January is here and most of us have made our resolutions for the rest of the year. While our good intentions started us off in the right direction, as time goes on, many of us begin to lose that motivation that got us off the couch and on the treadmill. If you want to not only find your motivation, but also keep it for the long haul, here are three strategies that can make this the year you actually achieve your resolutions.
First, have you written your goals down on paper? It has been proven that individuals who write their goals down and re-visit them on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis tend to achieve more results than those who don't. The goals that you have written down should be realistic and obtainable. Getting back to your high school size and weight may not be realistic, but reducing your body fat percentage by three percent in six weeks is obtainable.
The second step is planning. With your goals written down and clearly defined you must now plan. Most of the time we fail to reach our goals is the result of lack of planning. As Harvey Mackey, an internationally-known public speaker, says, "Failures don't plan to fail; they fail to plan." Planning is by far the single most important aspect to achieving results. For example, if you had a desire to go on a trip you would need to decide where, how to get there, what to take, etc. This would be your trip plan. What makes exercise any different? Planning the amount of time each week, what days, and what exercises you will do is vital to achieving results. Make an exercise plan to keep you on your journey to good health.
The third strategy is implementation. In order to establish habits a routine must be followed for 45-60 days to help them become ingrained habits in your life. For instance, you walked several days, weeks, maybe years before you ran. The same is true with exercise. You must establish a foundation before you can reap great rewards. Allow your self 6-8 weeks before reassess and move on to another program.
If you are one of those individuals who loses motivation around the beginning of spring the simple strategies above can help you stay committed throughout the year. Just remember—Goals, Planning, and Implementation—and you can stay on track throughout the year.