CRUSH YOUR 2018 GOALS WITH 1 SIMPLE TECHNIQUE
Succeeding at your New Years Resolutions is right up there with winning the Powerball – 92% of New Years Resolutions are destined to fail. Which is exactly why when starting a weight loss plan, it’s critical to dig deep and find your motivation for going on this journey. Most people have a basic goal to lose belly fat. Fair enough, but let’s dig a little deeper.
The real question is…How do you re-frame your fitness goals so you can make (and keep) your new year’s resolutions? Once you make this shift in your mindset, that’s when you can transform from telling yourself that the scale will shift to actually making it happen. There’s a massive difference between WANTING to lose weight and taking the action to wake up every morning and get moving with your favorite workout. These mindset changes occur daily — not yearly — and are as simple as committing to replacing one meal a day with a nutrient-packed protein shake. Or maybe you want to start your 2019 weight loss plan off like Margaret (pictured above) who lost 140 pounds, and it all started with morning taking a walk around her neighborhood.
Of course, it’s all about progress, not perfection. Here’s how to make 2019 the year of new beginnings…
FAILED RESOLUTION: LOSE WEIGHT
RE-FRAME YOUR RESOLUTION TO: EAT MORE HEALTHY FOODS
Why? In order to achieve a tangible, external goal (such as losing weight), you need to shift the focus into the behaviors you want to develop to achieve that. For instance, eating 9 servings of veggies a day is a behavior you can implement to help you reach your final destination. If 9 servings a day seems out-of-reach right now, try packing your plate with color. When you’re eating vegetables and fruits that are packed with color, you’re filling your body up with disease-fighting plant compounds. If you need a fun way to amp up your veggie intake, turn your eating habits into a little game, and designate each day of the week to a color. Mondays are red, Tuesdays are yellow, Wednesdays are green, and so on. So on Monday, pack a sliced red pepper or grapefruit in your bag to snack on throughout the day.
Need somewhere to start? I mapped out your daily meal plans, workouts, and shopping lists for you in my 2-Week New You Kickoff! You’ll be shocked by how much better you feel when you start incorporating ridiculously delicious meals such as blueberry nut cereal, sweet strawberry smoothie, chili-rubbed chicken breasts, Santa Monica scramble…and more!
FAILED RESOLUTION: GO TO THE GYM MORE
RE-FRAME YOUR RESOLUTION TO: LOWER YOUR RESTING HEART RATE
Why? An internal goal relates to how your body functions. It could be lowering your resting heart rate, which would indicate a stronger heart. (When the heart becomes stronger, it pumps more blood per beat, so it doesn’t have to beat as often to do its job, resulting in a lower resting heart rate.)
So instead of trying to ramp up your workout and go to the gym more to achieve this goal, think about how you can spend less time in the gym but pack in the most benefits. Seriously! The truth of the matter is research indicates that shorter, more intense workouts (also known as HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training) might be better for heart health. The heart is a strong muscle and is constantly working, so, naturally, it needs recovery periods. For most non-athletes, endurance exercise for long periods could prompt your heart to work harder than it does during short-yet-intense exercise. The intermittent activity seems to be a better fit for how the heart naturally functions. (Learn more about HIIT training here)
If your resting heart rate is good-to-go, then other internal goals you could focus on would be to improve sleep, lower stress levels, manage cholesterol or balance blood sugar levels.
FAILED RESOLUTION: GO ON MORE ADVENTURES
RE-FRAME YOUR RESOLUTION TO: FIND A NEW TRAIL TO HIKE
As you set goals, keep in mind that small steps lead to big changes. Research studies over the last five years provide strong evidence that it’s better to think in smaller increments: losing five pounds instead of 30 or cutting one sugary drink per day instead of immediately changing 100% of your diet. The small steps lead to easier victories, which builds mental and physical strength to make additional positive changes.
A recent University of Michigan/University of Southern California study showed that by staying more closely to the present with focus on smaller goals, subjects were more likely to accomplish their bigger goals. So, even if you’d ultimately like to lose 30 pounds, you’re more likely to get there by focusing on what can be easily accomplished in the present – like drinking water instead of a soda.
In life and in weight loss, it’s easy to get hung up on the details — looking at life in terms of calories consumed, ounces gained, minutes spent on your workout, and how many months it will take to get to your goal. Rather than juggling all those details, keep yourself in the present moment and focus on what you can do right now. Rather than freak out over how far you are from your bigger goal, take a moment to reflect on the small steps that are getting you closer. You’ve made some progress, right? Be encouraged.