Ah the New Year.
A time when we set new goals and resolve to do things better this time around.
I think January is a great time to set goals– I mean, you can set new goals whenever you want, but setting then at the start of a new year is natural.
January is a motivating month.
We all set goals in the beginning of the year, but how many of us stick with them for longer than a week or two?
At first, you’re super motivated. You clean out your pantry and join up at the gym.
You dive in head first and give it your all.
After a few weeks, the luster has worn off and you slowly slip back into your old routine.
And by March, it’s almost as if those New Years Resolutions never existed.
Setting new goals is awesome.
Diving in head first is also awesome.
Losing momentum is not awesome.
When you lose your motivation, it’s usually because you’re going about reaching your goal the wrong way.
I know, I know– you’re all like “Um, excuse me, lady: HOW could I be going about reaching my goal the WRONG way? It’s my friggin’ goal!”
Well, what I mean is this:
For example: You think that you set the goal of eating healthier so that you can make gains in the gym.
Sounds like a great goal, right?
SO. You dive in head first, and throw out all the junk in your pantry, and start cooking every meal at home. Soon you find you’re totally sick of cooking every meal and you adopt that “if I can’t cook every meal, then I might as well not do this anymore” attitude.
You get burnt out and you go back to the way life was in 2013.
The reason? You’re doing too much.
Yep. Do less.
Because lasting change is a result of making small, manageable changes as opposed to grand, sweeping changes.
Instead of cleaning out the pantry AND joining the gym AND cooking all of your meals at home, start with ONE thing.
Join the gym.
Then, slowly start to clean out your pantry.
Then, two weeks later, experiment with cooking two meals at home.
Then two weeks later, experiment with cooking three meals at home.
Slow changes are the lasting changes.
It’s really hard to resist the desire to dive right in and change everything at once– especially at the beginning of the year, because that’s when EVERYONE is committing to make changes.
Here are 5 Tips to make slow, lasting changes and reach your goals:
1. Start at your end result.
Write down your goals and describe what you want your life to be like when you’ve reached those goals. Write down everything about your future life–what will it feel like once you’ve reached your goals?
2. Work backwards.
Once you have an idea of what your life will be like once you’ve reached your goal, break it down. What needs to happen in order for you to get there? Working backwards from your desired end often gives you a better idea of what it takes to get to where you want to be. If you know what your life looks like in 6 months, what will it need to look like in 3 months? In one month? In two weeks? Set mini-goals for each of these stages that will help you get to your ultimate goal.
3. Break it down.
Think about what it will take for you to reach each of your mini-goals: what steps will you need to take? These steps toward the mini-goals are the slow, lasting changes.
4. Expand your timeline.
Studies have show that it takes about two weeks of working on one thing for it to become more of a habit. Incorporate one step toward your mini-goals every two weeks–focus on adding new steps every two weeks while also working on the old steps. It might take a little bit longer than you expect, but the results will be sustainable.
5. Don’t worry: you’ll get there.
It might seem like there’s a lot of thinking involved in this process. Well, there is: it takes thought and dedication to make lasting changes. BUT don’t get overwhelmed. When you choose inspiring goals, the thought and dedication comes naturally.
Seriously: don’t get discouraged. It’s not as hard as it sounds.
Especially when you have support from a health coach like me.
I support people just like you to reach their health goals all the time. I’ll help you set inspiring goals that you WANT to accomplish, and we’ll work together to think through your goals and put you on the path to success. Then, once you’re on that path, I’ll keep you inspired and lifted up through the goal-reaching process.
The New Year is a great time to start a private health coaching program to embark on your personal health journey.
OR you can sign up for the Winter Nutritional Reset— a 14 Day Paleo cleanse that gets you back into your health food routine after the holidays.
As always, feel free to email me if you have any questions, or if you need some support.