Vision. Probably not the word one is use to reading after New Year’s, but let me explain why I prefer it over resolution. New Year’s resolutions are common discussions amongst individuals during the holiday season. In fact, a lot of people come up with their resolutions of “I am going to drop 5, 10, 20 pounds, drop 3 dress sizes, lose 2 inches in my waist, run a 5 K, increase muscle size, not eat after 8 p.m., eat breakfast, decrease calories, save more money, take a vacation, cut-out sodas and desserts.” The list goes on and on.
Unfortunately, the LIST means nothing without a “plan.” Let’s examine this in a literal sense. One definition of resolution is “a firm decision to do or not to do something” and a synonym of the word is intention. A “decision” and “intention” are not two words that are going to get you where you want to be without a “game plan.”
First, let’s create a vivid vision of what we want to accomplish. Do you have it yet? Next, create a short-term, mid- and long-term goals. Short, 1-7 days, mid-1-2 weeks and long 2-8 weeks. We will not spend too much time on writing and implementing goals today, but look for another article on this subject soon.
Once the above two steps are accomplished, the next step is to be consistent. Aim for 5 out of 7 days of the week at a low and moderate level. First, one must develop a lifestyle change and to begin to form a habit.
Listen to this as it is very important. You must illicit as many individuals in your resolution as possible, especially friends and family. This will increase your accountability exponentially towards your goal.
Here is another “tip”: don’t be overzealous in the beginning; start small and work slowly towards your goal one day at a time. Too many people begin their resolutions with “I will never drink a soda again, I will work out 6 or 7 days a week for 2 hours per day or I am going to always eat healthy every day.” These are just a few and I am sure you get the picture. Don’t set yourself up for failure by saying these types of statements. Remember, many of these behaviors were and are culturally, environmentally and habits for a very long time.
Use “SMART” goals for increased success; Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. An example of a SMART goal could be “I will walk five out of seven days for 10 minutes the first week or I will not eat after 8 p.m. six out of the seven days of the week.”
Of course, the goals depend upon the individual’s current state of health and fitness, but you get the picture right? Don’t’ fret it if you’re struggling as future articles will address how to develop “SMART” goals.
Once goals have been determined, one must eliminate the ‘barriers’ that stop us from reaching our potential. Whether it is eating breakfast to avoid late-night cravings, working out in the morning or lunch break or garnering new friends whom support the cause, it must be done!
To summarize, stick to what you’re doing. Make short, mid and long-term goals, evoke a support ‘inner circle’ of individuals. Don’t forget “SMART” goals and finally, minimize the things to keep one from achieving your goals.
Implement the plan and go forward and make 2018 a year to remember!
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Randy Behr -M.A., CSCS, MORR, Cooper’s 25 + years in sports & fitness; coaching, teaching, strength & conditioning as an Athletic Director, Health Educator, Sports Information Director, P.T. Education Director and Fitness Director with the NJCAA, USA Track & Field, Arena Football League, Olympic Training Center, and the California Football Association.