How are you doing on your goals and resolutions? Congratulations if you are still on course!
If you have strayed off course and are not sticking to your resolutions this post may help you. To live life intentionally you have to form great habits. It takes discipline and courage to make changes and to instill great habits.
The first question to ask yourself is the resolution or goal you set something you really want to attain? How badly do you desire to obtain the results? To make constructive change you have to want to change.
A habit, as defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is a usual way of behaving: something that a person does often in a regular and repeated way. It takes anywhere from 18 days to 254 days to form a habit according to a study by Phillippa Lally published in the European Journal of Psychology, October 2010.
To form great habits you have to break down activities in to steps. Then you have determine what activities you need to do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
Getting fit and losing weight seem to be really popular resolutions. The resolution may be to join a fitness center. The goal might be to lose 15 pounds. The process would be to set up the steps and determine by what date or timeline you are going to get the activity completed.
- Plan Your Steps With Target Dates
- Set Short-Term and Long Term Goals With Target Dates
- Measure Your Progress
- Reward Yourself
Step 1: Pick out 3 fitness centers to visit. Complete by 2/1/15
Step 2: Visit the fitness centers to tour and do a trial workout. Center 1 by 2/5/15, Center 2 by 2/7/15, Center 3 by 2/9/15.
Step 3: Join fitness center of choice by 2/11/15
Step 4: Meet with a personal trainer to set up a workout program centered on your weight loss goals by 2/12/15
Step 5: Meet with nutritionist to set up a diet plan to meet your weight loss goal by 2/15/15
Step 6: Throw out all the junk food at your home and go to the grocery store to purchase your healthy food by 2/16/15
Step 7: Put your workout days and workout times in your calendar
Step 8: Set short term goals with your trainer and nutritionist
One of the things that is extremely valuable in keeping your resolution and hitting your goal is to create accountability. In this example if you hired a personal trainer and set weekly meetings with your nutritionist to track your progress you have created accountability. On top of that you would be paying for each of these services so if you do not show up for the workout you still have to pay. You could also create accountability by having a workout partner to meet at the fitness center.
Some of your habits might include showing up for your workout on the scheduled date and time for 60 days. Meeting weekly with your nutritionist for 60 days. Taking weight and body measurements weekly. Doing a fitness test on a monthly basis. Shopping for your food on a weekly basis.
Just a side note, if your goal is to lose weight I am personally more in favor of body measurements and body fat measurement rather than the scale. The key is not how much you weigh, but how you look. If you like the way you look, the weight does not matter.
If this is one of your resolutions for 2015 the first month is going to be the hardest. If you have not worked out for a while you are going to be very sore for a few weeks. That is why the fitness centers are not as crowded in February as they were in January. Many people have great intentions, but they don’t succeed because they don’t stick it out long enough to create the habits and get past the sore muscles.
Set short term goals on the way to your long term goal and reward yourself. For example, you set a long-term goal to lose 3 inches on your waistline. You have an interim goal to lose 1 inch on your waist by 2/28/15. You hit the goal by the target date. Celebrate and reward yourself with your favorite meal or dessert.
The first 90 days are the hardest of starting anything new. Stay the course for at least 90 days and you will be on your way to creating great habits and hitting the goals you want to reach.