Stay on Track: A Week-Long Series
Today begins a week-long series on my blog dedicated to staying on track. By building a solid, fail-proof plan, we’ll find ways to keep your long-anticipated New Year’s Resolutions going throughout 2011. Let’s concentrate on how to stay focused in the weeks and months ahead.
VISUALIZE: Having constant little reminders throughout your day will help you keep your eyes on the prize:
- Post a photo of your goal on the fridge. Scour magazines, check out old photo albums or draw a picture of your ideal body.
- In your own words, write down your specific goal and post it on your bulletin board or computer screensaver.
- Take a before photo and store it in a safe place for reference. When you’re discouraged in a month, go back and look at it for re-motivation.
COMMIT to your goal.
- Write up a contract and sign it, getting a friend to witness your pact with yourself. Store it with the ‘before’ photo.
- Tell your friends about your idea. The more people you share it with, the deeper you are in your commitment, the more support you’ll have.
- Get rid of the junk in your home: many people don’t realize the roadblocks they have in their cupboards: alcohol, chocolate, cheesy crackers. If you don’t have it, you won’t eat it!
PLAN: Organize your life and map out your goal, step by step:
- Take your overall goal (6-12 months) and split it into smaller goals (6-12 weeks). Within those, break it down further (weekly) and choose a mini-goal each week. Maybe it’s as simple as, “I will lose 1/2 pound each week” or “I will not drink alcohol for the month of February” or “I will run 12 miles/week for the first 6 weeks”
- Plan your week’s food. Stick to the groceries on your list and shop just once/week to avoid impulse purchases. If you must eat out, check the restaurant’s menu online and decide your order before you arrive hungry.
- Plan your week’s exercise. If you have a work meeting Wednesday evening, get to the gym in the morning.
- Keep a food & exercise log to track calories in vs. calories out!
CHALLENGE: The only way your body will change is if you take it out of its comfort zone. Insanity is doing the same thing over & over again and expecting a different result:
- Add a few sprints to your cardio routine
- Grab heavier weights during your strength training sessions
- Try something different to mix it up: Spin Class, Kettlebells, Power Yoga
THE FUN FACTOR: If you dread it, why bother?! Make it fun!
- Instead of happy hour, get your friends together for a power walk in the park
- Take up tango lessons with your partner
- Buy a bike and explore your community on weekends
- Take up rockclimbing or hiking: enjoy the great outdoors
- Make it sexy! Pole dance!
INVESTMENT: Spend a little money on yourself. If you put a little green into your goal, you’re twice as likely to stick to it:
- Schedule weekly sessions with a trainer
- Find a good dietitian or nutritionist and get a solid eating plan
- Subscribe to an inspirational healthy living magazine
- Join a fitness center or local running club
REWARD: When you accomplish your smaller, 6-week goal, reward yourself:
- Treat yourself to a massage, mani/pedi or that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing.
- After each accomplishment, call a friend and share your news. Ain’t nothin’ like a little positive reinforcement!
- When you’ve reached your final goal, book a trip to the beach. Show it off! Buy yourself a new bikini and flaunt it!
Get rid of the junk in your life. That goes for the chips in the cupboard, the cheating boyfriend, the ‘takers’ in your life or the bad debt weighing on your shoulders. Leave it all behind.