At ThirtyTwo Dental we not only care about the oral health of our patients, we care about their overall health. This month we have feature blogger Anna Morris chatting about how to set fitness goals after this year’s holiday cheer.
Anna Morris holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and has 10 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. Anna is a Pre and Post Natal Exercise Specialist, Holistic Nutritionist (in training), and an Alberta Bodybuilding Association (ABBA) bikini competitor. Anna is also a personal trainer and group instructor at Body By Bennett in Edmonton, AB.
Today I want to talk about something scarier than a root canal – New Year’s resolutions! If you are like the majority of the population, you probably have a healthy dread of this term. We all tend to overindulge during the holidays, so when January rolls around we abruptly awaken from our wine and gravy-induced coma with a pesky, nagging feeling.
So now it’s time for a total health overhaul, but where should we start?
Well, what if I told you that New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be overwhelming? After working with hundreds of clients to achieve their health and fitness goals, I’ve come up with some tried-and-true tips for goal setting success. Today, I am sharing them with you:
1. Ditch The Guilt
First and foremost, don’t start towards your positive goal from a negative place. It’s counterproductive to waste time on destructive self-talk. Instead, begin by asking yourself why you are feeling guilty:
Did you eat too much over the holidays? Okay.
Haven’t seen the inside of a gym since high school? Fine.
Ten pounds heavier than you want to be? No worries.
It doesn’t matter where you are starting from, it only matters that you are starting. There are many people that never even get that far, so be proud! If you can accept and appreciate where you are now, you can enjoy the rest of your journey towards where you’d like to be.
2. Never Mind The Naysayers
Be prepared for people who question your decision to change. This might be your partner, close friends, or even your family. Often, people don’t understand this change, which may leave them feeling jealous or left out. Begin by trying to explain why this journey is important to you and how much you’d love their support. Always remember that your health is yours alone and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Just keep doing your thing. And hey, eventually these people will probably be congratulating you.
3. Make It Realistically Challenging
Your chance of success is much greater if you set smaller, more achievable short-term goals. After you reach the more immediate objectives, work your way up to a long-term one. For instance, if you have a 20-pound weight loss target, don’t expect to achieve that in two weeks. You can, however, set a healthy weight loss goal of one to two pounds per week (until you reach 20 pounds!). The great part about gradual progression is that it is not only easier on your body and mind, but it is more likely to leave you with lasting results.
4. Shout It From The Rooftops
Want to ensure better success? Communicate to yourself and others about what you plan to do. For accountability, write your goals down. For even more, tell someone. Better yet, tell everyone! This is exciting, so get excited!
5. Scary Is Good
Let’s face it, making a lifestyle change can be terrifying. But anything worthwhile is scary, right? Graduating from school. Embarking on a new career. Getting married. Moving to a new city. Becoming a parent.
So when you’re scared, ask yourself, what is the worst-case scenario if a) you fail to meet your goal or b) you succeed? It might surprise you that many of us are just as scared of success as we are of failure. And ironically, sometimes understanding our fears a little better can help to ease them. Take some time to address these head on, then pull-up your socks, get brave, and get to work.
6. Failure Is Not An Option. It’s A Necessity.
Yes, you read that correctly. If you’re working towards a big goal, you will fail along the way. This is a normal part of the process. Don’t freak out. Make failure part of your plan for success, and that way it cannot stop you.
For instance, if you are following a healthy meal plan, try including preemptive cheats. These are pre-planned “not-so-healthy” meals or snacks that you have already scheduled, planned, and accounted for. This way you can enjoy them and continue on your path without getting derailed.
7. Ask For Help
You don’t have to do everything by yourself. Sometimes you need help, even if it’s just a ride to the gym, daycare for your kid, recipe ideas, or a workout buddy. Don’t assume that no one wants to help you – ask them! You’ll be surprised how generous people can be if you simply allow it.
Reaching your goals is not rocket science, and it’s not magic. The secret to success is consistent hard work over time, a bit of good planning and bravery, and a little help from your friends.
Cheers to a happy and healthy 2016!