It’s that time of year again.  Christmas has come and gone, and the thought of how 2019 will be better, different, and more kick butt in general has probably crossed your mind.  We work in the health and wellness space, so we are very familiar with the January crowd {and mindset}.

Personally, I am not a huge fan of “resolutions.”  Throughout the years, I have watched so many people make big resolutions and then feel incredibly defeated once they find out it’s harder than they imagined or they slip for a week or two.  I prefer to set intentions for the year.  For me, being intentional with just a few small actions helps me to stay on track throughout the year, not just for a few weeks.

So, do you have a “resolution” that you really want to keep?  Here are a few suggestions to keeping your resolutions so that you turn your resolution into a permanent change.

Evaluate Last Year

In my opinion, before you can really figure out what you want this year, you need to take a hard look at last year.  What did 2018 look like for you?  Maybe you faced trials, maybe you experienced some great successes.  How did you handle those trials or successes?  What did you enjoy most about 2018?  Where could you have improved?

Think about what goals you set at the beginning of last year.  Did you make progress toward those goals?  Were you all in for a month or two and then allow your goals to slip to the back of your mind?

Before you can move forward and really set good intentions for the year ahead, you must look back.  See where you did well.  Evaluate what didn’t work so well. Then, begin to build your framework for this year.

Start Small

The biggest mistake that we see people make when they begin to set goals, resolutions, or intentions for the year is that they start big.  They go all in with a complete 180 degree turn from what they have been doing.  This works for a few weeks or maybe even a few months.  However, jumping all in with a complete lifestyle change usually leads to burnout.  

We have found that people that go “all in” and make every single change at once tend to sustain their new lifestyle for a brief period of time.  They might even see results.  However, after speaking with clients, this “all in” approach is one that 99% of them refer to as something that “worked.”  What is the definition of “worked?”  If you aren’t still doing it, did it really “work?”  Even if you see results, if you are back to where you were on January 1st, did what you were doing really “work?”

Small steps, small choices, and small wins will create lasting changes.  When you focus on small changes, and you do them consistently, you move forward.  Sure, starting small might take you a little longer to lose those 10 pounds, but I bet you will keep them off instead of losing them and then gaining 15 pounds back.  Trust us, there is power in starting small.  During our health coaching program, we use an incredible analogy of a penny to emphasize the power of small, consistent choices.

Instead of going “all in” this year, try starting small and allowing your small choices to snowball into big changes.  

Be Realistic

Set yourself up for success, not for failure.  As humans, we thrive on success.  When you experience small wins, you build momentum.  That momentum is powerful.  This is why, when you are thinking about your resolutions, intentions, or goals for the year, it’s so important to be realistic.  If you are currently working out 1-2 days a week, it might not be realistic for you to all of a sudden make it to the gym or go for a run 6 days a week.  If you eat processed food and follow the standard American diet of low fat and high carb foods, jumping into a Whole30 might not be a great option.

One of my favorite questions to ask myself is, “Is this sustainable?”  If you can’t see yourself continuing to eat boiled chicken and broccoli for the next 5 years, why are you killing yourself to do it now?  What if you found something more sustainable, more realistic?  Maybe you start by adding a vegetable to every meal.  Once you get that down, cutting some grains out of your diet might be a realistic next step.  By being real with yourself, you take those small steps, but you do what is sustainable and realistic for you right now.  As you progress, what is sustainable changes.  But, remember that your focus is on now, not on 6 months from now.

Be realistic, be honest, and move forward.

Get Your Mind Right

If you haven’t addressed your mindset, it’s really tough to turn your resolutions into your reality.  Address your mindset and perspective.  By getting your mindset and perspective in the right place, you are better able to deal with setbacks, wins, and staying on course for the long haul.

Think about the last time you set a goal.  What was the goal?  How did you deal if you made choices that didn’t align with that goal?  Did you shame yourself?  Did you just give up?  When you made the poor choice, did you allow negative self talk, doubt, and fear to take control?  Or, did you own your choice, get your mind back on track, and then pick back up and start moving forward again?

You have to address your barriers now.  You have to address your excuses now.  Excuses come in many forms, and one of the most common forms of excuses is the excuse of delay.  You know this one.  “I’ll do __________ when ____________.”  Or, on Monday, January 1st, once I get a new job, or once things slow down, etc.  I did a great post a few months ago on the excuse of delay.  If you struggle with waiting for Monday, read this.

When it comes to your health, it is vital to approach health and wellness with the correct mindset and perspective.  There is a reason we spend the first few weeks of our 12-week health coaching program addressing your mindset and perspective.  Whether you believe you can or your can’t you are right.

Have a Plan

So, you have your resolutions or your intentions set.  How are you going to get there?  Every destination requires a map.  We just talked about starting small. What are some small steps that can move you toward your goal?  Think about a few simple rules that you can put into place to keep you on track.

When you make a plan and fill it with realistic action items and small goals, it is much easier to accomplish that big goal you set.  By taking realistic, real world steps, you avoid “falling off the wagon.”  Remember, you don’t reach the peak of the mountain in one step or leap.  Instead, you take small steps, stopping for short periods along the way to rest and evaluate your direction.  Then, you put one foot in front of the other and keep climbing.  Each small step takes you closer, and eventually, you reach that peak.

Crush 2019

You can make your resolutions reality.  You can reclaim your life.  With the right plans and strategies in place, there is no reason you can’t make 2019 your best year yet.

Accountability works.  Period.  You need people in your life that will hold you accountable.  Whether it’s a friend, family member, personal trainer, or health coach, having someone provide accountability and motivation will help you keep pushing forward.

If you want to take your life in a positive direction, I encourage you to take a good look at our health coaching course.  We are currently registering for the Winter 2019 session which will kick off on January 6th.  Through this course, we teach you how to address and make lasting changes in all areas of your health and wellness. We work with you to make positive changes when it comes to your food, fitness, sleep, stress, goals, time management, mindset, perspective, self talk, and supplements.  Through this program, you will be changed, and you will understand how to deal with barriers, excuses, set backs, doubt, and fear.  You will begin to renew your mind, restore your body, and reclaim your life.  Register now.

Happy New Year!


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