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Goal SettingHealthy EatingNew Year ResolutionsWeight Loss

How to stick with your new year resolutions (part 1)

By January 19, 2013No Comments

If you read my last blog you’ll have resolutions which are specific and measurable, and you’ll have been doing lots of planning to stay on track.

But now you are three weeks into a dark, cold and snowy January, how is it going?

If you’re struggling, here are a few things to consider:

One slip does not equal total failure

Don’t let one slip up turn into the end of your plans.

If you’ve had one unhealthy meal it’s not going to undo all the healthy eating you’ve done so far this year.

If you’ve missed a workout or two, there’s always next week to get yourself back to the gym and catch up.

My clients get so angry at themselves for one slip that they forget to congratulate themselves on the successes they’ve had up to then.  Keeping food diaries and recording workouts can give you useful reminders about how well you’ve done so far, so that you can put one bad day in proper perspective.

If you’ve had a bad day, just make tomorrow a good one, and you’ll be back on track.

Stay focused

A standard coaching strategy is to begin with the end in mind.  Goal setting is all about defining the target at which you are aiming.  But what is even more important is to progress with the end in mind.

Remind yourself daily what you are aiming at and remind yourself daily why you are aiming at it.  Focus on what the benefits of reaching your target are going to be, how great it’s going to feel, and the positives you can look forward to.

And that leads on to the final tip:

Avoid negative language

So many resolutions are about giving things up that it’s very easy to talk about them in negative terms: “I am giving up alcohol for January”, “I am not eating chocolate”, or “I am going to stop procrastinating”.   But all of these things have a positive end – a healthier you, a leaner you, a more effective you.

If you talk only about what you are giving up, you are bound to feel deprived.  Try to replace negative statements with more positive ones – for instance instead of “I’m not drinking for the whole of January” say “I’m having a healthy January and concentrating on raising my energy levels”.  This shifts the focus from what you are missing to what you are looking forward to.

My own personal experience is that you’ll also be challenged less by “friends” when you speak in a more positive way.  For instance, your colleagues at work are off to the pub at the end of the day and are trying to persuade you to come along.  If you say “I’m not drinking at the moment” you’ll find yourself questioned and having to justify yourself.  If however you say “I’m going to the gym tomorrow and want to feel my best” that’s a positive, clearly stated reason which you’ll find more readily accepted.

You might find it useful to practice making some positive statements, as most people naturally use negative language without thinking.

So in summary, forgive your slip ups, stay focussed, and be mindful of how you talk about your resolutions.

Look out for further tips to help you stay on track in my next blog.