Guest post by Kendra Wheeler, founder of FitGOALS Training and Maine Beginner Hiking & Snowshoeing Meetup for Women.
Did you make a resolution this year? Are you still going strong? If you are, more power to you! It takes a focused person to be successful in a world full of distractions.
Instead of asking you what your resolutions are, I want to know why you picked the ones you did. I want to know why you’re looking to change.
If you’re like most people, you may have decided you want to lose weight, save money, or spend more time with family. Most of us strive to be our best, healthiest versions of ourselves. But, after February or so, our “good intentions” seem to fade away. Our goals for getting healthier or for accomplishing our bucket list fall to the wayside and we’re left where we started.
I always wonder why someone makes a goal.
Let’s take a look at a woman I’ll call Sam. Sam’s goal is to get stronger. On the surface, she might say, “I want to gain strength in my upper body because I want to be stronger.
Well ya! But can we dive deeper?
Instead, she could say, “I want to gain strength in my upper body so I can easily lift my grandkids.”
Okay, getting better. But we can dig even deeper.
Imagine this, “I want to gain strength so I can easily lift my grandkids. My parents were older when they had me and they could never be active as they wanted to when they became grandparents”.
Now that’s a reason to get stronger!
But although Sam’s motivation is well-intentioned and she’s clear on her reason, she’s still having a hard time committing to her workouts. Why?
What if, in addition to working out more, she was also trying hard to get a promotion at work. She had been scheduling client meetings in the morning when she was supposed to be at the gym.
For her, working in order to secure a promotion was more of a priority. There’s no reason to judge Sam on this. It’s simply where she wants to be. Although she wants to get stronger, she wants the promotion more. That’s okay as long as Sam’s okay with it.
Knowing our priorities and motivation is essential when discussing our goals. Just because we have a goal doesn’t mean that goal is a priority for us.
So when your resolution fails, these are three questions you should be asking yourself …
What’s my real motivation for changing? This is the time to dig deeper.
Simply wanting to get healthy is not a real reason.
Where’s the fuel? What’s going to motivate you to get out of your comfy bed to go to the gym? I know, probably not much! But that’s my point. You need something reallllly good.
Once you’ve found your fuel, aka motivation for changing, how can you capitalize on it?
How can you maximize your success by knowing your motivation?
For example, are you motivated by quotes, pictures, notes of encouragement, rewards, or experiences? Whatever fires you up – use it!
I like to put my exercise log in the kitchen for “public viewing” because I know if someone else see’s it then I’ll stay more committed.
Not having a clear understanding of what’s really driving you will definitely kill your resolution mojo, and eventually, lead to failure.
Am I ready to change?
Did you know there are actually five stages of change? Click here to see where you’re at.
This might be a little surprising, but it totally explains why we resist new habits. We’re simply not ready! Which is OKAY.
And finally, ask yourself this: “Is this something I really want? Is it a priority for me?”
For example, if you’re choosing to give up unhealthy foods, your social life might change. When your girlfriends want to go out to eat, you might have to back out because you don’t want to be tempted. Or maybe you’re like Sam, who wanted a promotion more than she wanted to get stronger.
It’s no wonder our resolutions can fail when we don’t actually want to change.
But, just because you don’t 100% want to change RIGHT NOW, doesn’t mean you won’t come back to your goal in a few months. This realization just requires you to rethink your goals.
So whether you’re still going strong or you’ve had a few weak moments, your resolutions can still be successful if you have a better understanding of why you made the goal in the first place.
And there’s no need to panic when you get off course. That’s why you should have a support system! Reach out to friends and family (or a health coach like me) and we’ll get you right back on track!
Thank you for reading this guest post by Kendra Wheeler. I’m one of those people who don’t make New Year’s resolutions. That doesn’t mean I never make any the rest of the year. I do and as Kendra said, I’m most successful if I’ve answered her three questions. What about you? Are you working on any resolutions? How are you doing? ~Diane