5 Tips to New Year’s Resolution SUCCESS
THIS year is YOUR year!
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, weight loss ranks among the most common goals set. In fact, according to a survey published by Inc. to diet/ eat better, exercise more and lose weight were the top 3 New Year’s resolutions respondents set. The downside: research also shows that only 19% of goal setters actually succeed in maintaining their goals in the long term*. It seems that regardless of how consistent our resolutions to lose weight are, year after year we still manage to botch those goals, landing us back at square one, or even worse, up a few lbs on the scale. The New Year is upon us, though, and with that fresh start is the opportunity to break the pattern. There are small changes that we can make when planning our resolutions to increase our chances of success. This year can be different! Whether your goals are weight related or not, keep your eye on the prize this time around with these tips to setting—and sticking with—your New Year’s resolutions.
1. Set goals the SMART way.
When it comes to planning your goals, keep in mind that they should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. This goal setting tactic (which you can read more about here) works especially well for weight loss goals. Run through the list below with your New Year’s resolution to see if yours measures up.
2. Go public.
Shout your goal loudly and proudly to increase your chances of succeeding. Personal accountability can be taken a step further when you incorporate others into your goals. Whether you’re telling one close friend, or your entire Facebook network, putting your goal into the universe for all to see makes you more accountable. When you share your goal with a friend, family member, or coworker, that person can become your confidant to make the journey smoother. That person can also help keep you accountable, and the added pressure of letting your friend or family member down can work for you to keep you on the right path!
3. Write it down.
Set your intention and write it down. Studies show that people who regularly write their goals and dreams down achieve their desires significantly more often than those who don’t. By writing down your goals you’re forced to clarify exactly what it is that you want. The more specific that your goals are, the less wiggle room you give yourself—and therefore the less likely you are to slip up. Signing a contract with yourself (like this one here) is a great way to focus and to achieve smaller goals that will eventually make you accomplish a larger goal. Whether you transcribe your goal(s) onto a list in your planner, a contractual agreement, printed on a 6 ft banner, or smeared in lipstick across your bathroom mirror, make sure that you do so in a place that you see regularly. Make copies and put them in different places too (on the fridge, at your desk at work, the back of your phone). By seeing your goals regularly you are constantly reminded of them. This allows for you to review progress and to recommit of a consistent basis.
4. Find a really good reason to keep as a reminder of why you are doing it.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way! When there is motivation behind a goal, it’s more likely that you’ll achieve it. Goals, especially those that that take effort, determination, and hard work, are rarely accomplished if you lack motivation or a reason for sticking to your guns–the juice has to be worth the squeeze. When making your New Year’s resolution, think of the wondrous possibilities that could materialize as a result your hard work. Dig deep to find that one motivating factor that will propel you into change and that will make your hard work and dedication worthwhile. If you are seeking weight loss, think of how you felt at your lowest weight and carry a picture of you during that time. Prove to yourself that you need or desire this so badly and that failure is not an option. Then, you will be more likely to not disappoint yourself.
5. Incentivize yourself with NON-food rewards.
The best part about setting, working on, and achieving your goals is that rewards come into play every step along the way. First, when planning out your resolutions, envision the rewarding benefits that will come from achieving your goals, and write them down. Positive outcomes from losing weight can be fitting into those jeans you haven’t been able to get past your thighs in 15 years, having increased energy, or not having to feel self conscious in a bikini. As you set out on accomplishing said goals, re-read this list to yourself every time that you think you may give up. Focus on how you want to feel and look, and how satisfied you’ll be when you do. Even picturing it will motivate you more, and inspire you. As you progress, use rewards along your journey to keep you on track and incentivize you to keep going. You can reward yourself for example, every 7 pounds you lose, or every other week you are sticking to your goals. Rewards like this can serve as a benchmark for progress too. The only caveat for weight loss resolutions is that food should not be used as a reward. The idea of “If I lose 10 pounds I will reward myself with a slice of pizza,” is a no-go—it will trip you up and leaving you feel unhappy, rather than proud of yourself. Instead use rewards like buying that pair of jeans you were eying, or treating yourself to a manicure pedicure, or sleeping in on the weekend. Write out your rewards ahead of time for an extra boost of motivation. At the final stage, when you reach your goal, the big-time reward is there—and after all your hard work, it will be that more rewarding.
Increase your chances of weight loss success even more this New Year with F-Factor. Click here to purchase The F-Factor Diet Book, which gives you all the information you need to follow F-Factor on your own, or click here to make an appointment to work with an F-Factor RD at our private practice!
*Economy, Peter. “10 Top New Year’s Resolutions for Success and Happiness in 2019.” Inc. , 1 Jan. 2019, www.inc.com/peter-economy/10-top-new-years-resolutions-for-success-happiness-in-2019.html.
*Norcross, John C., and Dominic J. Vangarelli. “The Resolution Solution: Longitudinal Examination of New Year’s Change Attempts.” Journal of Substance Abuse, vol. 1, no. 2, 1988, pp. 127–134., doi:10.1016/s0899-3289(88)80016-6.