What’s one of the top resolutions? Weight loss, of course. Unfortunately, only one out of five Americans sticks to their resolutions.
So what’s the problem?
Lack of planning and motivation, poor activity choices and impatience can be blamed for the failure rate of weight loss resolutions. Many of these decisions to lose weight for the New Year are made on a whim. Thanksgiving comes around and you end up eating way too much food. Then you slow it down to shop for the holidays and then what? You end up eating even more at Christmas and say “That’s it. I’m shaping up for the New Year!” Then, the New Year rolls around and before you know it, you are discouraged because you don’t see the results right away.
Plan the Right Way
In order to NOT fail miserably and make your goals a success, you have to make them SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
- Specific — Be as specific as possible, for example, you will work out twice a week for 30 minutes, not just that you will start to workout.
- Measurable — This can be objective or subjective. An example of a measurable goal may be to get to the top of the stairs in your apartment building without being out of breath.
- Attainable — Don’t make your goal one that’s extremely easy to reach, but don’t make it impossible to attain either. You wouldn’t say you’re going to lose 20 pounds in one month. What you could say is you will lose at least 1 pound a week for the next 6 months. Unrealistic goals only serve to be discouraging.
- Relevant — Your activity needs to complement your goal. For example, if you want to be able to walk up the stairs without being out of breath then you would spend time on the treadmill or doing any other type of cardiovascular activity.
- Time-Bound — Whether it is a short-term goal or a long-term goal, you must have an end date. Instead of saying you will lose weight by the summer say by July 1, for example.
How to Keep Your Motivation
So, now that you have set your goals how do you keep your motivation? Well, here are a few suggestions:
- Buy that dress that should fit you once you reach your weight loss goal. Hang it up where you will see it every morning for inspiration.
- Reward yourself with little things along the way, but not too much. For example, go to the nail salon or the spa, hit the mall to catch those sales. Don’t make it a habit to reward yourself with food. Still eating certain foods in moderation is fine, but don’t fall into the trap of a food reward system.
- Put your favorite music on your mp3 player to listen to while you workout.
- Have a realistic body type in mind that you like? Find that picture, cut it out, and put it up where you will see it every day.
- Grab a workout buddy! You can motivate each other.
- Plan to try new foods – make it a point to try something new and healthy at least once a week to complement the healthy, familiar foods you are already eating.
Do What You Like
Choose an activity that you will likely stick to. For example, if you love to be outdoors then take a walk around the block for your workout. Maybe even pick up the pace and jog if you’re feeling up to it. If you love to dance, then turn on your favorite music and dance around the house. Do what you like; it’s your workout!
Last, but not least, be patient
You may have put the pounds on overnight (or at least it seems like that), but you are certainly not going to lose the weight overnight. As long as you make your goals SMART, maintain your motivation and choose an activity you really enjoy, you will definitely see the progress by the time your deadline arrives.
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