It is at this time of year that many of us will identify our goals for the year. When these are health related, often times we include things like:
- losing 10 lbs
- increasing our strength or
- dropping a few inches off our midsection.
There is a big difference between wanting to change and being ready for change. Here are 5 tips to assist you in realizing your goals, rather than simply wishing for them.
1. Be concrete – Don’t just say I want to lose some weight. Be specific! How much? What is your current weight? How long will this take? Is this reasonable for you? What would be an appropriate short term goal?
2. Write it down – When you put your goal in writing, you are more likely to succeed! Better yet, write a contract with a friend and then you both sign off agreeing to the terms related to your goal. You are now accountable to both yourself, and someone else. Plus, by having your goal in writing, you can monitor your progress as you go and make adjustments along the way.
3. Choose a different path for a different destination – You wouldn’t keep driving the same roads expecting to arrive at a new destination, so don’t expect the same efforts used in the past will yield different results. Try something new! Whether it’s physically, with a new type of workout, or by adding more water during the day. Also, look to improve upon what you tried in the past.
4. Be reasonable – If we are carrying a few extra pounds we must realize this weight gain didn’t just come over the last few weeks of holidays. More likely than not, it started soon after college (or as we entered the workforce, or started families) and has been gradually creeping up since then. Let’s be fair to ourselves and realize that if it took 10 or 15 years to put on 50 lbs, we can’t let ourselves be disappointed if it all doesn’t melt off in the next 8-10 weeks. Shoot for 1-2 pounds off per week.
5. Be ready for change – Everyone wants to change for the better. I have worked with thousands of people, and have yet to have someone come and request increased body fat, less energy, less strength and worse posture. So change for the better is a given. The question then becomes: ‘Are you ready for change?’. And almost more importantly: ‘What will you do to ensure change?’
As you continue towards a healthier lifestyle, keep these tips in mind to ensure safe, efficient and sustained progress.
And remember, mentally strong people don’t shy away from change, and definitely don’t expect immediate results. Be sure to plan for pitfalls, and always keep in the forefront of your mind that real change happens in stages.
See you next time!