2014 is just around the corner. This is the time of year when many people start to think about making New Year’s resolutions. Are you one of them? So often our resolutions are unsuccessful because we fail to plan how we will achieve our goals. Sure, we say we want “to get healthy,” or we want “to lose weight,” but we don’t consider the specific goal or plan how we will get there. One of my favorite quotes is, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” I honestly don’t know who said that, but whoever it was has probably been down the road of an unsuccessful attempt at a goal before (raising my hand!). So, if you really want to succeed at your New Year’s resolutions this year, take a look at some of these tips for setting your goals, planning how you will get there, and rocking those results!
Let’s say you have a goal to eat healthy this year. Sounds great, but what does that really mean? It’s important to think about what this goal looks like to you. I have my idea of what eating healthy is, but I bet your idea is completely different. So what do you think healthy eating would entail for you? Maybe you would like to stop drinking soda, or perhaps you want to eat more leafy green vegetables. Do you want to gluten-free, become a vegetarian, or give up McDonald’s? Whatever “healthy eating” means to you, make that your goal. Be specific. “This year, I want to give up McDonald’s, stop drinking soda, and eat more leafy green vegetables.”
Okay, great! I’m grinning ear to ear because that’s a fantastic place to start! Now what… first of all, it’s better to begin by doing a little research. If you aren’t very familiar with leafy greens, you might want to start out by finding out a little bit about the greens you’ll be incorporating into your diet. After all, there are lots of leafy green veggies in the market. Walk through the produce section and see what catches your eye. Which ones look appealing? Do you want to start with green salad, or cooked greens? Maybe you would like to try juicing. Ask your friends which greens they like best. Do an internet search, or ask the produce manager about the different types of greens available. Then experiment. See what you like. You might decide to grow some greens in pots around your house. See where it takes you. Voila! You’ve already achieved part of your goal! Go you!
Now that you’ve got that part out of the way, let’s talk about the soda and McDonald’s. These types of goals are typically a little harder for most people because they involve some level of willpower. Depending how much you love soda and McDonald’s, you may actually perceive this as deprivation. One really great technique to help you get past the feeling of loss that some people feel when they give up something they enjoy is to replace it with something new. If you crave a Big Mac for lunch, you might try replacing it with a great lunch from home. I would suggest something really flavorful and satisfying, like a burger without the bun and some really great toppings. Add a big salad on the side. Make sure you add in healthy fats to help satisfy your appetite. If the fizziness of soda is what you crave, maybe some club soda or seltzer water with fruit will help get you over the craving. If it’s the caffeine that you want, try some tea or another caffeinated beverage. Do this in gradual steps…try it every other day at first. Baby steps are best. Talk to your friends and family about what you are doing. This will build accountability, and they can provide support for you.
Finally, as you take steps toward reaching your goals, celebrate! Pat yourself on the back; you deserve it! It doesn’t have to cost money…simply taking the time to acknowledge your success is motivating and will make you feel great. Best wishes to you all in the New Year! 2014 is going to be the best year yet!
I would love to chat about your New Year’s resolutions here! Leave me a comment and let’s hear all about those goals!