As we close out 2014 and embrace a brand new year, I think it's important to talk about New Year’s resolutions. Why are they so important to us aside from the obvious desire of a fresh start? I believe that we make New Year’s resolutions each and every year because we want to make our dreams come true. Whether your dream is to fit back into your "skinny jeans", run a marathon, become a healthier person, get a promotion at work, or finally make that big move you've always wanted to make, the time is now! Whatever your goals may be, this is YOUR year to sparkle. I believe that being successful, in anything we do in life, comes with working hard one day at a time. What will you do differently this year that will make your dreams become your reality? This blog is my 2015 challenge to you!
The optimum way to achieve your goals this year is by taking baby steps. Start by making small changes. When you start to make small changes everyday, you can build off of them little by little. Before you know it, your small change will have become a HUGE change. One reason that New Year’s resolutions are typically over by February 1st is because we bite off more than we can chew. We make unattainable goals, fail, and then revert back to old habits. Let's say that in 2015 your goal is to become an overall healthier person. Well, if you love pasta, bread, pizza, and burgers, cutting EVERYTHING out and going cold turkey is going to send you into a relapse.
What to do:
My best advice is to map out the year. Start by eliminating one bad thing from your diet, one month at a time. Let's say you want to limit your bread intake for example. In January, make a conscious decision to only eat gluten-free products. This way you won't feel deprived and you will still be able to enjoy all the bread and pasta your heart desires. Then in February, you may choose to limit the amount of gluten-free products you consume. Each month, make a new goal while maintaining the resolution of the previous month.
Every diet works:
Did you know that every "diet" out there works? Paleo, Atkins, Plant-Based, Herbalife, Weight Watchers, Juicing, etc. The reason that so many people fail is because rather than adapting a new lifestyle and sticking with it, most are looking for a “quick fix” and when they don't see results after one week, they revert to their old habits and blame the diet. We MUST change our way of thinking if we want results. You have to accept a new way of living and take baby steps over the next year in order to achieve your goals.
Plan for set backs:
With anything in life, and especially with weight loss, you are going to experience setbacks. It's an inevitable part of the process. One of my favorite quotes is "life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it". For example, if you end up pigging out one night unexpectedly, don't let your cheat meal turn into a cheat week. So many people fall off the bandwagon and they are never able to get back up. Food and drugs are alike in so many ways. Once you "relapse", it can be difficult and discouraging to start again. I promise you that every change and sacrifice will be worth it. It's hard to see the big picture but this time next year, if you stick with making your baby steps and picking yourself up when you fall... You will be overjoyed on December 31st, 2015!
Make your dreams come to life:
I’m a firm believer in keeping your visions in front of you at all times. Here are some fun ways you can constantly be reminded of your goals.
Write a letter to yourself, seal it, and open it next year.
Write a list of everything you want to accomplish. Hang it somewhere you can see it everyday.
Make a vision board or vision book.
Change your screen saver to something that inspires you.
Make encouraging music playlists.
Map out your year. Create mini goals. Example: I want to be ____ weight by March 1st. I want to lose another ___ pounds by June 1st. My total weight loss goal for 2015 is ______ .
Plan out your baby steps. Example: my overall goal is to start working out ______ times a week. In January, I will start going _____ times per week. In February, I will add one more day, so on and so forth.
Set up mini rewards. Every time you reach one of your goals, reward yourself with something that will make you happy. Maybe a new pair of jeans, maybe a new dress, or a fancy night out!
Whether or not 2014 was your year, don't forget to love yourself and show appreciation towards the things you did accomplish. This is not the time to beat yourself up about the things you did wrong, but rather to celebrate the fact that you have the ability to make a change! There are so many people in the world that are physically and mentally unable to change their state of being due to illness, accidents, and other limitations. It's so easy to forget how lucky and blessed we truly are. Celebrate yourself and the changes you are about to embrace and then go out and share your success with the world!
Wishing you all in the best in 2015!