How to Get Your New Year's Resolutions Back on Track
It's almost February. The new year seems like a long time ago. Have your New Year's resolutions fallen by the wayside? If so, it's not too late to get back on track. In this video, Short Pump health coach Brandon Rice talks about a few strategies you can use to get back moving in the right direction (or set new goals altogether). Watch the video below and read on for a full recap.
Don't beat yourself up.
Diving a little bit deeper into setting New Year's resolutions. I think the majority of us initially set our resolutions in December and look forward to making that change. And then January comes around and school goes back into session and jobs get back into the swing of things and life all of a sudden just kind of picks back up.
And sometimes life happens. Initially you have the opportunity to get a better understanding of where you are, what it is that you're doing, and how are you going to be able to succeed in the future. And it's okay if you don't succeed at first. Life happens. Don't beat yourself up. If a healthy lifestyle was easy, I'd be out of a job. So recognizing those potential issues and making a plan on how to avoid them is going to be key.
Make a plan.
Take a look at your schedule for the week ahead and understand...where is your free time to be able to exercise? Or plan out your nutrition meals? Or take five minutes just to de-stress and be able to relax for a little bit?
Planning and educating and giving yourself opportunities to grow will set yourself up for success.
This is not easy, right? Being able to set a goal, stick with it, personal accountability, self-discipline, all of those things that can be a very difficult thing. So focusing on hard work, determination, and when you do achieve those goals, it's going to give you so much more motivation to be able to continue to do this in the future. And so really trying to chip away at the block, make sure that you can start off small, start off realistic, something that you feel like you can accomplish within a reasonable amount of time and then get back on the horse, right?
These things happen. Like I said, if this was easy and staying healthy and being in that weight that you want to and eating the right things on a daily basis, if that was easy, I'd be out of a job. And so make sure that you can set those goals, understand that failure is part of learning and be able to move forward in a positive way.
And plan ahead.
With that being said, plan ahead, right? That's going to be my next step. Plan ahead. We live and die by our schedules. We're all in routines. We all understand what it is to get up in the morning and go through that Monday through Friday, even Saturday, Sunday for some of us, to make sure that we're sticking with that routine.
If you're going to step forward in your resolution making, if you start planning something for tomorrow, let's say today, you're excited about being able to get up and go for a run in the morning. You probably already have something going on tomorrow morning that's going to hinder your ability to be able to get up and go out and do those things, right?
If you have something two weeks ahead of time and make sure that you plan ahead at least two weeks in advance, that schedule is going to open up a little bit more. You're going to be able to see some other open spaces in that calendar to be able to squeeze in an hour here or an hour there to make sure that you have ample amount of time to be able to plan ahead.
And so really take a look at your schedule today, not for tomorrow, but for two weeks from now, to start planning, to start understanding, get into that routine. It's not something that's going to change overnight, and we need to make sure that we're in this for the long haul.
And so take a look at your schedule for two, three, maybe even four weeks ahead of time to be able to start understanding what it is that you need to be doing and how can you start preparing for that goal. Whether it's from an exercise perspective, stress, sleep, hydration, nutrition, all of those different aspects. You can really start to plan ahead and make sure that you're doing something in as much time as you feel needed to be able to succeed.
Be conscious about it, right? Don't just write workout at the top of your Tuesday, 6:00 AM lunch, 5:00 PM, 10:00 PM. Make sure that you really aren't trying to just say, "I need to work out today." Right? Find that time. Understand when I get up, I need to work out.
Or after I get home, let's say the kids are hungry and everything else that's going on, maybe two weeks ahead of time, you start either meal prepping, or if you have kids or family that is able to help out around the house, maybe that's their night to be able to cook or help out around the house while you take time, maybe two or three nights out of the week to be able to do what it is that you need to do.
So really be conscious about it. Understand how you're getting yourself set up. Think about all the different potential issues that might be coming, and then use this two weeks to be able to plan, to be able to understand what it is that you need from friends and family to give you the opportunity to achieve your goal.
Set an incentive. And maybe a consequence.
Alright, so we've got acceptance. Didn't work out the way you wanted it to the first time. That's okay. Take a step back and breathe. Next we're planning ahead, right? What do we need to do between now and when we're willing to be able to say, this is what we need to do, what are we doing in that amount of time to be able to set ourselves up for success?
Next thing, we want an incentive, right? We want a light at the end of the tunnel. We want something that we can be excited about. Something that we can earn, that we deserve.
If I'm going to put in this much effort to be able to accomplish a goal, I feel at the end of the day, if I'm able to get something in return, that is going to make me work that much harder to be able to achieve that goal.
So ideas for incentives, you want a new pair of shoes, good, go buy them. You want a massage, awesome. Buy it.
Been meaning to put that 50 bucks away for a rainy day? Put that 50 bucks away. Right?
I do find that monetary value for an incentive is definitely something that motivates better than most. That being said, if you do have suggestions for others of a non-monetary incentive, maybe like volunteering or donating to a charity that gives you a lot of excitement or it's a family event that you guys enjoy doing, a book that you've been meaning to read that you already have at home.
All of those things are definitely some non-monetary value incentives that can motivate people to be able to achieve their goal. So that being said, if you do have any suggestions on what others can do if they don't feel comfortable to be able to utilize money for that incentive, make sure that you can post those in the comments and we'd love to hear about that.
But I do find that monetary value has been the most successful and keeping people motivated in the long run.
So let's say we wanted a new pair of shoes, right? We're going to work hard. This is something that I'm looking forward to. And this is going to keep me motivated to continue to do what I am doing on a regular basis. So I'm going to work out three days a week for the next month, starting in the beginning of February, hypothetically.
I'm going to go out and I'm going to buy that pair of shoes today. Okay, I'm going to go home. I'm going to give it to a friend. I'm going to give it to a family member. And I'm going to say, "you guys hold onto that for the next 30 days. And I want you to hold me accountable."
By the way, you've got health coaches at PartnerMD to be able to do that for you as well. So if you can't find somebody at home or at work, feel free to come to your health coaches and say, "I want you to hold me accountable for what it is that I'm doing."
So you already have the opportunity to know what it is that you're going to achieve in the long run. You're looking forward to it. And you've already got that in your back pocket saying when I'm done with my goal, and once I've accomplished my goal, this is something that I'm going to achieve. That's your light at the end of the tunnel. And that's super exciting, right? Now I know that I'm working towards this and I've already invested myself into being able to achieve that goal.
Once you've achieved your goal, congratulations. That is yours. You've earned it. You deserve it. You can look forward to being able to have the massage or your new pair of shoes.
Or, for example, I've got a client and he's a big guitar player and he's leaving his guitar in the possession of his wife with the idea that if he loses X amount of weight in the next three months, he gets to keep that guitar. But there is also a consequence that's tied in with it. If he doesn't achieve that goal, then that guitar is being donated.
So there is also a consequence that goes along with the incentive, right? And I know it's difficult to think about consequences and it's something that is difficult and it's a hard way to learn. But in that regard, it's going to keep you that much more accountable when you have something invested in your own personal health and wellness to be able to utilize that skill and those things at the end of the tunnel to continue to motivate you.
So you've worked hard, you achieve your goal. Congratulations, that pair of shoes is now yours. Unfortunately, if you don't achieve that goal, for whatever reason, you now have to donate that pair of shoes to charity, you have to give that pair of shoes to a friend, or you set a new goal and it's an opportunity for you to be able to earn those further down the road, right?
So utilizing an incentive and a consequence, both to be able to work in conjunction with each other, to be able to move you forward and push you to be able to accomplish your goal in the long run.
Step out of your comfort zone.
With all of this being said, there's always the nutrition. There's always the health and wellness, the sleep, the hydration, the stress relief, all of those different things are very typical New Year's resolution goals.
And I don't know how familiar you are with your own New Year's resolutions, but being able to step out of your comfort zone a little bit and maybe try something different.
Maybe you haven't been super successful with the exercise goal. Well, that's okay. Maybe you should try nutrition.
Or maybe you haven't been super successful with nutrition and maybe you try a different type of exercise that you might feel is a little bit more exciting and something that when you learn, when you experience, as you do new things, you tend to grow into them a little bit more. And being able to utilize those new experiences to move you forward and propel you to something that you have never done before.
And that's a fantastic experience. And so when you try something new, that's fantastic.
For example, if you usually walk around the neighborhood, maybe try somewhere else. A park or the mall, or a track at the local school. Wherever it might be, try a new location. Maybe you just need to switch it up a little bit.
You know, maybe your family has been meaning to get involved with health and wellness, and everybody wants to get involved. Perfect, bring everybody together and let's all try it as a family, instead of just me trying to do this alone.
It's easy to stick with the same routine over and over again, and stay in your comfort zone. But when you give yourself a chance to do something else, it really has the potential to extend your learning experience and you might be really surprised with the results. And see where you can go and see how well you can achieve something that you've never done before.
Same goes for the people that feel safer at home. If you're sick of yoga videos, maybe try sit ups, squats, push-ups. Try something different, try something that you're not used to.
Is it too cold to be able to walk outside? Try stretching in between commercial breaks on your favorite TV shows in the evening. Get down and try to touch your toes or do the butterfly. Just try to relax a little bit and try to just include some sort of physical activity into your daily routine and that's going compound and move you forward in the proper direction.
Do your research.
And do your research, right? Find something that works best for you. What is the thing that you're trying to accomplish? Are you trying to gain muscle, lose weight, sleep better? What is your purpose behind your exercise and nutrition? If you have a bad back, try understanding from an injury prevention, corrective exercise perspective, what can you do to better that experience?
Or what is a low carb diet? Well, I've heard of it and my friends have done it and some of them have been successful, but I'm not really sure what it is and really understanding what the body is telling you when it needs carbohydrates, fats, or proteins.
Or what does it need and how is it going to affect my daily activities from working or being at home or being on the road?
Whatever those things might be to be able to understand your purpose and you know that it's giving you a benefit for those particular things, that is something that is going to really be able to boost your ability to achieve those goals, when you know that what you're doing is making your life choices that much easier.
Read an article. Find a certified health professional. Just like you're deciding what to eat at a restaurant, right?
There's a million different things on the menu over at Cracker Barrel. What makes me decide what I want to eat? And I think that when you look into a menu of health and wellness options, some things are appealing to some and some things aren't appealing to others and to be able to better understand what it is that your body is asking for and how can you be able to succeed and what it is that I'm trying to accomplish in the long run...All of those things come into perspective on why I'm choosing these particular resolutions.
And they might not be the most glamorous things in the world, they might not be able to get you on a cover of Victoria's Secret magazine, but they're going to make you feel better. They're going to give you a better purpose and they're going to give you a better quality of life.
And that's what all of us here at PartnerMD are really trying to accomplish, through health coaching, is ensure that we're complementing your doctors and making sure that you're making the right choices and you can continue to do things both here and at home to ensure that you're being as successful as possible.
And so I think, from top to bottom, when it comes to New Year's resolutions, if you don't succeed at first, that's okay, take a step back, recognize that that wasn't the right goal for you. Take a pause and then utilize the skills that we've talked about today.
Both planning ahead, making sure that you have both an incentive and a consequence that you can be held accountable for and you're looking forward to being able to achieve that particular incentive.
And then always feel free like you can branch out a little bit more. Try something new, try something with a friend, try something that maybe you would have been interested in in the past and is something that you're looking forward to in the future. And so if you can do those things and really be more realistic and take a step back and focus on the purpose of what it is that you're making that New Year's resolution for, I believe that you're going to be significantly more successful in the future to be able to do that.