It's that time of the year again, when you start writing down your resolutions for the new year. Perhaps weight loss is sitting at the top of your list of things to tackle. If it is, you should go ahead and cross it off your list. Now I'm not knocking your desire to lose weight or to just eat healthier. The problem is you waiting for a specific time period (e.g., New Year's, a wedding or vacation) to chase after your goals.
The desire to lose weight doesn't just show up when the new year rolls around. It's something you have been thinking about but have continuously brushed it off. Statistically speaking 45 percent of Americans set New Year's resolutions, and of that 38 percent is weight loss, and only 8 percent percent achieve their resolutions. Yikes -- only 8 percent? That happens because you're pumped to tackle something you haven't been able to in the past, and there's no real strategy behind achieving it.
Remember the reason why you are where you are doesn't magically disappear just because a new year means a "new start." I've experienced this in the past as well as people close to me. What ends up happening is that you go on all types of fad diets, set unrealistic goals, getting frustrated, and give up. That never feels good right?
I want you to get in the mindset of tackling things on your own terms and not because of a specific time period or event. Believe in yourself and just do you. After you commit to your weight loss goals, I want you to keep these tips in mind to help you stay on track.
Be specific. Just saying, "I'm going to start going to the gym," is a big no no! Instead say, "I'm going to get a personal trainer and work out three times a week," or "I'm going to alternate between weight training and cardio four times a week." The more specific you get, you're more likely to stick to it.
Know your why. So why the heck do you want to lose weight? Answers like I want to look like Beyoncé do not apply (although we all secretly wish that) or because your family wants you to. Think of things like: I want to be more confident, I want to feel comfortable in my bathing suit, my weight is stopping me from pursuing other things in life. You get the point.
Set bite-sized goals. If you set mini goals you are more likely to succeed. Instead of saying, "I want to lose 50 pounds," break it up into smaller increments of 7-10 pounds. You should only focus on one particular goal until it's time to move onto the next. If you think of it as a whole you may overwhelm yourself, and start questioning whether your goal is attainable or not.
Get an accountability partner. Don't even think about picking someone that's exactly like you. The blind cannot lead the blind. This person should be there to motivate you, call you out (in a loving way) when you are not doing the right thing, and that's committed to helping you reach your goals. When you have someone to report to, it changes the dynamic of things.
Broadcast your progress. Remember your progress can inspire others to chase after their goals. If you feel comfortable doing this, post your before and after pictures. You can start a blog, use social media networks like Instagram and Facebook to share your progress. When people are watching and cheering you on it'll keep you motivated.
Remember to make a conscious effort to do things on your own terms and not wait for someone or a time period to determine your course of action. Best wishes in 2014, have a happy and healthy New Year!
Vanessa Cunningham is a New York-based nutrition & lifestyle coach and dynamic speaker. She helps busy working professionals reduce stress, banish unhealthy cravings, lose weight and increase their energy levels. Trained in over 100 dietary theories, Vanessa creates customized plans for all her clients that are fun, sustainable and empower them to meet their goals. To get her free gift 6 Ways To Accelerate Your Weight Loss, please visit www.unhealthynomore.com.