Create a Plan (that actually works) to Reach Your Exercise and Diet Goals!

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Resolutions. The vast majority fail at achieving.

We’ve all been there, probably several times. The first few weeks we are gung ho, super excited! Around week four or five, life happens and our new habits die. We see this as failure and we give up until we find a new spark months later.

The problem isn’t your sparkly goal. It’s the lack of a proper plan.

1. What do you wish to achieve?

Be specific. Instead of wanting to lose weight or walk more, be more concrete, “I want to lose X pounds or walk 9,000 steps daily”.

2. Get clear about exactly why?

Why do you desire that? Like a toddler, ask yourself repeatedly why.

My why is to look good in my jeans and swimwear. Because when I look good in my clothes, I have a better experience in the fitting room. When I look good, I feel good. The deeper you can dial this in, you’ll be more motivated to choose a salad instead of a burger, or go to the gym instead of watching NetFlix.

3. Establish behavior goals.

What actions are you willing to take to achieve? Make a list. Then pick two or three you know you can implement easily.

It’s important to start with smaller, attainable action steps to set yourself up for the WIN. And don’t deprive yourself. Instead of removing carbs from your diet (who the heck wants to live like that!?), add more veggies.

4.Write down your intentions.

Research shows the physical act of writing your specific goals leads to a higher level of both commitment and achievement. I will do X to achieve Y by a certain date.

Let’s say you want to increase your step count. Maybe you set the intention to walk 20 minutes a day during your lunch break. Then you think through and remember that Wednesday meetings run through lunch. So you start with a goal to walk four times a week instead of five.

5. Reward yourself.

In order for your habit to stick, it must have immediate rewards. Food rewards are out. We aren’t stopping for cheese fries every day after a workout, unless of course your goal is to eat cheese fries. BUT, if you’re like most, your goal is to somehow improve your weight, how you look in the mirror and how you feel about yourself.

The best rewards are intrinsic, the ones you feel, not the ones you buy. How did you feel after lifting weights? The pride you feel after completing five workouts this week? Or ordering a salad at lunch instead of the cheeseburger?

Of course, extrinsic rewards are fun too! Maybe a manicure if you eat protein with each meal? Or a new pair of jeans when you lose X amount of inches?

Creating and noticing the rewards felt when implementing a new habit will build positive associations in your brain with the activity. Simply, you’ll soon start looking forward to your sweat session instead of dreading.

6. Set yourself up for success.

We humans are weak to the same old stories we tell ourselves, simply because we’ve reinforced the old habit over and over until it becomes second nature. Willpower is like a muscle, it can fatigue like your body does performing 100 burpees!

Instead set yourself and your environment up for the least amount of temptations. Maybe remove the Oreos from the cupboard for a few weeks. Don’t buy soda at the grocery store.

Then there’s your support system. There are going to be people, people you are close with, that won’t support your new goals. Community and support from like-minded people will encourage your desired behavior until it becomes a normal behavior. You’ll forge new friendships and your new habit will finally stick!

7. Control the controllables.

The question isn’t when are you going to screw up, it’s what will you do when you do. We are human and get tempted. When you do screw up, remember, just do the next thing. We aren’t perfect. We can’t control what happened in the past. Just start over at the very next meal or workout. Do not beat yourself up!

In the comments below, I’d love to know your goals for 2019! And if you’d like a group of supportive women to cheer you on this year, join our Facebook community.

Lori MusselmanComment