The main question that needs to be asked when someone makes a New Year's resolution goal is: why do they fail? They fail because they do not have a plan of attack. As someone told me, "Plan the work and then work the plan." You cannot do the opposite because you will set yourself up for failure. Losing weight because that is what all of your friends are doing is not your resolution, and if it is, then we need to make sure you follow the correct steps to set you up for success.
Making a New Year's resolution is the perfect time to set goals for the entire year and then plan how you are going to achieve them. Make a few resolution goals that you can strive to attain by focusing a little energy on each one every week or every other week. If your goal is to lose a certain amount of weight by the end of the year, then you need to have a game plan in place on how you are going to achieve that. In addition, you need to set some mile stone dates where you are going to re-evaluate your goals and make any changes that you think are necessary in achieving them by year end.
Here are rules to follow when picking your New Year's resolutions:
1. Pick more than one resolution. Make sure one of them is a fitness/health goal.
2. Write them down. Make sure they are in the present tense.
3. Read them. Read them every day either to yourself or out loud.
4. Share them. Share your resolution goals with three to four people who will ask you about them and hold you accountable in achieving them.
5. Post them. when you wake up in the morning and go to bed – just look at them (tape them on the inside of your medicine cabinet door or have them on your smart device or pad).
6. Create milestones. Create milestone markers that you can use to re-evaluate your progress or needs of improvement.
7. Small rewards. If you successfully achieve your milestones, reward yourself with a small token of hard work and discipline, but don't go overboard, you still have to complete the goal in its entirety.
8. Have fun. Enjoy the process of reaching your New Year's Resolutions goals.
An example would be if you wanted to fit in a certain pair of jeans by the end of the year. Your first assignment is to go out and buy that pair of jeans right after the Christmas Holiday. You are going to write that resolution down like it has already happened, "I wear a size 4 jean." I want you to share that resolution(s) with people that you associate with that will hold you accountable for accomplishing this goal, but also bring it to your attention when you are slacking. They are your cheerleaders and external conscious. You want to post your resolution goals somewhere that you can see them when you wake up and go to bed.
Also, you need to have dates of when you are going to re-evaluate the program you are on, is it working, what is not working, etc. Lastly, if you are on track and you have accomplished the milestones and you are reducing your jean size, then reward yourself with a small token, but don't overdo it because you have not completed your year-end resolution goal yet.
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Kisar S. Dhillon is a professional fitness trainer living in Portland, Oregon. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology, Post Baccalaureate Studies in Exercise Physiology and a Master's in Business Administration. He has more than 16 years experience in the health and fitness industry and is currently the owner of 1-2-1 Fitness, LLC. You can follow him on Twitter and on YouTube.