore new activities, try new things and shift into a growth mindset will set you up to not just be healthier but HAPPIER too!

Create a Lifestyle you Love: Regardless of what your individual goals are, my goal as your coach is to help you create a lifestyle that you will enjoy forever. One that incorporates your new knowledge & skills and which empowers you to make informed choices so that you stop agonizing over ‘good & bad foods’ without beating yourself up. A lifestyle that includes new activities, new foods … without ditching all the much loved elements of your old lifestyle. Finding that balance is what we’ll do together.

So I want to assure you that making – and keeping – your new years resolutions is definitely possible. In fact, the start of a new year is a fantastic time to start working on making you, and your health, a priority. You are worth the investment and trust me, when you focus on improving your health every aspect of your life improves as a result.

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