Yes, it’s January! It’s the start of a new year, and if you’re like most people you have embarked on this new year with some big goals to make this your best year yet. Unfortunately, if you’re like most people you’re probably starting to slip on your commitment to your goals. Don’t feel too bad - depending on the source, 50-80% of people don’t make it to February before giving up on their New Year’s Resolutions, and it’s estimated that less than 10% of people actually stick to their goals for the whole year.
Even if you’ve started to slip, it’s not too late to get back on track. This month I want to talk about 3 common pitfalls that I see people fall into when it comes to setting health & fitness related goals, because if you don’t have a good goal then you’re less likely to be able to achieve it.
Pitfall #1: Taking on too much: This is one big mistake that people make when setting new goals. We get so excited about embarking on the journey to the “new me” and we want to do it all. Drink more water, eat clean, get more sleep, and get active every day. It all seems like such a great plan when we’re feeling really excited and ready to dive in, but then we get back to “reality” after the long holiday weekend and everything falls apart. What happened? The problem is that you took on WAY TOO MUCH. It’s so important to give ourselves some grace and remember that life is busy! There are a lot of competing priorities and responsibilities and suddenly there’s not enough time in the day to get it all done.
Most people blame their inability to see through their goals on lack of time, resources or motivation, and I can see why when we bite off more than we can chew.
The solution: Set an ATTAINABLE goal: Start small and build on your goals over time.
What’s most important is that you get started. By setting an attainable goal you are more likely to feel a sense of accomplishment and success by meeting your goals each day. If you take on too much and only achieve 50% of your goals it tends to create a sense of failure. What’s crazy is that achieving 50% of “way too much” is still pretty damn good, but it just kills our mindset because as humans our brains tend to focus way too much on our so-called “failures” than our successes. So start small and build upon your goals over time. Consistent success on something small will inspire you to build upon your wins over time.
Pitfall #2: Getting Distracted: The other pitfall that I see people struggle with is getting distracted. What I mean by this is that we get excited about our new goal and then we get distracted by all kinds of little things that we think we need to do to get started on our goal.
Here’s an example - you decide that you want to start walking for 30 min each day, but before you get started you need a new pair of walking shoes, get the pedometer app working on your phone, and get your playlist just right. Before you know it a month has gone by and you still haven’t found time to get to the shoe store, the pedometer app is more confusing than you thought, your earbuds just died….and, you're not walking! Sound familiar? I’ve found myself in this trap too.
The solution: “Make the main thing the main thing”: You don’t need any of those fancy things to get started at walking. All you need is a comfortable pair of shoes and 30 minutes blocked on your calendar. Your winter boots are probably just fine for a 30 min walk. Instead of getting distracted by the perfect playlist, embrace the beauty of your surroundings and listen to the sound of the birds, the breeze, the kids playing in the park. If you ever figure out the pedometer it will add an extra piece of interesting info about your walks but certainly not a requirement. Focus on getting out for a walk. That’s the main thing and don’t lose sight of that.
The Solution: Focus on ADDING something healthy to your plate instead of taking something away.
For example, instead of removing all starchy carbs from your meals consider committing to adding veggies (or more veggies) to every single meal. In doing so you’ll feel fuller faster and will be less likely to over indulge on the mashed potatoes.
By the way, potatoes are NOT bad…unless they're fried. Keep the skins on so you benefit from all of the healthy nutrients that potatoes have to offer. Just eat these starchy foods in moderation. Your plate should ideally be 25% lean protein, 25% starchy carbohydrate and 50% veggies, with proper portion sizes.
Now that you have committed to a more realistic and attainable goal it’s time to make a plan to stick to your goals long term. Here are 5 effective strategies for staying focused and committed to your goals for the long term, keeping in mind that life is not perfect.
You’ve got this! And if you need a little extra help the trainer team at Wilcox Wellness & Fitness is there to provide a little extra guidance, support, accountability….and love.
Learn more at www.wilcoxwellnessfitness.com or
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Hi! My name is Allison Hopkins and I am the owner of Wilcox Wellness & Fitness in Brunswick, ME. I am excited to bring WILCOX to Brunswick and share in my passion for living a great life through health and fitness.