If you’re like most folks, you set an ambitious new year’s resolution in January, started off with a bang, worked hard for 10 weeks and by mid March, found yourself slowly drifting backwards. Fast forward end of June, you’re reading this article and thinking, “New Year’s Resolution?!?! Wow, I totally forgot all about it! I vaguely remember, it was to lose 20 pounds. In the beginning my enthusiasm and will power was strong. I dropped all fast foods and junk, cooked all my meals, dragged myself to the gym 5 days a week, and dropped my drinking buddies. I did all the right things, what happened?”
You took on too much too fast. Taking small steps is the only way to adopt a new habit. It also builds confidence and trust in your abilities to make things happen. Would you rather spend a year struggling to keep up with a new plan, or would you rather scale things back, make slow progress and actually achieve your goal in the same amount of time?
I suggest starting with no more than 1 or 2 small changes at a time. For the sample goal, “losing 20 pounds”, you can start by dropping fast food and walking once a week. Continue to gradually increase changes in your diet and exercise plan until you reach your goal. If you find yourself binge eating, manage your stress. Do make sure you consult your doctor before you begin. This will ensure your diet or exercise plan is safe for your level of fitness.
This post relates to Life Strategies: Baby-Stepping and Planning.