2017 is going to be a great year. Your resolution is to get healthy, so you bought a gym membership, new workout clothes, and a giant tub of protein powder. You’re ready!
You arrive at the gym and circle the parking lot for 10 minutes until you finally find a spot. You hurry inside, excited for your first spin class, but quickly discover that all of the bikes are taken. You sigh, get on the only available treadmill, and force yourself to keep moving for 40 minutes. It’s not fun, but once you’re done, you’ve worked up a sweat. You decide to try your protein shake, but after one sip you wish you hadn’t bought that giant tub. It’s terrible!
After a few weeks, your attendance at the gym is dropping off, and you only sporadically remember that you even set that resolution. You’ll work out when the gym is less crowded. Or maybe when the weather is nicer.
Sound familiar? This scenario is common, but there’s something you can do about it!
Here are 5 steps to take to stick to your resolutions in 2017:
1. Envision your best future.
Instead of setting a generic resolution, start by figuring out what’s truly important to you. Take some time to envision what you want your future to look like. Close your eyes and imagine yourself at your best, a year or so from now. Think about the following things:
- How do you feel?
- Who are you with?
- What do you look like?
- Where are you?
Visualize as much detail as possible. If you see yourself somewhere sunny, try to feel the warmth of the sun on your face. Imagine how your clothes feel on your body or how the breeze feels on your skin. When you feel a strong connection to your vision, write it down. For more help with this exercise, check out my article on creating a wellness vision.
2. Break it down into steps.
Establishing your vision is a great place to start, but it’s important not to stop there. A year can seem far away, so it’s easy to put off taking the first steps. To increase your motivation, think about what you’d like to accomplish three months from now in order to move toward your vision. Write down some concrete goals that you feel confident you could achieve in that time frame.
3. Set weekly goals.
As French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, a goal without a plan is just a wish. In order to accomplish your 3-month goals, you need to have a plan that includes smaller weekly goals. Each week, choose 3-4 goals that will help you make progress toward both your longer term goals and your vision. Using the following SMART goal framework will increase your chances of success:
Specific – What exactly do you want to achieve?
Measurable – How will you know when you’ve achieved it?
Achievable – Is it reasonable enough to be accomplished?
Relevant – Is it worthwhile and will it meet your needs?
Timely – Do you have a time frame?
4. Track your progress.
Losing sight of or doubting your progress hurts your motivation. Track it by using a notebook or journal to write down your weekly goals. At the end of the week, reflect on your experience and use it to help you set new goals that work for you. If you don’t accomplish a goal, don’t worry! Simply look at the challenges you had and readjust the goal to help you be more successful next time. Anytime you feel stuck, use your journal to look back at all you’ve accomplished. (Try one of the Goal Setting Worksheets on my Resources page for more help).
5. Celebrate your successes.
Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back as you achieve your goals and accomplish what you set your mind to. Each and every step toward your vision of your best self is one to celebrate!
Follow the steps above and create the life you want in 2017! You’ll be amazed at what you can do when you turn your resolutions into a clear vision with a solid plan for achieving it.
If you’d like additional guidance, be sure to listen to my interview on the Fitlandia podcast (it’s episode 13), check out my article on goal setting, or contact me for a free 30-minute intro session.