As a health coach and personal trainer, one of the most common questions that people ask me is how to stick to their New Year’s Resolutions? People have good intentions when they set these goals, but less than 30 days into the year, the majority of resolutions are abandoned.
So how can we set goals that we can keep?
One of the most important steps in setting any goal is to make it a smart goal. Your goal needs to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Saying that you are going to start eating healthier is a well-intentioned goal but a hard goal to hold yourself accountable. However, a goal to lose 3 pounds a month for four months equalling 12 pounds in the four months is a much easier goal to attain. Another essential part of setting goals is to know what the goal means to you and why you want it? It has to have meaning in order to work hard to achieve it.
Overcoming the obstacles
The second most important part of achieving your resolutions is to overcome the obstacles. The number one reason people state for giving up on their goals is that they “don’t have enough time.”
You have to make time. People always seem to make time for the things that they enjoy but never seem to have enough time for the things that could improve your health. Meal prepping is one of the best ways to save time. Prepare as many of your meals as possible for the entire week at one time. Not only will this save you time throughout the week, but it also makes it easier to make healthy choices. It can also be helpful to set aside easy to grab healthy snacks for the week.
When it comes to exercise, most people find it easiest to do their workout at the beginning of the day. Some people think that it works best to split your workout in half and do half before work and the other half after. The same things won’t work for everyone. Find a schedule that works for you and stick to it. Another tip is to make exercise fun. Find something that you enjoy doing, and it won’t seem so hard to do it. You could try dancing, skiing, hiking, or any other activity that gets you moving.
There are two parts to weight loss success: Diet
It is, unfortunately, true that weight loss is 80% about diet and 20% about exercise. You can’t eat a highly processed, high fat, sugary diet and think you’ll be healthy if you exercise. There are so many “diets” out there right now that it can be very overwhelming to people. Paleo, low carb, high fat, keto, Atkins, south beach, whole 30, and many more. It seems like every month there is a new diet that everyone is trying. The problem is that people won’t stay on these diets forever. When people make healthy eating changes, they need to be sustainable. Healthy eating needs to be a lifestyle change that you can do forever.
When people ask my advice on nutrition, I give them five guidelines to go by:
Five simple habits to follow for success
- Eat every 2-4 hours, don’t eat large meals close to bedtime.
- Eat one complete lean protein with each meal (portion size for females should be the size of your palm and for males, the size of both palms)
- Save carbs other than fruits and vegetables for after exercise. Focus on whole grain carbs such as quinoa, black rice, and brown rice.
- Try to balance fats: ⅓ saturated fat, ⅓ monounsaturated fat, ⅓ polyunsaturated fats. Avoid trans fats.
- Eat two servings of vegetables or fruit with every meal. (1 cup of raw leafy vegetables is one serving) Each meal should be at least 50% vegetables.
**Portion sizes are important**
If you can follow these simple guidelines, you will already be headed in the right direction!
Be realistic…can you do this on your own. Do you need a partner, health coach, personal trainer? All of these options help to hold people accountable. Doing it on your own can be hard.
-A partner will hold you accountable
-A personal trainer can help if:
- You have injuries that you need to work around
- You are training for a sporting event
- You aren’t sure which exercises to do
- You aren’t sure how to perform exercises correctly
-A health coach can help if:
- You need nutrition advice
- You need help with stress reduction
The most recent studies show that people should be getting more than the previously recommended 30 minutes a day of cardio exercise. However, different people need different plans. Whether your goal is to get stronger, lose weight, feel healthier, or work to heal old injuries, a health coach or personal trainer can help get you on the right program.
For additional information, make sure to check out our personal training and health coaching programs.