Did you know that by half way through February a staggering 75% of people have given up their 2019 Resolution? This fact hits home for me personally, because two years ago I was a statistic! But I managed to turn it around in March and you can too!
In 2017, I made a New Years’ Resolution to lose weight. I started going to the gym 5 days a week doing weights and cardio, I cleaned up my diet and I decided to cut alcohol out of my life. Sounds promising, right?! I had a list of amazing positive changes I was making to my lifestyle all at once, how could I fail? Miserably, that’s how. My momentum slowed, my weight loss slowed, so I lost motivation. I did not step foot into the gym for the month of February, I went back to enjoying pizza and chocolates (in excess) and fell back into old patterns.
The following March I went back to the gym, but with a different mindset. Instead of focusing on the number on the scale, I decided instead to focus on what I was actually doing in the gym. Instead of going and just pushing weights around, I decided that, by the end of 2017, I wanted to be able to squat and deadlift 200 lbs.
Taking the pressure off of myself in the form of worrying about something as inconsistent as weight, I was able to have fun and focus on moving weight with purpose and feeling strong. Eating better came easy since I was able to lift and exercise much more comfortably when I wasn’t eating terribly, and as a result, I lost the weight I almost killed myself trying to lose in January (a total of 45 lbs)! I smashed my goals that year in more ways than one and am continuing to try to progress and become stronger. I even stepped out of my comfort zone this year and am taking (and falling in love with) Pilates!
Resolutions are wonderful, in theory, but I think we put too much pressure on ourselves about WHEN we start, and we lose focus on WHY we’re doing it.
3 Tips for Realistic Resolutions
- Start small! Big changes don’t happen overnight. If you feel you have fallen into unhealthy patterns, the chances those patterns have built up over years is pretty likely, so don’t put pressure on yourself to change overnight. Retraining bad habits into good ones takes time. Start with setting smaller goals for yourself (20 minute walks 3x a week, swapping soda for water, only eating out once a week, packing a healthy lunch, etc.) and eventually, once your small goals feel easy and come naturally, progress to the next natural step!
- Find a way to make it fun! Don’t like the gym? Try a place that offers guided exercise (like Lead) where you can safely follow a routine under supervision of a professional and can find a variety of fun classes. Not into classes? Try some at home body weight exercises. There are a ton of free videos online of quick at home workouts that you can start to get your body moving and get your sweat on. If you start an exercise routine or any other resolution and it feels like dreaded work, the chances of you dropping it are more likely!
- Don’t put too much pressure on yourself! If one tire goes flat, do you slash the other three? Everybody has slip ups and bad days, the most important part of a slip is how you get back up. It’s very easy to have a floodgate mentality and fall back into old patterns when you have a slip up. Consistency is the key to success, not restriction! Don’t feel guilty if you take an extra piece of cake, skip a workout, or drink the caffeine you’ve been trying to cut back on. Accept that you’re human like everyone else and get back on track!
It doesn’t matter when you start your Resolution. The first and most important step is recognizing that you want to make a change in yourself to be the best version of you. Whether it’s January 1st or April 1st, you’re making positive changes for yourself! Be proud that you took the first step, revel in the challenges you face, and keep moving forward until you hit your goal!