2019, what are your Health Goals?
5 Ways to succeed in your weight loss journey this year.
Every year we make a new resolution or re-ignite an old one that kind of fell by the way the previous year, with some justification, excuse, or rationale. According to U.S News 2017, 80% of New Year’s resolutions will fail.
How about this year we keep it simple with just 5 easy steps to keep that weight loss on target, our health improving and our energy increasing?
I have broken it down to 5 easy steps to help keep you on track and if some of you take that literally so much the better!
- What is your Weight Loss Goal?
Now I don’t mean exactly how much weight do you want to lose as that is a goal, but 95% of the clients I have seen that have had success found that the use of a figure alone was not enough.
No, what I really mean is, why do you want to lose that 5, 10 or 20 kg?
Discerning the real reason will give you a far more exciting goal. Perhaps it is to have a baby, run an event, or reduce the amount of medication you are on. These goals are far more compelling for our future well being and therefore more likely to be a trigger to re-motivate us when we fall of the ‘health wagon’.
Let’s face it there are times when watching what you eat can become tedious, or doing that extra day of exercise could be justified in being put off. For these reasons we need something more exciting to focus on than just a figure on the scales. If this goal is emotive; that is when we think of it we get a tingle of emotion, preferably a positive one. It will motivate us far better than just a few 100 grams off on the scales which can feel somewhat disheartening.
Hence we need to choose a goal that provides some excitement. Be it for a better life or more exhilarating outcome and see how much easier it is to stick to.
2. What 2 things each day will lead you closer to that goal?
So now you have a goal. I know people say ‘do one thing each day to get closer’ but it seems common sense to me that if we simply double that, the probability of success will be higher.
The other aspect of doing 2 things a day to help you lose weight, is that you have a back up. If you are tired, and you may not feel like a high intensity day, but you do a longer walk, you still have the good food practices to support you. The more we do these 2 things the quicker the habit to healthier living is re-enforced. Maybe your 2 things are to cook a healthy meal ahead of time for each day of the week, and do 10,000 steps. Perhaps it is to increase your coloured vegies at each meal and do 10 push-ups a day. Perhaps you could even increase by 2 each day, then by the end of the week you could be doing 20-24!
Once we reinforce a habit it establishes a neural pathway that will help make the new habits more sustainable. Just like we may have followed a particular route to visit a friend and then they put in new freeway and it’s all a bit awkward to navigate. You may get off at the wrong exit a few times, but after a while it becomes easier and you don’t even have to think about it, you can probably turn off google maps and enjoy not having to focus on not getting lost.
By making a new habit quicker we get to enjoy the results quicker and this will become a positive feedback loop! Out health will improve faster, we will feel fitter sooner and just want more and more of those good sensations.
3. What gets measured gets monitored.
If you can measure your 2 things the probability of achieving your goal is higher. The more likely you are to lose the weight, drop the blood pressure, have more energy and better moods.
If we take an example from above; it is not hard to measure cooking 7 meals for a week, and walking 10K steps. Or counting how many vegetables you ate in a day and increasing your squats by 10 per day so that by the weeks end you can do 70 and maybe the next week start off on a push up increment. Maybe you note your moods each day. Whatever 2 things you choose if you can measure them you know you have succeeded and this serves as our own positive reinforcement, reward and brings us closer to our initial goal.
I remember when I had to shift an unwanted 14 kg. My 2 things were to just walk a bit further or do pilates every second day (even at home in front of the TV) and I gave up sugar. The second was quite hard at times, as our whole family come from a sugar craving race. But I would focus on how I wanted to feel, and how being heavy was just making everything more difficult.
4. Plan, Plan, Plan
This is part of the above, it’s no use saying I am going to food prep for a week or eat 9 vegies a day and a protein at each meal if all that is in the cupboard is white bread and cereal, or crackers and cheese. You are not going to go to the gym, or walk if your runners have holes and you’re your feet hurt. So to achieve our goals it is ideal to sit down at the end of the week and plan your next week. This way you can review what you enjoyed, and what was successful the previous week, and more importantly associate the emotions with each as these ultimately provide the most motivation.
If you discovered that you really still hate brussel sprouts (I could be projecting my tastes here) then putting them back on the menu is not going to be enticing, but if you substitute if for a seasonal vegetable, it will be tasty and probably cheaper; win: win.
Maybe 10K steps is not achievable b/c you have to be in an office this week. Perhaps then it’s time to ramp up the push-ups/squats/lunges or invest in a trainer to help build muscle and cardio fitness.
The better you’re planning the easier the week flows. Most of my clients have their own training times so that it just becomes part of their week and their new norm. A few minutes each week of planning ahead can make your changes seem more natural and therefore workable.
For those of you with really big goals. How are you going to make yourself accountable? It is too easy to make an excuse even to a training buddy. What is your deal breaker?
If you are the sort of person that needs others to keep you on target then a trainer may be needed. Some of my clients join the FitBit challenges, have a group competition and this drives them a bit harder. We can all see who met their goals. Even though our goals for exercise or weightloss may vary, we are able to cheer each other on with every win.
Each of us is different, some people find being accountable for specific things make showing up easier. One lady I know always has a training team at 6am. She won’t let them down no-matter what the weather because they have planned an event to compete in. Others don’t want to miss their training session knowing the trainer is waiting just for them, and they will be charged for last minute cancellations.
What is your accountability deal breaker: For me it’s knowing how I will feel at the end of the day and how tolerant or intolerant I will be with my family. If I plan my day and do the exercise I know I will cope better with moody kids and be less stressed and able to deal with their issues or moods as they arise. I also find I have more energy to do all the tasks that come with running a business and four kids, as neither of these fall happily between 9-5.
You can be accountable to yourself or others it doesn’t matter as long as it is something that you can’t talk yourself out of easily. So short of having gastro, what would prevent you from carrying out your health goals daily for 2019?