Woman writing down goals for herself.

We are just a few days into 2021. Like many people around the world you may have made a “New Year’s Resolution”… this year is going to be different. Sadly, 92% of people don’t keep their resolutions. An 8% success rate is a hard pill to swallow. With those odds maybe you are asking yourself, “Why should I even try?”

With any change you make, big or small there are few things that need some simple clarification first.

First of all, you need to ask yourself, “What is success?” This looks different for everyone. The definition of success from our friends at Merriam-Webster (For anyone under 30, that’s a dictionary. You look up words in them to find their definition.) defines success as a degree or measure of succeeding.

Sometimes success looks like not having a cookie with your coffee. For some it’s going for a walk, maybe you smoked half a pack of cigarettes today or you spent 20 minutes meditating. Often times we set lofty goals and go all out. We make dynamic changes… the whole new year, new me mentality. But guess what, you are still you. Extreme change is uncomfortable. In fact, it’s too uncomfortable.

The second question to ask yourself is, “What are my goals?” These goals can be one day at a time, a week, a month or for the entire year. In my experience, I set a long-term goal and break it up into smaller incremental goals which have a huge positive impact on motivation. This applies to any goal. You may want to run a 5k, get off of your blood pressure, get a new job, spend time with friends or volunteer more. Your goals don’t have to be just health-related.

Third and probably most important is, “How am I going to do achieve my goal?” This is typically where most people (myself included) slip up. You woke up on January 1; you are going to start a new chapter and start on a path toward your goal. Consistency is the best advice anyone can give you when it comes to making improvements and change. You’ve spent your whole life building who you are today. It’s going to take more than a resolution to change your habits. It will take a long time, and there are no shortcuts.

Now what? Sit down with a pen and paper. Write down your goal at the top of the page, give yourself a deadline if you think it will help. Now write down the manageable steps you will take to accomplish them. Now write down the days of the week on their own line down the page and beside each day write down something specific to that day

For example:

Goal: Lose 20 lbs. by July

Eat more protein and vegetables, be more active, get quality sleep

Monday – lift weights and do 20 minutes of cardio

Tuesday – go on a 30-minute walk before work

Wednesday – lift weights and do 20 minutes of cardio

Thursday – play basketball after work

Friday – lift weights and do 20 minutes of cardio

Saturday – Go for a hike

Sunday – meal prep for the week

Don’t compare your success with anyone else’s. We are all a little different. Everyone has that skinny friend who is constantly snacking and doesn’t gain weight, but I look at a brownie and need to loosen my belt. Some people can drop weight quickly, some can kick an old habit cold turkey, but you are not them. Prepare yourself for mistakes, falling off of the wagon and quite possibly a complete implosion. Guess what… that’s alright. Forgive yourself and start again. Making change is a daily choice to be different than who you were. The only way you can fail your resolution is by not restarting.

We are here for you and want 2021 to be the most successful year of your life. We hope this will aid you in your quest to make some changes. If you would like to learn more about training, nutrition, and more contact us today, and see what the YMCA can do to help you achieve your goals.