7 Ways To Make This New Years Resolution The One That Sticks
by Landon Hamilton
It’s 2015 and New Year’s resolution season has arrived. Let’s do this! So, why are you making a New Year’s resolution when last year’s “lose weight” resolution only lasted three weeks before you were shovelling cupcakes down your throat?
Could it be that when creating your goal for 2014, you started by setting yourself up for failure? This probably sounds ridiculous and counter-intuitive, but the goal of losing weight is too abstract. Weight loss is not really a specific action; it’s a result of doing other actions. You can’t actually “do” weight loss, but you can “do” a 5k bike ride three days per week. Your goals should indicate the specific actions you aim to do, not the overall outcome. For example, instead of creating a outcome goal like “lose 20 pounds by next month”, create a process goal like “exercise for 30 minutes every single day”, this makes the path to success clear. The reality is that by next month, if you’ve met your smaller daily goal you’ll be happy with your progress, even if you’ve fallen short of the 20 pound mark. You’ll be in a much better position than you were at the beginning because you have changed your behaviors and habits. You’ll also be ready to build on the habit you have created because your goal was instructive and achievable.Remember Subway’s poster-boy Jared? He lost 245 pounds not by trying to “lose weight” but by setting clear process goals like eating low fat sandwiches from Subway for every meal and walking every day.
Creating your dream body can be a challenge for even the most goal-oriented people. Despite the best of intentions, people sometimes get frustrated by the hurdles and obstacles that may make their goals seem unattainable. I want to give you some tools for sticking with your game plan and realizing your fitness goals.
Be Specific with your Goals
Process vs. Outcome
Studies show that individuals are likely to be happier and achieve their goals when they have specific goals in mind rather than goals that are vague. When you are able to describe your goals you will be able to apply the kind of actions required in order to achieve them. Now, I’m not telling you to stay away from aspirations like, “I want to lose weight” or “I want five million dollars”, but I am telling you to try and focus on what will be needed from you in order to reach that outcome.
First and foremost you must define your reason. Ask yourself questions like “what is the result I’m after?” or “what is the purpose for this?” and “what do I need to get there?” then write down your answers; these answers will serve as your to-do list. For example, if the result you are after is to shred two waist sizes, your goals will have to be geared around what it will take to achieve that outcome. Your goals should reference the specific actions you need to do, not the overall outcome. People who write lists are widely considered the most efficient people because through their lists they are able to encourage self-improvement. Make your brain your ally, not your enemy.
Enjoy the Process
There is no such thing as perfection, so please don’t expect to reach your goals perfectly. Anyone who has ever accomplished anything has had one thing in common – failure. Rather than fixating on your mistakes, study them and do differently next time. You don’t have to obsess over the numbers but an action as simple as marking a day as completed on your calendar can provide you with a visual indication that you’re progressing. This is especially important for keeping your motivation high; you need to feel like you’re making progress so you can do what it takes to keep going. Remember what gets measured gets done.
Not only does self-confidence improve your overall life, but it’s also the very secret to success. What you believe you achieve; it’s as simple as that. You can’t live a positive life with a negative mind nor can you feel good about yourself with little or no self-esteem. I have been asked countless times how I was able to look the way I do. I remember standing in front of a mirror when I was 19 and decided there is no reason why I don’t have the ideal mens physique. I changed my standard. I walked around confidently like I had the physique I envisioned and I owned it. A couple years later looking in the mirror and I realized I didn’t have to fake it anymore, I had achieved it.
Have More Sex
Not only does it feel good, it’s also incredible for you in so many ways. People who have a healthy sex life have higher levels of antibodies that defend you from things like viruses, germs or other bugs that can make you sick. The endorphins that are released while you get some have a pain relieving effect that can alleviate headaches, arthritis, cramps as well as muscle soreness. On top of that, sex can also count as exercise. Some experts believe that 30 minutes of intense, sweaty sex is comparable to 15 minutes on the treadmill and doesn’t run you the $999 price tag or at least should not. Who needs to go to the gym or die in a hot yoga class when you can get the hottest workout at home? A gym session that leads to an orgasm is undoubtedly a workout you’ll want to fit into your schedule. With amazing innovations in technology like Tinder and wearable technologies, make it fun and measure your heart rate and calories burned.
Have Fun with your Workouts
First things first, the single most important thing that people should do to reach their fitness objectives is to get a training program and meal plan. Fitness apps will provide intuitive ways for people to set goals, build plans, track progress and ultimately achieve the benchmarks they set for themselves. The only thing more destructive than absent-minded goals is trying to stick with exercises or routines you truly dread. So if going for a long, gruelling run or bike ride brings on feelings of apprehension, then the best thing you can do is find physical activities that you actually enjoy. Whether it’s dancing, practicing karate moves in your garage or playing a sport, you can find lots of activities you actually enjoy, and burn off some pounds while you’re at it! If you can wire your brain to think that exercise is more of a fun activity, than each day that goes by will get easier and more enjoyable and you will start to crave the endorphin rush. Upgrading your playlist with fresh new tunes can also keep you working out longer and harder.
You Are What You Eat
Burning off calories only to replace them through binge eating is the perfect way to fail your fitness goals. People attempting to lose weight don’t need to limit themselves to celery and Tic Tacs but they will need to stick to whole healthy foods if they want to stay on track to reach their fitness goals. Nutrition is everything – eat when you’re hungry and eat until you are satisfied. Plan your meals ahead of time so you don’t find yourself reaching for what is convenient.
Two Heads are Better Than One
Create a support network of like minded people with similar goals. You are the sum of the five closest people to you. Your overweight and unhealthy friends don’t want you skipping out on happy hour or the doughnut shop to hit the gym. You will find it easier to keep your head in the game and accomplish your fitness objectives if you team up with a gym buddy. The reason for this is simple: It’s harder for people to get derailed if they can find a workout partner who they can be accountable to. I have been dragged through countless workouts kicking and screaming by a training partner, and I have never regretted one of them. Workout buddies can encourage one another, motivate one another and push each other to get one more rep.
At the end of the day choosing a strong fitness goal and progressively working towards it can change your life, increase energy levels and boost creativity. If you don’t go after what you want, then who will go after it for you? It may not be easy, but in the end it will be worth it. Remember your goal and why you set out to do it in the first place. There will be obstacles coupled with doubt and exhaustion, but with hard work, there are no limits.
Landon Hamilton is a product centric designer bursting with creativity. He combines his passion for fitness and nutrition with his passion for beautiful interfaces and mobile applications. He is currently Founder and CEO of fitplan, a place where people come to find the training methods and nutrition plans of the fitness athletes they are inspired by http://fitplan.io