We’ve all been there. It’s January 1st and the added holiday weight from those Christmas cookies means a few extra unwanted pounds.
The jeans suddenly aren’t fitting and that summer vacation to Cabo in six months will here sooner than you can say “speedo.”
Time to dust off the tried and true New Year’s Resolution of the seemingly endless struggle to commit to the game of weight loss.
Perhaps you even took the extra, and appropriate scientifically-proven method, of charting out your goals and determining a roadmap to success that will allow for measurable progress on a deadline.
The game plan is in place. The marching orders delivered. And for a good three or four weeks it is all about vigilance towards dropping 10 to 15 pounds before May.
Until February rolls around and you’ve been launched into real life challenges like the office project that has you spending a few extra hours at the office, a random bout of the fly or a family emergency.
To compensate, the workouts fall off the calendar. Those healthy packed and prepared lunches of salads and leftovers from last night’s culinary brilliance turns into takeout so you can take a working lunch. The workout sessions after work disappear, too.
You’ve fallen off the proverbial wagon harder than taking a bludger to the face on the Quidditch field.
The University of Scranton determined that only about 8-percent of people see their New Year’s Resolutions all the way through completion.
This is a big reason why I don’t advocate the old school method of belching out some bullshit pledge during a drunken moment at a party while the ball drops to bring in the new year.
Instead, I encourage a much more organized process of mapping out goals and finding measurable markers and deadlines to ensure completion through SMART Goals – Specific, Measurable, Accountable, Reasonable and Time-oriented (i.e., have a deadline).
Failure is a part of life. Once we accept it and appreciate it, we can go about the business of dominating our obstacles and crushing the game of life.
Here are five strategies to teach you how to reset your goals and get back in the game to start winning again:
Focus on small wins
You know what’s better than 0-percent? One percent. You know what’s better than 1-percent? Two percent. And so on and so forth.
Even though it may seem small and meaningless, small victories add up over time and and can lead to major wins.
If you’ve lost sight of the goal and fallen off the wagon, the best way to get back to crushing again is by shifting the goal for the smallest victory possible.
If you’ve stopped working out, don’t worry about hitting the gym for a marathon session to make up for lost time. Instead do whatever you can to simply get moving again.
- Maybe it’s a 10-minute interval based session on a stationary bike.
- Perhaps it’s 15 minutes of pushups, squats and pullups.
- Or maybe it’s a 20-minute walk around the block after dinner.
Whatever it is that will get you thinking about that big pie in the sky dream and have you motivated towards achieving goals again, that’s a win. It’s better than you did yesterday. And tomorrow, you’ll do better than you did today.
Big victories can come from minor wins.
Schedule your habits
Time is our most precious commodity. We can always make more money. We can always find more food. But until the real life Doc Brown redesigns the DeLorean, we aren’t going back in time to make up for our mistakes.
Be meticulous with your calendar. The more dialed in and organized we are with the time we have throughout our day, the more freedom we will ultimately have.
My point is if your schedule is iron clad, than there can be no excuses to spend that extra 20-30 minutes every day to get one step closer to your goal.
There is time in the day. Block off a few hours on a weekend and start looking into your daily grind. Be honest with yourself and budget your time harder than an accountant.
- Trying to lose weight? Schedule your workouts into your calendar.
- Attempting to get more into meditation and mindfulness? Set reminders throughout the day to pause for mindfulness and deep breathing.
- Writing a book? Wake up 20 minutes earlier and make a contract to write for 15 minutes.
Create a schedule and do whatever you can to stick to that schedule. No matter how small the blocks of times work out for you, it all adds up to big changes over time.
Find an accountability partner
Find a partner that will you hold you to a similar set of accountability.
Blast out a message to your friends and family on Facebook. Text your bestie and tell her to follow along in the journey. Start a blog and publish continuous updates on your progress.
Accountability can come from multiple sources. It can be tough love or even play the nice cop roll.
Whatever it is that gets you matriculating towards dominating those lofty goals, do it.
Reevaluate your successes
Sometimes we aim a little too high in the sky for what we can reasonably achieve in the amount of time we’ve determined.
It’s okay to realize that maybe losing 20 pounds in four weeks is not going to be humanly possible if you can only manage to workout once or twice a week and haven’t really figured out how to eat a proper diet based on proper nutrient intake.
Maybe it’s unreasonable to believe that writing that manuscript by summertime is not going to happen with just 20 minutes per day to write and research.
It’s totally acceptable to take a step back every once in awhile and make tweaks to the plan whenever an adjustment is needed.
Don’t ever be afraid to check back in with your goals and see if you can make slight adjustments to the overall metric or deadline to make it work for you.
Care about the goal
Perhaps the reason why you are missing out on whatever new habit or goal you’re working towards is because you really just don’t care.
Search your feelings, young Skywalker, you know it to be true.
It could be a hard pill to swallow, but sometimes we just started a project or goal because of peer pressure or simply because we thought it looked cool on TV when [insert celeb] did it on her reality show.
While we tend to have a little more time in the day then we’d like to actually admit, it doesn’t mean that our time is not precious. It’s important to treat it as such.
Don’t spend that extra valuable time by wasting it on something that you only half-heartedly want to achieve.
Be passionate about your goals.
Love your goals and love your journey to complete them. It’ll all pay off so much better in the long run.
Forming new habits is not easy.
Sometimes it’s just going to be really hard to start a new fitness plan, manage a budget or quit smoking. The key is to anticipate the shortcomings and the setbacks and the obstacles and realize that they are all just part of the journey.
When you do overcome those challenges and look back at the adventure a year from now, you’ll appreciate the battle scars that helped you finally crush your dreams and goals.
This post originally published at PeteCataldo.com
Photo courtesy: Glenn Carstens-Peters at Unsplash