Q - Dr. Stanislaw, the new year is racing by and I've already strayed from the healthy goals I wanted to commit to this year. Do you have tips for how I can get back on track?
A- Yes! Straying off the path is no problem at all. In the process of reaching a goal, we all need to EXPECT to fall away from the goal along the way. So that in itself is not the problem. Not giving up is what makes all the difference. Less than 10% of people accomplish their new year’s resolutions so statistics say that most people fall off the wagon by February. What I say is just never give up. Follow the great tips below to get back on track and you'll be on your way to starting spring feeling GREAT!
#1 - Always move TOWARD what you want, not away from what you don’t want. “I want to feel great in my body and confident in my clothes,” is a better goal than, “I want to lose weight.” Not wanting to be a particular way is never enough motivation for change. For example, not wanting to be perpetually running late is not enough of a reason to stop. Instead, focus on what you want…more peace and calm that arriving on time will give you. Begin with the end in mind of how you want to feel, and then set your goals via working backwards. Set your intentions first; action steps second.
#2 - Choose specific actions that are in alignment with your goal…If you want to be better rested, plan what time you’d like to get to bed, and simply start by reaching that goal twice next week. If you want more joy and laughter, make the first Saturday of each month your night to see a funny movie. If you want more free time, schedule a specific activity for yourself each week or even for a few minutes each day.
#3 - Keep the bar low, slowly increase over time. One reason goals often go unmet is because we expect too much of ourselves. By keeping goals small…going to bed by 10 just twice per week, avoiding sugar 3 days per week…you set yourself up for success, and success breeds more success! After achieving smaller goals, you’ll become motivated to increase them.
#4 - Use visual reminders. It’s a fact that when goals are written and you see them daily, your success in reaching them skyrockets.
#5 - Believe and Visualize. You must believe that reaching your goal is possible. See yourself as if it is already true as you fall asleep.
#6 - Expect imperfection. Fall down? Get back up.
#7 - Have an accountability partner. It’s a proven fact that you will have a greater chance of reaching your goals if you have someone to be accountable to. No matter how great the athlete, nobody makes it the Olympics without a coach. Being accountable is essential.
Why is a doctor writing about how to reach your goals? Because it's been proven that people who have goals and reach them are happier and healthier. So…what would you like to achieve in these next few months? Take a moment and write it down. Need some help? Send me an email at drjody (at) drjodynd (dot) com.
Here's to starting this spring feeling great!
Dr. Jody Stanislaw