Re-Framing Your Resolutions
Summer is about 13 weeks away!
Don’t wait until June to get started with your fit-for-summer plans. With the sunniest time of year on the horizon, now is the perfect time to spring into summer and zone in on your fitness goals.
If you want workout more, eat healthier, or lose 10 pounds… then, wonderful! But if you really want to achieve those goals, it’s important to re-frame them so you can set yourself up for success.
This one simple technique of reframing your goals can help remove intense pressure of trying to achieve great things each day. Before you begin, ask yourself, “Am I making this harder than it needs to be?” Processing your answer to that question will help you gauge whether or not you’re reaching for the right goals in their most basic form. Once you completely understand what goal you’re chasing, you can start changing your habits so you can succeed.
For example, if your goal is to “write a book,” you could re-frame that goal to be something like, “write two pages a day.”
This process also helps you shift your mindset, so you’re more likely to get what you want and achieve your goal. The choice to eat more veggies is much more definable and attainable.
The reason reframing works is because it eases performance anxiety, allows you to continually succeed, and builds momentum and confidence. It’s a snowball effect. The more you feel like you’re winning, the more you desire to achieve bigger and bigger goals.
Here are three examples of how you can re-frame your health and fitness goals for summer of 2021…
IF YOUR RESOLUTION IS: EAT HEALTHIER
RE-FRAME YOUR RESOLUTION TO: EAT 1 LB OF VEGGIES A DAY
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 1 lb veggies a day is a behavior you can implement to help you reach your final destination.
My good friend Dr. Sara Gottfried says that, “The only variable associated with less food addiction is vegetable consumption; vegetables also provide the fiber to reset ghrelin….Ideally, consume one to two pounds of vegetables per day.”
If 1 lb of veggies 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’re looking for 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.
IF YOUR RESOLUTION IS: WORKOUT MORE
RE-FRAME YOUR RESOLUTION TO: MOVE MORE
Before you lace up your workout shoes, I want you to stop for a few minutes and think about your exercise program. It’s a lot easier to get outdoors for a walk consistently if you can get from the “hafta” to the “wanna” stage. Right now, you might be thinking, ” I have to workout four times this week.” Ideally, you’ll get to the point where you think, “I want to be active today, because it makes me feel so good!” Or, “I want to move my body today, because when I do, I sleep better at night.”
Once you start moving on a daily basis, momentum takes over. Because there’s so much pleasure and so little pain, it’s incredibly easy to get to the “wanna” stage, if you just give moving your body a chance to work its magic.
IF YOUR RESOLUTION IS: LOSE 10 POUNDS
RE-FRAME YOUR RESOLUTION TO: SHUT DOWN THE KITCHEN AFTER 7PM
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.