Thursday, January 6, 2011

by Jason Bosley-Smith, CSCS
Lead Lifestyle Coach
LiveWell @ LifeBridge

This is the week of the infamous "New Year's Resolutions" - those goals we set that so often become distant memories as the year progresses. This year, set your intentions and maintain your resolutions by focusing on the following:

1. BE SPECIFIC. Goals such as "losing weight" or "eating right" are simply too vague. In order to stick with your resolution, you must be as specific as possible. Using these examples, your resolution may instead look something like "lose 10 pounds and/or go down 2 sizes in 3 months." For eating habits, try "eat healthier by increasing my daily intake of fruits and vegetables to at least 5 servings."

2. MEASURE. Famous business guru and management expert Peter Drucker states, "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it." Keep a journal of your goal that includes the steps you take to reach it along with the progress you are making. Tracking your nutrition has been shown repeatedly to be the number one thing an individual can do in order to lose weight, and journaling your workouts will provide valuable feedback as to your progress in strength and cardiovascular gains.

3. PUT YOURSELF "OUT THERE". Accountability is one of the most effective ways to keep you committed to your resolution. Post your resolution on Facebook or in an email blast to friends, and periodically update them, asking them to hold you to your goals. Work with a personal trainer or exercise with a friend and hold each other to your mutual target.

4. PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. Without an established plan in advance of beginning, your much less likely to be successful. It's one thing to have a resolution in mind, but without a structured idea of how you are going to achieve it, you're left at the whim of day-to-day distractions and lost in your efforts. Set the structure - the where, when and how of your tasks - to accomplish your goals and commit to these steps as part of your daily habits.

Follow these steps to set yourself up for success and as you achieve small victories along the way, reward yourself in a healthy way for your discipline and accomplishments. Realize that with all resolutions and goals, it is the journey is the key, not simply the end result. If you focus on the process, then you are bound to maintain your healthy habits and build momentum towards keeping your resolutions all throughout the year.

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