Every new year, thousands of people make New Year’s resolutions. Afterall, it is an ideal time to wipe the slate clean, re-evaluate, and aim for improvement. Diet, exercise, and personal development are frequently at the top of the list. Unfortunately, many run out of motivation before they achieve their goals. Here are some tips to help you avoid the burnout and become the best version of yourself.
Set SMART Goals:
It is too broad to simply say “I want to be better”. The most common pitfalls of resolutions is that they are frequently too broad, unattainable, and/or do not have a deadline. A common acronym you can use to help create your goals is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timed). Making sure your goals meet these criteria will start you off on the right foot.
Your SMART goals can be even more successful this year if you evaluate and learn from past successes and failures. Did you over-extend yourself a little bit? Was your goal too easy? Looking back at what you have done in previous years can help influence your road map for the future.
Short vs Long Term Goals:
When it comes to health-related resolutions, breaking down your goal with short-term and long-term check points will help you succeed. Your goals should not only state what you want, but also how you are going to get there. For example, if you are trying to lose 20 lbs. this year, break it down into what you want to weigh by the end of April and then the end of August. Short term options will help you be more consistent by keeping deadlines in your mind throughout the year. The other benefit of using short-term goals is that it gives you a taste of success at different points of the year to keep you motivated and moving forward.
Measure, Measure, Measure:
How do you know how far you have come if you do not know where you started? Sometimes what your eyes see in the mirror can be deceiving, especially since most people are their own worst critic. Be sure to write down your baseline measurements and re-measure at regular intervals throughout the year. As you see progress with your measurements, the improvements will become more apparent in your reflection.
Start by measuring your height and weight. With those numbers, you can figure out your body mass index (BMI) by plugging it into a BMI chart online. This will help you understand the ballpark of your health (underweight, healthy, overweight, or obese). Keep in mind that BMI has trouble accounting for different body types such as more muscular vs slender frames. Therefore, use it as one of your tools, not the only tool.
Other useful measurements are the circumference of your chest, abdomen, waist, hips, legs, and arms. Use centimeters to get a more accurate reading. Personal trainers at the gym can help you out if you need an extra hand. Also, many gyms have machines that can measure your body fat percentage. All of these are excellent ways to track your progress.
Take & Hang Pictures:
Take pictures of yourself during the different phases of your transformation. Not only is it exciting to see the progress as you go, it also helps you stay motivated to go to the gym and stick to your diet daily so that the next picture is even better. You can do this weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Be sure to take the picture at the same time of day with the same lighting. This will help you compare apples to apples.
Another motivational technique is to hang pictures of what you want to look like in an area that you will see every day. These can be pictures of you in your prime, a celebrity, or an athlete you want to emulate. Make sure you set your standard to be something that is attainable with a similar body type as you. This can also include any phrases or mottos that help keep you focused and driven.
To Sum It All Up:
Anything worth having is worth the work, but you can make the process easier by setting yourself up for success from the beginning. Following these tips will help you fine-tune your goals, create a plan and keep you excited about your progress throughout the year. If you get good at achieving your New Year’s Resolutions, you can make each year your best year yet.
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Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.