>On to month two of the New Year… so how are you keeping up with those resolutions?
Has your motivation dwindled? Does it just seem like it is just too much? Do you know what might be causing you to fall off the wagon or what is creating the resistance or lack of results?
To rekindle your motivation and deliver the results you desire, follow these simple guidelines and learn how to set goals and track your progress. Remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail
GOAL: WEIGHT LOSS
Let’s use one of the most common resolutions – weight loss – as our example for goal setting. You have decided you want to fit into your favorite pair of jeans again, which means losing 20 lb. That’s the first step, but what comes next?
Start by writing down your plan.
It can seem quite daunting when you look at the big picture and you may feel that you will never get there. So your next step is to break down this goal into smaller, more manageable chunks. Focus on weekly or even daily BEHAVIOUR goals:
To fit into my skinny jeans again –
•I will cut out all high-calorie beverages
•I will take a 30-minute power walk every day
•I will plan my weekly menu ahead of time
•I will start packing my own meals
By creating smaller, measurable goals that are easily monitored, you will feel less overwhelmed and more likely to stick to your plan. If you’re not keeping track, there is no way of knowing why a system is failing. Tracking your daily progress is a great motivator, but it also helps to identify behavior that is sabotaging your progress and nip it in the bud.
Track Your Progress
There are many ways that you can keep track of your progress. Start an online blog, join an online group or community with similar goals and experiences or just start a journal. By doing this, you will be able to see where certain habits, interpersonal relationships, emotional, sleep patterns or other life occurrences and behaviors are holding you back. This new behavior of journalling or blogging will also assist you in being accountable for your actions and will create a sense of awareness that will cross over in a positive way to other aspects of your life.
Most people are a little confused about how to begin their journal, but it is a lot easier than you think. The key is to be consistent and be as detailed as possible. Begin the process every day upon waking. Write down everything when it happens – not at the end of the day or the next day when the emotion is not as fresh. This will ensure accuracy and will help you monitor your emotions and the situations leading up to and following eating and working out.
For example, did you feel tired after eating? This may be due to an imbalanced meal that was too carb heavy. By writing this down, you will know how to make changes like adding some protein or decreasing your carb consumption.
What Do I Put in My Journal?
Start by taking your weight and measurements and recording them. Set aside one day a week that is measurement day – where you take your weight and measurements the same time and day every week to avoid discrepancies.
•Write down your weekly menu.
•Write down the times you eat and the portions with calorie counts – not just a description.
•Write down the intensity and duration of your workouts.
•Write down the number of hours you slept the night before. Sleep is directly related to health, weight loss and many other physiological aspects.
•Write down your cravings to help identify when and why they occur.
•Did you eat a bag of chips after a fight with your boss? Write that down. It is important, as it can be recognized as an emotional eating behavior that you can catch and change early on.
The key in keeping your resolutions is to break the goal down into smaller goals that will make the lifestyle change seem much easier to tackle. By accomplishing these smaller goals each week or day will keep you motivated and on the right path towards your ultimate goal.
By keeping track every day, you will see the positive changes in a more tangible way, as well as being able to see where something may be hindering you.
To keep from being overwhelmed, tackle one thing at a time. Be as specific as possible with your tracking and before you know it – you’ll be wearing those skinny jeans again. Your new behaviors will cross over into beneficial ways all across your life.