It’s February 1st of the new year. One month since the start of 2013. Where are you at?
Maybe you’re not exactly where you want to be. You’ve set goals, but you haven’t quite followed them all the way through. You’ve started your path, but perhaps you’ve diverged somewhat–say eating 4 treats a week instead of 2. That’s okay. It’s important to not get frustrated and throw up your hands. What’s important is to look back and see when and why you cheat and ditch the goal. Here are a few tips on getting back on track…
1. Evaluate and re-design your goals. Perhaps you weren’t so wise–or realistic–when you set these goals. Maybe you didn’t listen to me when I told you to do your SMART goals. Sometimes when we are trying to help ourselves with truly good intentions (for example, setting goals and resolutions), we shoot ourselves in the foot by being over-ambitious. Now, I am never one to be a dream-killer, I’m in support of getting what you want, but we need to be in the real world when we do them. So take a look at your goals, and decide maybe if it’s too ambitious and you need to take a smaller step first.
2. Be held accountable. I’m not saying you have to tell the whole world what you want to do. But have someone know. And have that someone be a person who can remind you and be your supporter on this mission of yours. You could look into personal training–I know some of my client would not make it to the gym if they didn’t know I was waiting for them. If you don’t want to jump into a trainer, find a gym buddy. It can be a social and a fitness visit–you can go to your gym, or go for runs, or circuit training in the park!
3. Make a date. Whether it be with yourself, your trainer, or your exercise buddy–write it down in your planner, calendar, iPhone, WHATEVER you have. One of the easiest ways to get back on track and into fitness is to creating your workouts (or at least your workout times before the fact). This way you can look at your phone, schedule, whatever and know, “Okay, Wednesday at 3pm is when this workout is planned, and I think it will be focused on cardio and lower body.” Every week, I would plan it in my schedule, when, what, and where I was working out. And then I would send that schedule to my fitness buddies for them to join in.
4. Make it mandatory. Make it a part of your schedule, not something you could do. I always considered it along the same lines of my classes during college (of which I never missed, weird, I know, but for some reason couldn’t make myself do it). And because I would never miss a class…why would I miss a workout? Unless sick, of course. I made it mandatory, just as attending my Existentialism or Human Rights class. It was a part of my schedule. Make it a part of yours.
5. Share a goal. Have a friend with a similar goal or resolution? Why not go at the thing together? This will double your chances of actually succeeding. You will have each other there for guilt and support, and it’s always easier to do something when you are part of a team. I’m sure if you think about it, you know someone who wants the same thing you do–and I’m sure they’d be thrilled by the idea.
6. Track your goals. Didn’t track those goals last month? Let’s start now. Make a sheet of what you want to do every week, every day. And have check mark boxes to track them. You could do this through Excel or Word, or just write it up on a notepad. Don’t just keep it in a notebook, though, stick it up on the wall where you see it every day.
7. Use apps. If you have a smart phone (and even if you don’t), tap into the wealth of helpfulness you can get from tons of fitness apps. Even if you don’t have a smartphone, you can use these apps online, using your computer. Here are a few that I think are great: My Fitness Pal, Fooducate, Nike Training, Map My Run, and GAIN Fitness.
Use these tips and help yourself thrive to succeed with your goals! Comment with any questions and feel free to email email@example.com for person-specific questions! Cheers!