The New Year is here, and with it comes the season of resolutions. If you’re among the 41-percent of Americans setting a new goal come Jan. 1, it’s important to create and follow a well-informed plan to ensure you stay on the straight and narrow path to success. To help guide you, here’s a list of proven practices to help you hit your benchmarks this January, and beyond:
Set a Specific Goal
As a rule of thumb, if you can’t measure it, it’s probably not a good resolution. Too often, people set vague and ambiguous goals, which is one of the primary reasons only 9-percent of people feel they’re successful in achieving their annual resolutions.
To avoid this common pitfall, be very specific when you set your goals. So, if your goal is to lose weight, set a specific number of pounds you want to drop (e.g., lose 5 pounds) and the time-frame you plan to reach that benchmark (e.g., eight weeks). Keeping those specific numbers top-of-mind will give you a substantive milestone that will help you keep your eye on the prize.
Track Your Progress
Once you’ve set a tangible goal, you need to identify a process for tracking your progress. Whether it’s a physical activity tracker or a budget managing app, you need to see substantive changes that align with your specific goals. Also, seeing every little win on your way to a larger goal is a great way to stay motivated.
If you’re among the 32-percent of people focused on weight loss, get a scale and a food tracker (e.g., MyFitnessPal) to monitor your progress. Or, if your resolution is focused on your finances, create a spreadsheet to track your budget or download a user-friendly mobile app. Either way, connecting the dots between your efforts and the results they yield will help you create healthy habits that last.
Eliminate Environmental Triggers
From the size and shape of your plates to the support (or lack thereof) that your peers provide, research consistently tells us that environmental factors have a major impact on our daily decisions, and the habits they create over time. So, if you’re looking to make a major change in 2019, it’s time to assess your surroundings and eliminate any unhealthy triggers that may be subconsciously contributing to your bad habits.
If your goal is to lose weight, then consider eating dinner off smaller plates and watching less TV, as both of these habits have shown to be correlated with long-term weight loss. If your goal is to save more money, avoid perusing Amazon or hitting the mall when you’re stressed (aka retail therapy), as you’re more susceptible to make impulse purchases at those times.
Simplify the Process
When you begin your journey, it may be tempting to personally take every challenge. But the fact is that’s just not feasible, and there are a variety of professional services that can assist with your efforts, ensuring you don’t get burned out. So, as the famous saying goes, keep it simple, stupid.
For the fitness and weight loss crowd, Factor is one of the services that can help make your mission easier! Every meal on the menu is nutritionally optimized by our on-staff dietitians and cooked by our team of gourmet chefs, ensuring taste and quality. What’s more, the meals are delivered weekly to your doorstep, ready to eat!
Plan for Setbacks
Optimism is abundant in the first week of January, but as more people give up it can be easy to follow suit and surrender to old bad habits. Especially if you fail to follow-through a few times. But just remember, perfection is not obtainable. Don’t focus on your failures and plan for occasional setbacks – you’re only human. Instead, relish the prospect of coming back stronger the next day.
If your goal was to work out for 45 minutes six days a week and you fall short in week two, don’t give up! Odds are, you’re still probably working out more than you were in December, and that’s nothing to turn your nose up at! Bounce back the next week and make it all six days. Of course, planning for setbacks and procrastination are two entirely different things, so be honest with yourself too.