January 1st can be a great time for reflection and goal setting.
Really anytime can be.
Birthdays are a good one. Beginning of any month. The start of a season. Monday.
No matter the day, the feeling is the same—renewal and hope.
I love those feelings. Clean slate. The whole year/month/day ahead of you.
Many of us want to act on that feeling—let’s get stuff done!
But we have all had the experience of that feeling fading and the weight of our current life dragging us down and making progress seem difficult.
The good news is there are things we can do to increase the chances of accomplishing our goals.
I watched a presentation on setting and achieving your goals for the New Year by Michael Hyatt (He’s a successful leadership mentor for many—check him out at MichaelHyatt.com for some great goal setting and organization tools).
Among others, he discussed these 3 tips for increasing the chance of achieving your goals:
1. Write the goal down. On a piece of paper. And put it somewhere you will see it daily. This is huge. He quoted a 42% increased chance of achieving the goal.
2. Be specific. “Sleep more” is not as successful as “get to sleep by 10pm each night”.
3. Make it measurable. Track your progress and you are more likely to stick to it and keep motivated. Example: Tick off the days you make it to bed on time.
Let’s apply this to weight loss:
Write down a goal. Be specific. And make it measurable.
Now, we usually think of a number on the scale as a specific and measurable goal when deciding to lose weight, but I invite you to choose something even better—a behavior that will become a habit that will support your long-term goal of a healthy life.
“I will keep a food log in My Fitness Pal”
“I will move my body 4 out of 7 days a week”
“I will bring my lunch to work 4 out of 5 days a week”
“I will limit my wine to 2 nights a week”
Because isn’t the real goal to get to a healthy weight and stay there? To be and feel healthy forever?
Having a number as a goal invites “at any cost” tactics. Often not sustainable.
Behavior goals ease you to your desired weight in a way that ends up feeling “natural”. And they are more likely to stick around a long, long time.
Choose one at a time. Really make it happen. Figure it out.
Then move to the next one that makes sense.
Once you’re logging your food easily, add the brown bag lunch goal. Once that's ingrained, start an exercise plan.
What a year 2018 will have been when healthy habits are in place. What will be possible for 2019?!