Statistics show that as we get further away from the new year, more people bail on the good intentions they had starting out. If you’re among the 54 percent who resolved to get in shape but have jumped off the wagon, don’t wait another eight months to make a new New Year’s Resolution. Recommit to the one you made this year. It’s not too late to begin a get-fit-for-summer-workout plan and start eating healthy. If you can maintain for the second half of 2018, you can consider your resolution kept.
Focus Your Focus
A lot of times the trouble with making resolutions to exercise and eat healthy to lose weight and get into shape is that you set goals that are too broad and vague.
- I’ll exercise more.
- I’ll eat better.
- I’m going to lose 50 pounds in XX months.
Though the intentions behind them are admirable, every one of those resolutions is destined to fail. Kirsti A. Dyer, MD, MS, FT, CWS of Columbia College advises focusing on one thing you want to change. When the original resolution was, for example, to work out “more” and to lose 50 pounds by March, drop the weight loss part altogether and commit to working out 4 to 5 days a week. The logic behind that strategy is that
#1: it’s unlikely that you’ll lose a large amount of weight in a short amount of time, so you’re cutting out the part that is practically guaranteed to be unsuccessful
#2: getting specific about the amount of time you’ll spend on workouts each week gives you a goal you can reach
The added bonus is that, if you stick to the workout plan, the weight loss will come anyway.
Make a Plan — and Write it Down!
Remember, you are far more likely to reach a goal if you write it down…like, nearly 97 percent more likely. Once you’ve settled on what your new, more focused resolution is, make a plan for implementing it into your life and write that plan down. Maybe that means scheduling out your week to see where you can fit exercise into your calendar. Maybe it means planning meals every week to ensure you’re eating healthy. Whatever it means to you, writing it down will give you better odds of staying with your resolution for the rest of the year. In an article for the Huffington Post, Rachel Verlik recommends having a weekly planning session to map out your week. It’s an effective way of keeping your goals real and staying in touch with where you are with them. Your weekly planning is a great time, too, to tweak your Big Picture Plan based on the results you’ve seen so far compared to where you want to be by December 31, 2018.
Be Patient and Forgiving
Among the tips Woman’s Day gives for recommitting and sticking to your resolutions is the advice to be patient. Not seeing big results fast–like losing weight quickly–is likely why you gave up on your New Year’s Resolution. Recognize that it’s going to take time to get back into shape. Understand that you didn’t pack on the pounds in one month, so they’re not gonna come off in 30 days or less, either. Have some sympathy for the fact that going cold-turkey on the junk food in favor of eating healthy will be a difficult transition if you don’t do it slowly and in small steps. Don’t look for the total payoff to come right away. Be happy with and celebrate the small victories and keep plugging away.
As for being forgiving, sorry to bust your bubble, but you are human, gloriously imperfect in countless ways. You’re practically guaranteed to mess up now and then. That’s why you should set an exercise goal for 4 or 5 days a week. Then it’s no big deal if you miss a day, but you can be proud of the extra accomplishment if you get all 5 days in. It’s also why you should factor in a cheat day if your resolution involves eating healthy to lose weight. Cravings are tough to fight but, when you know you can have that jelly-glazed donut later in the week on your official cheat day, it’s easier to pass up. The forgiveness factor gives you the leeway to screw up now and then without derailing your goals entirely.
Just keep in mind that, even though the original resolution may have been made to get fit for summer and swimsuit season, looking and feeling great is beneficial all year round. If you start now, you’ll begin seeing small results soon. Yes, even in time to look great in summer wear. Plus, you’ll really notice some bigger changes right about the time the fall and winter clothing is hitting the stores. It’s still a score if you’re able to fit into a size or two smaller over the winter season, and you’ll have a head start on the 2019 resolution.