Every year I dread going to the gym and/or grocery store the first Monday in January. Why you ask? Well I get really ticked that everyone decides that it’s their time to get in shape and they happen to be crowding MY area that I happen to use YEAR ROUND. *sigh* I digress. But after I unbunch my panties, I realize that these people are here for the same reason I’m here: to better themselves. I just happened to have a head start.
Did you make a bunch of resolutions for 2017 that you’ve honestly failed to keep up since, oh let’s see, January 2nd? Most people spend time every year picking several things they want to do.
“I want to lose 20 pounds!”
“I want to quit smoking!”
“I want to save $1,000!”
“I’m finally going to pay off my (student/credit card) loans!”
Though these and many other New Year’s resolutions are good attempts at moving in the right direction, it seems that we start hard and fast, only to fizzle out by the end of week one. Why is this? Is this because we set our sights too high? Is it because we aren’t good enough to achieve these goals? Maybe we’re meant to be fat, smoking bad parents, but I beg to differ.
I really think it’s because we put so much pressure on ourselves to be the best right out the gate. To all my marathon runners—were you able to run 21.2 miles your first day on the track? To all my fitness competitor friends—were you able to do cardio on the stair master for an hour straight on your first day? We tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be the best right out the gate, which is unfair and, quite frankly, insane. Often times people have either tried their resolutions in the past and failed, but rarely learned from their mistakes. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while hoping for different results. Why not take a different approach to your resolutions and give yourself a break?
Here are four tips to help you get back on track and be successful in your 2017 endeavors whether that’s getting your summer body or save up for a dream vacation:
Make a Vision Board
Wouldn’t it be helpful to be reminded what your goals are every day? Vision boards are a great way to make sure that your goals are at the forefront of your mind and every choice and decision you make will help you get closer to this goal. Vision Board parties are all the rage these days. But what is this you ask? Vision boards are pictures, words, and phrases that one has either printed out or taken from a magazine that represent the goals you have. Studies have shown that seeing these goals visually represented increases the likelihood of accomplishing the goal.
Happy Dance Time!–Congratulate Yourself on How Far You’ve Come
Trying to lose 50 pounds? Celebrate the first five! Trying to pay off $5,000 in credit card debt? Celebrate your first $500! Everything is worth celebrating because YOU WORKED HARD TO ACHIEVE IT. You were disciplined enough to find a way to hack away at your goal and make it more of a reality than it was five pounds and $500 ago. The more you celebrate, the more likely you are to stay motivated and look forward to achieving more in the future. Positive vibes only, please!
Houston, we have a Problem!—Why are you continuing to fail? Create some SMART goals
If you are trying to quit smoking, are you still going outside with your smoker friend at the bar even though you’ve told him or her that you’re trying to quit? Stop putting yourself in situations where you may fall back into old habits. Everyone’s got that friend that never gains weight and is CONSTANTLY eating (jealous, much?), so when you’re trying to lose weight, ask that friend to try to support your decision and either pick healthier dining options you both can enjoy or maybe you limit how much you go out with that friend. Haters are gonna hate, but they’ll hate whether you reach your goal or not, so make sure your priorities are in check!
Also creating SMART goals is important. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. Give yourself mini deadlines and make sure you hold yourself accountable. I originally start my Instagram to remain accountable for doing my workouts every day with the hopes of inspiring others to do the same.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!—How partnering up will help make you more accountable
I love getting the love of my life John to be a victim—I mean participant in whatever meal plan or workout plan I’m doing. He’s such a trooper and really tries to motivate me and remind me why I am doing what I do. Teamwork does not have to come in the form of a spouse! If you’re trying to lose weight, start a Facebook group to help keep everyone accountable for a set period of time (a week, thirty days, etc.). If you’re trying to save money, download the app Digit, to start saving without pinching pennies. I love apps like Digit because it monitors my spending and assesses where it can take some dolla dolla bills here and there to help me reach my savings goal (Disney trip, wedding, etc.).
Remember, no goal is too big! Just remember that it’s ok to work towards it rather than wishing for it all to happen overnight or all at once. Just stop, check yourself, and keep moving, no matter how much you’ve already stumbled.
As my girl Aaliyah once said “When at first you don’t succeed, brush yourself of and try again.” Get up, Buttercup, and take charge of that life you have always wanted!
How are you working on achieving your goals throughout the year? Did you fall of the bandwagon with those resolutions?