The beginning of a new year is a universal time for inspired change. As we reflect on our past year, we evaluate how we can improve and set goals, or New Years Resolutions. Reflection and progress are two of the most amazing tools we have in terms of growth. But if we don’t execute properly, we will not sustain these new ideals or habits.
Let’s talk about health… A healthy lifestyle consists of many factors, but we are going to focus on one of the most popular New Years Resolutions; I want to be in better shape. It’s no secret that the two most contributing factors of becoming more fit are diet and exercise. Where most people fail is by changing too much, too quick.
There is data that proves January is the most popular month for new gym membership subscriptions and February is the most popular month for cancellations. Why?
One reason is that people set their fitness goals without planning to block out the time in their day to devote to their new routine. Another is discouragement or disappoint due to unrealistic expectations.
So, let’s get real for a second…
If you want to lose weight, yes, diet and exercise are necessary. However, if you go from little to no time spent in the gym to killing yourself with intense workouts day after day, your body will eventually get mad at you and say, “No more.” The same goes for dieting… If you have a drastic change in diet, you will rapidly develop cravings for all the things you now tell yourself you can’t have.
So, what’s the solution?
Baby steps and written planning. With a written plan, it becomes easy to check-in with yourself to see if your on pace with your goals. This will also keep you from being too judgmental with your appearance or the number on the scale. Just simply stick to the plan.
A Harvard study shows planning is the key to exponential growth and success. A graduating class was asked if they had a plan for success. 84% said, “No.” Of the remaining 16% who said they have a plan for success, only 3% said they actually wrote their plan down in great detail. As a result, the 13% with an unwritten plan went on to earn twice as much and the 84% with no plan and the 3% who wrote their plan for success went on to earn ten times as much as the 84%.
Set your goals, write a plan and make it sustainable. You will succeed. It’s only a matter of consistency over time.