Written by Lisa Malin
You drank too much over the holidays, enjoyed way too many heavy meals, and back burnered your workouts. But hey, no problem! That’s what January 1st is for: Hitting the reset button, setting new goals, and committing to healthier habits.
New body. New life. New you.
Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, as most of us know, it’s not nearly that simple. Research shows that only a mere 4% of us actually follow through on our resolutions, and that by Valentine’s day, a whopping 80% of us have already abandoned our goals and returned to old ways of operating, feeling defeated, ashamed, and unworthy of the change we eagerly set out to create just a month earlier. We give up, making some vague promise to ourselves that we’ll start up again when the time is “right”.
Sound familiar? It doesn’t have to. Here are three powerful resolution hacks I practice everyday with clients to help them reach and maintain their wellness goals:
Understand and connect to your “WHY”: Understanding your “why” means getting clear on why you want to reach your goal. Many of us want to lose weight, but weight loss can mean different things to different people. For example, losing weight, for you, may mean feeling desirable and confident enough to ask for a promotion, start your own business or go out on a date. For someone else, it may mean feeling in control of their life and optimistic about their future, which translates into being a better partner. And, for someone else, it may mean modeling healthy habits for their growing daughters. Knowing your “why” and envisioning how your life will look and feel once you reach your goals is your mission statement, the glowy orb that lights the path and keeps you on track and inspired even when hurdles get in your way. Your “why” also infuses your goals with richly textured meaning, allowing you to connect with them more deeply and feel invested in doing the work to reach them.
Map it out: Identifying the steps that will allow you to reach your goal is as important as the goal itself. For example, if you want to lose 15 pounds and keep it off, fad dieting probably isn't the answer. While you may drop some weight, chances are you will gain it right back because you haven’t created sustainable, healthy habits to keep the weight off. You would be better off starting with something small and easy, such as drinking eight glasses of water a day to keep you hydrated, regular and able to tell the difference between your hunger and your thirst. Once you get that habit down, you might want to commit to beginning each day with a nutrient dense breakfast smoothie, filled with greens , protein, fiber and healthy fats to balance your blood sugar, hormones, and hunger. Once you master those two healthy behaviors, you can then layer in others, such as meal prep or daily movement. It’s important to understand that small shifts, practiced consistently over time, become healthy, sustainable habits that propel you forward and allow you to reach and maintian your wellness goals. It may not be sexy, but it sure is effective!
Find your community. If your goal is to start a meditation practice, but you haven’t been able to do it on your own, gather up some friends and do it together: Sign up for a free, online meditation challenge; take a meditation class; or find a teacher to work with privately. Having a community helps keep you on track and makes the whole process of goal keeping more enjoyable, helping to boost the odds of making good on your resolutions.
It’s important to remember that it takes time, work, discipline, patience and a good deal of inspiration to create meaningful, lasting lifestyle shifts. New habits aren’t forged in 21 days and goals aren’t reached just because we set a strong intention to achieve them. Getting in touch with your “why”, envisioning the life you want to live and constructing a sensible, actionable plan to get there is simply the best approach I know to reaching your goals and creating the life you desire.
If this resonates with you, but you still believe you would benefit from the added support and guidance of a health coach, you can reach out to me here and set up a complimentary 30 minute discovery call to see if health coaching is right for you.
Wishing you all a beautiful New Year, filled with health, happiness and everything your heart desires.