"I will provide you with tips on setting goals for your nutrition and exercise that will LAST"
First, I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year! May your year be filled with joy, health, happiness, prosperity, and of course, a good amount of exercise :)
So here we are again, another year in the books, another January 1st to create those resolutions. To be honest, I'm not big on New Years resolutions, for many reasons, but this time of year can be a useful time to reflect, both on the successes and failures of the previous year. A time to plan for year ahead. A time to realize what needs to happen to get you where you want to be...
An important piece of that puzzle is to set goals for yourself. Of course, those can vary from personal to career oriented, but today I will provide you with tips on setting goals for your nutrition and exercise that will LAST.
A big reason why a lot of resolutions fail is either one of 2 things:
They are unrealistic and difficult to attain
There is no plan in place to achieve them
1. Unrealistic Goals
"I want to lose 20lbs in 10 days"
"I want to get my bodyfat down to 10% in a month"
"I want this midsection to go away overnight"
Now, I'm all for aiming high and dreaming big, but when it comes to health (specifically weight loss or body composition) change takes time. I know, not what you want to hear, but you can't undo years of poor eating and limited exercise in a few days or months.
So, how do you stay motivated and stay consistent?
Create realistic, manageable goals (Especially if you've taken some time off or haven't made your health a priority recently) Too lofty of a goal may lead to disappointment, which may lead to giving up all together.
For long term success, it will be helpful to also set realistic expectations. This will keep you motivated and focused, rather than defeated and moving on to the new fad or quick fix.
Create behavior goals rather than outcome goals. Example: I will eat till satisfied (until stuffed) at each meal vs I want to lose 10lbs. You can’t make your body do what you want it to, but you can control what you do.
That’s why behavior goals are so important: They focus on the things we do have control over. Behavior goals represent your commitment to practice a particular set of actions or tasks every day, as consistently and regularly as possible.
2. No Plan in Place
Great, we have a goal, now what? Take Action! But what action should I take?
The biggest things that you must work on to achieve your goals are:
1. The skills to attain those goals
2. What daily practices will help build those skills?
Example Goal: Lose 20lbs
1. Hunger/appetite awareness
2. Eat whole foods consistently
3. Minimize processed carbs and fats consistently
4. Systematically plan healthy meals
1. Eat Slowly; eat until satisfied not stuffed
2. Eat lean protein with each meal; eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies
3. Make smart carb choices; Eat healthy fats
4. Plan meals in advance; Record what you eat
Again, a big focus on the behaviors, not the outcome. I hope this brings some insight as you set your goals for 2019. As always, if you need some guidance or don't know where to start, please feel free to call or message me. Also, I would love to hear your goals for the New Year! Reach out and send them my way.
References: Precision Nutrition Coaching [Infographic]. Berardi, John, Ph.D. <https://www.precisionnutrition.com/pn-coaching-secrets-revealed-infographic>