(and How to Avoid Them!)
We’re just 1 day away from a New Year AND a new decade. Resolution season is upon us! Millions of people are setting intentions and lofty plans for 2020. Among the most popular resolutions – eating healthier and getting more exercise. Statistically, 80% of people who make New Year’s resolutions abandon them by mid-February – many by January 17 aka Ditch Your Resolution Day (I’m not making this up).
Before you go overboard drafting an overly ambitious list, you may want to consider what not to do. Here are some New Year’s resolution mistakes — and how you can avoid them.
Mistake 1: Your Goal Is Too Vague
HOW? Make sure your goal passes the SMART test — Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
Goals like “I want to get fit,” “I am going to eat healthy,” and “I want to lose weight” are too broad to be successful. You need to define this exactly, in clear terms.
Instead of committing to eat healthier — which is vague and challenging to measure — decide to limit processed foods (stuff in boxes and bags), add a veggie to every meal and drink 6-8 glasses of water every day.
Mistake 2: Your Goal Isn’t Realistic
Don’t register for a marathon if you’ve never run a 5K. Start Smaller. People often set expectations too high, especially at the beginning of the year. Then, when they don’t reach them, get frustrated — and often ditch the goal completely.
If your goal is to work out 5 days a week, start with 3 days a week for a month. “Ask yourself, “On a scale of 1-10, how likely am I to commit to this?’” If your answer is between 8 and 10 – go for it!
Mistake 3: Choosing A Goal For The Wrong Reason
Ask yourself why you want this goal? If your goal is to start working out, are you doing it to feel better and stronger, or because you don’t like the way your jeans fit? Find your WHY. People who are motivated by the benefits of exercise – better health, more energy, more strength, more confidence, less stress (what I call non-scale victories) are more likely to stick with it and be successful.
Mistake 4: You Don’t Hold Yourself Accountable
This one is huge … If there are no consequences, you’re more likely to make excuses, slack off, or even give up entirely. Ever start something with a passion, then just fall off? Yeah, me too. To hold yourself accountable, you need to put yourself in situations that make it difficult to bail.
Pro Tip: Find an Accountability Partner. Make non-negotiable exercise dates with a friend so you can’t ditch out on them at the last minute. Plan your classes or workouts, schedule them in your phone (with an alert), and then don’t cancel. A one hour workout is only 4% of your day. Bolder BARRE is the perfect place to meet supportive, like-minded partners.
Mistake 5: You Make Too Many Resolutions
If you pledge to go to Bolder BARRE 4 days a week, >and run 3 days a week, plus cut dairy and sugar from your diet all at the same time, you might be setting yourself up for disappointment.
Setting too many ambitious goals all at once is like trying to hold a bunch of balls underwater. Eventually, something’s gonna give and then you risk that snowball effect of tossing it all out the window.
Instead, focus on one or two goals. Once you’ve successfully incorporated one goal into your life, you can gradually pepper in related mini goals to make sure you’re progressing.
Mistake 6: You Don’t Have A Plan
Setting a goal without creating a plan of action is like building a house without laying the foundation first — totally unsustainable.
Make a list of actions you can take every day, then you can add in weekly and monthly milestones you want to hit along the way. Breaking a big goal down into several small short-term goals will help you stay focused and feel accomplished — even on the tough days.
For example, if your goal is to do push-ups on your toes – you may start practicing at the barre on against a countertop. Then progress to push-ups on your knees. Once you nail that, try ONE push-up on your toes – you can always limit your range of motion until you build strength. Believe it or not, it’s your MIND you need to convince first (“I CAN do this!”). Repeat this until you can do 5 or 10 at a time.
Mistake 7: Your Resolution Feels Like A Grind
A good goal should be both challenging and exciting. It should push you outside your comfort zone, but still be attainable. If your goal feels too difficult, discouraging, or boring, tweak it. Make it FUN and you’re more likely to stick with it.
Mistake 8: You Don’t Celebrate Your Progress
Instead of waiting to treat yourself or have fun until you hit your goal (which — let’s be honest— can seem like a lifetime away), take a moment every once in a while to acknowledge your hard work and progress.
Celebrate your small victories to help you stay motivated and excited to continue.
Pro tip: If your tendency is to celebrate with food, rethink your strategy. Instead, treat yourself to a massage, pedicure or spa day – or even new workout gear (new leggings make everything better!)