Part of a weekly series tackling the most commonly asked questions I get regarding food, nutrition, meal preparation, shopping, etc. If there’s something specific you would like to see covered, please leave a comment or send me a message!
For this week’s FAQ Friday post I’m going off one of the most frequently talked about topics right now: New Year’s resolutions surrounding diet and exercise. Hint, it’s not what you think.
Happy 2017! If you’re anything like me, you love the freshness of a new year; I love a clean slate, a new page turned and the closing of an old chapter. I don’t personally set New Year’s resolutions but I do know a lot of people that do, and I also know a lot of people who fall in the camp of the goal-setters.
I used to flounder somewhere in the middle; I hated setting goals but I failed at keeping New Year’s resolutions so I didn’t make those either. But what ended up happening is that, while I wasn’t making any grand statements or written plans, I was setting expectations in my head of things I wanted to be new and different and successful. I was mentally taking a stab at the “new year, new me” mantra without really creating any realistic steps to get there. Now, I don’t really believe in that mantra, but I think it’s a mindset that just comes with the season.
This year I set goals. I took a while to reflect on 2016 and set attainable goals for where I’d like to be at the end of 2017. They’re still aspirations in a way, but beyond those goals, I set maintainable action steps so that I can see exactly what I need to accomplish in order to reach those goals. Gone are the days of, “I’m going to start eating super clean,” or “I’m going to lose weight,” or “this year I’m going to work out super hard every day.” Maybe those actually are your goals, I’m not dogging on them. I’m just saying that they wouldn’t work for me, and without action steps, they likely wouldn’t work for everyone.
“Ok, so get to the point,” you’re probably thinking. I’ll get there, I’ll get there, but this is super important to making lasting changes in your life. When you set a goal it needs to be realistic, measurable, attainable, and fit into your current lifestyle – NOT the one that you hope to have, want to have, or will try to have. You have to work with what you’ve got in order to create achievable goals. The plan or end goal can always be adapted or modified.
You also need to have a really compelling reason for actually wanting this goal. Think of this as oxygen to a flame, without any the flame will go out almost instantaneously. You need to have gumption behind you in order to change or achieve most anything that’s worth it; you have to want it; you have to care. Things that are worth achieving or accomplishing take work and effort most of the time and work and effort require drive, dedication, and desire.
So how does this all relate to getting back on track after the holiday season? Well for starters, I’d pretend the holidays didn’t just happen. If that were the case, what would your goals be? So maybe you gained a few pounds during the last couple months. Welcome to life as a human who enjoys it. You likely didn’t do any deadly damage so you probably don’t need to lose too much sleep over it. The holidays are meant to be enjoyed. The key is to move along holistically and intentionally.
Brainstorm by writing down where you are at currently and where you would like to be truthfully, at the end of 2017. Then, write down small, reasonable action steps to help you get there. Make sure to look these over often and make notes or changes along the way. Above all, remember that you are human and make mistakes and need to have fun and enjoy life and friends and family sometimes. The key is to not let it completely derail you. Baby steps are the best way to get to far places; put one foot in front of the other and day by day you’ll get there.