2020 is here and it's time to create a newer healthy and fit you, but how does that actually happen? While the effort to adopt a New Year’s resolution has good intent, self-improvement urges tend to fade in a matter of weeks. This leads to a cycle of failed attempts year-after-year, and the belief that success isn’t even possible.
Instead of making a resolution, dig deeper and figure out the underlying motivation that’s driving you. A fitness resolution is rarely about improving fitness and eating healthier. It’s the connection you make with yourself at an emotional level that drives inspired action to change. To find your inspiration find a quiet place to answer three questions. Set your phone timer for five minutes and begin writing whatever comes to mind:
1. What do I really want?
2. How do I want to feel?
3. What am I willing to do about it?
This little exercise will help you find your “why” and help pinpoint a goal.
Next decide what commitments you’re willing to make to achieve what you want. Commitments are different than goals. Your goal is the outcome. What if you want to lose 30 pounds? Well, commitments are the daily actions that build new healthy habits and lead to that goal of losing a lot of weight.
Examples of commitments might include exercising 45 minutes three times a week; eating veggies at two meals a day; and getting to bed by 9 pm. Actions should be specific and measurable. You should have no more than three commitments a month. That keeps it doable, plus you’ll avoid the feeling of being overwhelmed that typically comes with changing habits. Write them down and read them once in the morning and once before bed. This will keep them top-of-mind. Focus on progress, not perfection.
Once you’ve made your commitments it’s time to take action and track progress. If you are tech savvy find an app. Another thought is to keep a journal in which you write what you did and how you felt. This kind of journaling can help identify patterns. Do you overeat or make unhealthy food choices when you’re stressed out? Do you skip workouts when your schedule is busy? Is it more difficult to get motivated on cold winter mornings? Developing awareness of your patterns will change them. Plus, tracking progress can keep you focused and motivated.
Lastly, have fun and reward yourself. To make long-term change, fun is essential. Find rewards that celebrate your progress without undermining your goal. Pampering yourself with a massage, manicure or pedicure is an excellent way to reward yourself, and recognize the progress you’ve made when you follow through on your commitments.
Change doesn’t happen overnight, but as you work toward developing new habits, change will come, and it will be lasting. Remember this, and you will receive the greatest gift ever… the gift of health. Happy New Year!
About the Author: Sean Lee has been in the health and fitness industry for 18 years as a speaker, author and founder of Restoration Fitness, Lake Zurich’s premier wellness studio. Visit RestorationFitness.com and call 847.847.1837 to schedule a free no-obligation consultation.