5 Resolution Success Strategies You Need to Make!
The New Year inspires us with the possibility of a new beginning, improving our life, bettering ourselves. Optimistically, we start the year with resolutions to make changes that we believe will make us happier, only to find that our will power is limited, and ultimately most of us fail.
It does not have to be that way! For resolutions to be successful, start by making your goals SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant to your life, and Time-bound.
Make your goals SPECIFIC AND MEASURABLE
Resolutions that can be measured through forward progress incrementally through goal setting are most likely to succeed. Vague goals such as “I am going to exercise” are most likely to fail. Start with the end in mind: i.e. I want to do one Pull-Up by December 31, 2017—a measurable goal.
Break your resolution into mini goals that are RELEVANT and ACHIEVABLE NOW
Since a Pull-Up is a difficult exercise for most of us mere mortals, it would be easy to give up on this resolution if we start with the end exercise, a Pull-Up. Instead start with something easy that moves you toward the final goal. Lat Pull Downs are great foundational exercise that can become incrementally harder. Start with a light enough weight that you can do 15-20 reps. As you get stronger and 15 reps is easy, increase the weight. Once you get close to being able to pull down about half of your body weight, move over to the pull up bar. At this point although you cannot do a pull up yet, you can probably JUMP yourself up to the top of a Pull-Up and let yourself DOWN SLOWLY. Through the next months, these strategies will help you build the strength to finally get that Pull-Up under your belt.
Make a plan that is TIME BOUND
Once you decide what the mini goals are that will lead you to the final measurable goal, outline a time line that is reasonable. If you are a woman who has never done a Pull-Up, it is going to take longer for you to do one than if you are a deconditioned gymnast who used to be able to do 20. If your time-line is too aggressive, it can be adjusted; the goal does not have to be.
Online calendars are great for goal setting. But whether you use an online calendar or old-school it with paper and pen, make sure you write down the plan, the mini goals, and the end goal.
WORK THE PLAN
If you have designed your plan to have a little wiggle room for moving around your workout days, you will be more likely to achieve your goals than if the plan is stringent. Life happens. If your workout can be moved to the next day without disrupting your plan, you will be much less stressed over inconveniences that get in the way. Work the plan as designed, but know you have a Plan B that works too. For strength-based goals like Pull-Ups, you will need 2-3 workouts per week optimally on non-consecutive days. Your week can be planned around your work/travel/family schedule.
More helpful strategies and tools for achieving your New Year’s Resolutions
Accountability; it works.
- Tell your friends your goals.
- Enlist the help of a personal trainer
- Get a workout buddy
- Join a small group workout like Red Zone or attend a Group Exercise Class regularly.
Environment; it’s important!
- Control your environment to support your goals. For example, if your goal is weight loss, high calorie sugar coated chocolate bombs should not be in your home.
- If your goal is cardio before going to work, set your clothes out at night. If your goal is to workout after work, put workout clothes IN the car the night before.
Sleep; It’s necessary.
- Aim for a consistent sleep schedule on weekdays and weekends. Your body loves consistency.
- 8-9 hours of sleep is optimal for most individuals and is the amount recommended if your goal is weight loss or recovery from hard workouts.
Water; it’s critical.
- For optimal health, you should be drinking water, not other random liquids. Aim for 8 servings x 8 ounces per day; more if you are working out or are in a hot environment.
- Alcohol should be limited. If you are drinking daily, try limiting your alcohol consumption to 1 or 2 glasses per week.
- Cut out all diet drinks and diet sodas. For more on diet sodas, click HERE.
Smoking; don’t. Enough Said.
Walking/moving more; make it a priority!
- We should be getting at least 5,000 steps in daily, and optimally 10,000. If you have a desk job, walking and moving more should be very high on your to-do list.
- Get an activity tracker that counts your steps and that beeps at you if you sit for more than an hour.
- Strategize how you can walk more in a day. It might take some creative thinking, but your health will thank you.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Pivotal Fitness! We are sending our best wishes for a very happy 2017 and for abounding health and happiness for you and your loved ones!