If you’re like most of us, you probably started 2022 with lofty goals and great enthusiasm. You felt optimistic that you were going to stick to your resolutions this time around and reach your health goals. Perhaps you’d wake up every morning and hit the gym before you were due at work. Maybe you started taking walks in the evening. Or started following a strict diet plan with dishes that are supposed to be healthy, but ones you never liked. Somewhere down the line, you got a little lax with your goals. What can the occasional cheat meal or skipping workouts do after all? You can always start tomorrow.
Before you knew it though, those days became the norm, and you were off the plan! And maybe, you’re feeling just a little guilty because you let yourself down.
If any of the above sounds true, fret not as you’re not alone. Here are some statistics – about 45% of Americans make at least one resolution in January, but only 8% will stick to them. And 73% of people making fitness resolutions don’t follow through with their goals! Its like being on a hamster wheel; we are filled with guilt when we watch ourselves fall behind on our goals, and yet we keep setting new year resolutions.
We’re all on the same boat!
Motivation and its role in program adherence
Here’s a fact about motivation; its always in a state of flux. Our willpower ebbs and flows on an almost daily basis. There are so many factors (physical and mental) that affect our motivation.
It takes a lot more than willpower to stick to our goals.
What are the common reasons why people fall behind on their goals?
Lack of time, mounting work pressure, lack of sleep, family commitments are a few of the deterrents. We’re always multitasking, juggling more tasks than our working memory can hold, and setting too many goals at once. We think unless we aim high, we’re not doing enough.
This is where SMART goal setting comes in. SMART stands for:
- Relevant and
- Time bound
Your goals shouldn’t be vague. They should be clear and specific, motivate you from within, be practical and suitable in your situation. They should also have a timeframe. The more guesswork you take out of the process, the easier it’ll get for you to stick to. Most importantly, it should be something that is fun and makes you look forward to doing it every day.
Get crystal clear on your ‘why’
Let’s unpack your emotions and get to the source of your intention. What is making you set these resolutions in the first place, when you know they haven’t historically been very successful? For most people, it’s the desire to feel or do better: better health, more energy, better sleep, and better quality of life. So, what is your ‘why’?
The next step is to step into your future self and see how it’d feel to be comfortable in your own skin. To look in the mirror and love the person you see. How would it feel if you get a good night’s sleep, have reduced stress levels, eat clean whole foods, and actually look forward to your workouts every day?
When you’re crystal clear on your ‘why’, motivation becomes intrinsic and less dependent on outside factors.
Know that healthy living is an ongoing process and doesn’t end when you lose a certain number of pounds
Let’s set clear expectations. If you’re planning to completely change your life in a month, it likely won’t happen. Even if it does, it may not be sustainable in the long run. But, one month may be more than enough time for you to lay down a solid foundation that you can fall back on if you slip up in the future. Because let’s face it, all of us fall back on our goals from time to time. It’s a matter of how quickly we’re able to bounce back to baseline. When you have a solid foundation to begin with, you won’t feel like you’re starting from square one after every roadblock.
Focus on setting goals that seem reasonable enough to not feel daunting. Less is usually more in such situations. If you feel overwhelmed at the thought of working towards your goals, then its likely you won’t stick to it for long. After all, who wants to take part in a struggle every day, with the simplest tasks?
Get an accountability partner
Studies show that people who create a healthy lifestyle with a buddy or have an accountability partner do better than those who do it alone. Community matters and being in communication with your tribe members can motivate you to show up for yourself more frequently. Also, who doesn’t like to have a like minded group of individuals they can call upon when in need of support?
It can be an online group, a gym partner, or a family member or friend who’s on a similar journey like you. Not everyone understands our reasons for improving our health and creating a support system will make you feel less alone in the process.
Get professional help
Join a group coaching session, hire a personal trainer, or consult with a nutritionist. Or do a combination of all three! Having an expert to hold you accountable is like having your own cheerleader. You won’t feel overwhelmed with all the health and fitness information available online either. Experts are there for a reason, and sometimes getting in touch with one can be the toughest hurdle to overcome. But once you make it to the other side, it usually gets easier. Trust us on that!
So, what if you created your new year resolutions without clarifying your goals first? Now is a good time as any to revisit it! Its also the perfect time to re-evaluate the goals you had set earlier. Maybe they are working for you, but need some minor tweaks to suit you better? Even if you’re an expert at goal setting, you need to periodically evaluate your progress to see what’s working and what’s best left behind. Regularly reviewing your progress would also help you anticipate setbacks in the future. It’s a win-win really!
We know how difficult it is for women to put themselves first and make changes in one particular area without touching upon others. We keep this in mind while organizing our health retreats. When you join us for a retreat, you get to focus entirely on all aspects of YOUR health so that you see changes from the inside out. If you’d like to mix exploration and travel with health & wellness, check out our upcoming retreats here.
What is your favorite way to stick to your new year resolutions? Tell us in the comments below!