You made it to week 3 of 2017, and whether you have been on track or have fell off, there is no time like the present for a fresh start. Whether you want to lose weight, curb cravings for sweets, or just feel better, make this your year of personal bests with these tools and tricks to help you achieve your goal.
#1 – Take It Week By Week
When it comes to tackling your goals, it can be tempting to sprint right out of the gate. But if you’re looking to make lifelong changes, you can’t rush it. In the first week, you should make small, steady changes to progress toward your goal—nothing drastic. Research shows that a quarter of weight-loss plans fall by the wayside within two weeks. On the other hand, stick it out for a month and your odds of success skyrocket. Doing something for 30 days ingrains and strengthens the brain’s neural pathways, so you’re likely to keep that behavior going on autopilot. START SMALL – Aim to make one tweak a day: Add an additional vegetable to your diet, skip your before-dinner cocktail, take a walk after lunch, do whatever you can to nudge your weight down. Once you adjust to these new habits, it will be easier to add more ambitious exercise and diet changes as the month goes on.
TIP – Set the alarm on your cell for when it’s time to head to the gym (some phones have a “remind me” feature that will send you a text message). Clock your meals too: Eat breakfast within 45 minutes of getting up, then program the alarm to go off every three hours to remind you to have a small meal or snack. Eating frequently helps steady your blood sugar levels, keeping energy up and appetite down.
#2 – Visualize What You Want
Whatever your goal is to get slimmer or stronger, become more zen, eat more fruits and veggies—it’ll help to be visually reminded of it every single day. Follow some inspirational accounts on Instagram that align with your goals, put together a Pinterest board, or craft a goal or vision board to remind you exactly what you’re working for and why. “Seeing” your goals makes it harder to forget about them. It’s so easy to lose focus when you’re on track with your diet or training as hard as you possibly can. An inspiration board featuring her goals and motivating quotes. I currently have my goal board in my bathroom, this way, I’m reminded of what I’m fighting for when I first wake up in the morning and right before I go to bed.
#3 – Don’t Expect Perfection
Yeah, you’re going to have off days. You’re going to overindulge over the weekend at that party or happy hour, eat too many slices of pizza, sleep through your alarm, and skip a workout or two. The trick is to learn from that “bad day” and then stop the behaviors in their tracks; don’t let one cheat meal turn into a weekend-long binge. One trick is to ask yourself after a slip-up: What am I going to do differently next time? Once you’ve settled on your goal, figure out ways to break it down. Your brain can’t process big goals, because we’re not wired that way. Instead you have to craft a lot of little wins along the way to keep your brain’s reward center activated. Work backward from your milestone to map a route filled with smaller, reachable triumphs so you can continually see yourself progressing.
Embrace bad days – People have a tendency to quit on the bad days. Don’t! Make decisions on days where you’re in a much better place emotionally, and use difficult days as tools to move closer to your win. “It’s important when you fall down to say, okay, while I’m down here, what can I learn from this?” Ask yourself, What am I going to do differently next time?
Sign on support – Forget flying solo. You’ll most likely need a coach, a mentor, or an accountability partner. In my experience working as a health coach over the last 5 years, when my clients want to throw in the towel is when I light the fire and get them back on track. When you face disappointment, failure or pain I can say I hear you, but do it again. It’s hard to get yourself to do that. Linking up with an accountability buddy can also help you learn some of their winning traits.
No number of planks, push-ups, and squats will magically transform you into someone else. That’s why this should be the year of making your resolution all about you. It’s time to strive for your personal best—whether that means getting your best body ever, making your best dinners, or logging your best sleep schedule. Try the above tips to reach your personal best.
What tips have helped you stay on track with your new year’s goals for 2017? Comment below.