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As I sit here at midnight writing this blog post, I realize that once again, I’ve broken my New Year’s Resolution. If you didn’t already guess, my resolution was to go to bed earlier and get more sleep. I did it for a few days but am back to my old habits. I bet many of you are in the same boat. Whether your resolution is to lose weight or exercise more, it’s estimated that only 8% of people are successful in meeting their resolution. So I’ve decided to take a new tactic on how to keep my New Year’s Resolution. And the first step is not to call it a “resolution”. Read my plan and see how it can help you.
Change the name
The word resolution sounds “all or nothing” and too vague. So instead, I’m going to think of it as a goal and come up with strategies on how to meet it. We set goals at work – so why can’t we do this in other area of our lives? I have two goals for 2015 that are connected to each other. One is to get more sleep and the other is to start to exercise a few mornings a week (I tend to get tired/lazy as the days wears on!)
Tips on how to meet your goals
#1. First, think about what is really important to you and come up with a goal. It doesn’t have to be the usual weight loss/fitness goals. Think about WHY this goal is important to you. It has to really hit home for you. And make sure the goal is realistic! Setting unrealistic goals will guarantee you will fail.
Me: I would like to get 7 1/2 hours of sleep a night. It is important to me because:
- I want to have more energy to exercise (whether in the morning or after work – but ideally in the morning before work).
- I could get up an hour earlier to get in some work before heading into the office. I find I am more productive in the morning when it comes to working on projects vs. in the evening when I get more distracted.
- I want to feel more alert in the morning at work pic credit
#2. Second, break your long term goal(s) into smaller more manageable goals. Rather than saying “I want to lose 30 pounds”, start with a weekly or monthly weight loss goal. I would recommend a 1-2 pound weight loss a week for most people. The same goes for exercise or any other goals you have.
Me: Rather than saying I want to get 7 1/2 hrs of sleep a night, I will set smaller goals that will help me meet the larger goal. My smaller goals are:
- need to be off the computer by 11 pm at the very latest.
-no phone calls past 10:30 pm
– sign up for one FlyWheel morning class a week. Soon the fact that I am paying money for this class on top of my ridiculously expensive gym membership will lead me to take spin classes at my gym in the morning. But initially, the fact that I will lose my money if you don’t show up for the class will kick my butt into morning workout modeno reading twitter in bed. Leave the phone away from my bed (ouch … this one will be tough)
#3. Put your plan in writing. Whether it’s on a computer or in a notebook, writing down your goals can increase your
chances of meeting them. It somehow makes it more concrete.
Me: I’m fan of writing goals on a calendar. I have a large calendar hanging on my wall and will write in my weekly goals and check off whether or not I met them. I would also say that stating my goals in a public blog post is putting it in writing! pic credit
#4. Set the plan in action by doing something – now! Make the phone call. Sign up for a computer class, join your local gym, update your resume, etc. Once you take an action, versus just thinking about it, your chances of meeting that goal are greatly increased.
Me: Going to sign up for a Flywheel class several Wednesday mornings a month. Starting the 11 pm computer off goal tomorrow (as it’s already 11:30 pm tonight!) I will write my sleep time and exercise sessions on my obsessive giant calendar.
#5. Buddy up. Enlist the help of your spouse, significant other, family or friend. The more support you get, the greater
your chances of meeting your goals will be
Me: Call me out on it if I answer an email past 11:00 pm
#6. Learn from the past. If you decide to make the same resolution (i.e. weight loss) that you’ve made in previous years, analyze what went wrong in the past. Obviously something went wrong otherwise you wouldn’t be setting the same resolution! We need to learn from our past mistakes and try a different technique.
Me: I am now setting more concrete goals as my vague New Year’s Resolutions haven’t worked so well in the past. I think for me, the key is to set really small concrete goals and keep thinking about the benefits I will get from meeting these goals (i.e. I will get more sleep by getting to bed earlier and be more productive with my work and workouts).
By breaking your goals down into small attainable changes, you will be able to meet your long term goals! Take it from Meta and try the Meta Effect – the idea that small changes can lead to good things. By making an effort each day to achieve a small goal, you’ll find it’s easier to see positive results. Check out this video Meta made all about those Broken Resolution Blues then head over to their Facebook page to share your broken resolution!
I’m usually pretty good about controlling my intake of sweets. My trick is that I don’t keep them in my enviroment. But when other people keep them around, especially when I’m tired, working late or looking for a distraction, this chocoholic nutritionist can get into trouble! It’s 10 days post holiday and my office is still loaded with chocolate. Learn what drastic measures I decided to take to curtail my intake of chocolate. Hint: it involves MONEY. Watch my “Chocolate Video” to find out what I did!
I bet most of you are sick of eating sweets after the holidays. Your office stash of holidays treats has probably dwindled. Well … not in my office. I rent office space with a group of physicians and patients love to give them chocolates for the holidays. There must have been 50 boxes hanging around the office and most of it ends up the staff area. I dread this time of year because … I am a chocoholic. You are probably wondering why a nutritionist has trouble controlling her intake of chocolate. But what can I say? Once I start, it can be really hard to stop if there is a large amount of it sitting in front of me. But since I am a nutritionist AND a person who likes to problem solve, I came up with a plan of attack for how to handle this never ending chocolate stash.
|MY PLAN||THE OUTCOME|
|Allow myself 2 chocolates a day||I tell myself this but almost always end up eating more|
|Bring in a healthy snack for when the sugar cravings hit||I often forget to bring in snacks. They do help decrease intake of chocolate, but by no means a total solution|
|Stay out of the "chocolate danger zone" area||This definitely helps. But I do need to go in the danger area to use the copy and fax machine. Plus I like to be social|
|Have a healthy lunch that contains a fair amount of protein||I always do this. It doesn't totally control sugar cravings, but it helps!|
Unfortunately, none of my plans work that well. So yesterday, I decided to take a tactic I knew would work. MONEY! I offered my coworkers $60 if they saw me eating sweets. Like many other people, I happen to be motivated by money. And you know what – it worked! No sweets for me that day. I think that once I have a few days of “no sweets”, I’ll be able to resist them.
My Video on How Money Curtailed My Intake of Sweets