New Year Resolutions
It’s that time of year again when people set New Year Resolutions to work towards the following year. The most common New Year Resolutions are to lose weight, get fit, drink less alcohol and stop smoking.
We’ll often say to ourselves ‘I will get fit this year’ or ‘I will cut out alcohol in January’, however the resolutions do not tend to last very long, in fact, research shows that only 8% of people who made a New Year’s resolution achieve their goal.
So why do New Year Resolutions fail?
For the first two or three weeks in January we are focused, we are determined, we failed with last year’s resolution so this year we must stick to it! Towards the end of the month the focus and determination tends to wear off, perhaps boredom of doing the same gym routine 3 days a week, or eating the same food everyday?
The most common reason for failing a New Year’s Resolution is that people don’t see results straight away, they think they will never achieve their goal or it will take too long so they give up. Even though you don’t see results straight away, consistency is key to achieving a goal – keep going!
Goals are a great way of staying on track and helping to get to where you want to be. I have set goals since the beginning of my weight loss journey and it has helped me to lose and maintain 6 and a half stone (40kg). I have found it useful to set a long term goal to work to achieve throughout the year, for example a weight loss target I wanted to achieve by the end of the year. Personally, I like to have 2 or 3 bigger goals and I also set 3 to 5 smaller goals each month – this helps me to stay focused and progress while working to achieve my overall goal.
I recommend using SMART objectives to set your goals. These objectives are frequently used by managers to achieve their business goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time.
Applying SMART to weight loss
- Specific – ‘I want to lose 2 stone”
- Measurable – ‘I’ll weigh myself weekly’ or ‘I’ll measure how my clothes feel’
- Achievable – “I will eat healthy and go to the gym 3 times a week’
- Realistic – “Am I willing to work towards this goal?”
- Time – “Is there a time limit for me to achieve this goal?” or “When do I want to have achieved this goal by?”
Tips for sticking to your goals
- Write down your goals – seeing your goals written down your own handwriting can dramatically increase the likelihood of achieving your goals
- Set smaller goals too – monthly goals will help to keep you on track while you work towards your overall goal
- Remind yourself of your progress – working towards a big goal means that it could be a while before you start to see results, remind yourself of how well you have done and stay motivated (see my motivation blog for ideas on staying motivated)
- Stay focused – remind yourself why you set the goal and why you want to achieve it
- Enjoy working towards your goal – enjoying your journey and seeing/feeling progress and will make it so much easier to achieve long term!
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