The holidays are a busy time. Filled with friends, family, sweets and other delightful foods, beverages and experiences. It is easy during the holidays to “treat yo self” and lose sight of pre-holiday goals and health commitments you had made to yourself.
Then New Years hits and we really hanker down with big goals for the coming 365 days.
Unfortunately, too often our New Years resolutions end up being used as tools to punish ourselves for all the merriment we experienced over the holidays or we just don’t set out a clear plan for ourselves on how to actually work towards those newly set goals.
First, I am hear to tell you there is absolutely no reason to punish yourself for any of the merriment that took place throughout the month of December. Heck, there is actually no good reason to use food or exercise as a tool to “reprimand” yourself for behaviors and habits that perfectly airbrushed magazine covers and beautifully curated Instagram accounts would have you feeling like they are anything other than normal ,not always the healthiest but also pretty normal, behaviors.
Secondly, let’s figure out how to break down that huge goal into small, baby step like, goals for the next 365 days. To do this I am going to use the very popular resolution of “getting into shape” or “working out more”.
The Goal - Get into Shape-
This idea is a great start but incredibly vague leaving a lot of space for confusion, decision fatigue and the complete abandonment of the goal.
Starting by actually defining what “shape” means or what “more” means in terms of working out. Something as simple as changing the goal to “I would like to have a healthy body composition” shifts the thought process, narrowing down on the steps you may actually need to take to achieve your goal.
Now, even with this shift you are still left with a bit of an Everest of a goal. Getting a healthy body composition involves a lot, the first of which is knowing what your current body composition (muscle to fat mass) ratio is, and figuring out what a healthy composition may be for your age, sex, activity levels, etc. This goal will also involve attention to nutrition, movement/play, and rest/relaxation. Which nicely brings us to the next stage of our post holiday rest.
Narrowing Down You Goal - Improve my Body Composition -
This is where we break things down into smaller more manageable daily and weekly steps to help us reach our goals. When choosing these smaller action steps it is best to think about the most manageable, hassle free, simplified steps.
Last Little Suggestion:
Keep track of what you are doing, daily or weekly. Having a log of what you want to achieve and the things you have accomplished will not only serve to show you have far you have come, it will also act as a reminder of your successes helping to encourage you and to shine a light on all the positive you have done for yourself when you get to those bumps in the road (yes, there will be bumps, life is rarely all rainbows and pots of good)
For example, step one could be making an appointment with a nutritionist or personal trainer or other health care profession to figure out what your current body composition, you know figure out what your starting point is. This is a super simple step, easy to cross off your list and will leave you feeling accomplished and more motivated to get to the next task. A second task could be to eat 4-6 servings of vegetables a day or committing to a sleep schedule or drinking 2L of water a day.
It doesn’t really matter what your action steps are as long as they are small. How do you decide if they are small because sometimes they seem very manageable but you just can’t get yourself to commit? A trick I use with myself and clients is to think “can I realistically commit to this 9 out of 10 times” if the answer is no or probably not, then that action step needs to be smaller, keep shrinking it down until it is something you can say yes to 9/10 times.
This is when I feel it is important to remind you that no action step is too small. Each of your tiny steps turn into big steps, without small manageable shifts and commitments there are no large lifestyle like changes and shifts. It all matters and it is all getting you one step closer to the goals you have set for yourself.
My name is Brittany, I am a Holistic Nutritionist, Yoga Teacher and Certified Personal trainer. My hope is to help inspire, encourage and motivate others to live their happiest and healthiest lives.