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Building the New You One Brick at a Time 3 Ways to Create Goals that Stick

3 Secrets to Make Your Fitness, Nutrition and Life Goals STICK!

We are a whole week into 2015 and associated resolutions for the New Year. Perhaps you promised to drink less, eat healthier and work out more. If I were to bet, I’d wager that several of those have already been broken. Why? Because we often find that we pile on too many goals at one time, inevitably leaving us to let a couple of them fall by the way side. The key to truly making change is not to do it but once a year.  Nor is it to attack multiple conflicting priorities at once. To become ready for permanent lifestyle change, I am a firm believer that it is best to tackle those goals one-step at a time. Once, we achieve the micro goals, you will see macro results!

“But, isn’t it better to aim high?” people ask.
There is nothing wrong with identifying everything in life that you want to accomplish, but just like you don’t put the bricks on a house before you’ve built the frame, so goes the foundation of the new and healthier you. The American Physiological Association agrees, “Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time, so replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones requires time. Many people run into problems when they try to change too much too fast.” If you follow these 3 Steps, you should start feeling a sense of productivity and accomplishment, which will then allow you to take on the next goal on your list.

1. Create long term and short term goals
Let’s pretend your wish list includes, losing weight, hitting the gym more often and getting more sleep. Rank them in order of what you can do most easily to most challenging. For example, eating well may be a change that some find easier because it only requires willpower, whereas rearranging your schedule to accommodate more sleep or a gym day. So put “eating well” as #1 in the ranking.

2. Quantify your goals

After you’ve made your list of realistic short-term and long-term goals, them down into small, manageable steps that are specifically defined and can be measured. For example, “eating well” is too obtuse, so we quantify it to say instead, “I will eat only clean foods (meat, vegetables, fruits, etc.) for 21 days.” Or, if your long-term goal were to lose 20 pounds within the next five months, a good weekly goal would be “to lose one pound a week.” At the end of the time period (21 days or 1 week) you’ll feel successful knowing you met your goal.


3. Be Accountable
You are doing these behavior changes because they are better for your well being.  It is not punishment.  Hold yourself accountable and don’t make excuses. I suggest using a visual calendar and writing down on each day what you did to follow through. Seeing this gives you a way “at a glance” to track progress.  If you do well, it will make you feel great and push you onward!

If you did poorly, the lack of progress on your calendar will make you accountable. I hear too many people justifying bad behavior. For example, “I didn’t eat well today because we had an office party.”  Or, “I can’t find anything on the menu when we go out to a restaurant.” —— These statements are all excuses. There are plenty of resources out there to educate yourself on making good choices and to support your commitment.  In addition, finding a support system whether it is your family, a fitness buddy or nutritionist should all be serious considerations if you find yourself falling into this trap. Making lasting life changes takes time and commitment, but you can do it. Just remember that no one is perfect. Chances are you will have occasional lapses. When you eat a cookie or skip the gym, don’t give up. Minor missteps in the building of the new and stronger you are normal and okay. Resolve to recover as soon as possible, review your goal list, believe in yourself and get back on track.

By Richelle Taylor
About the author:
 
Richelle Taylor is a NESTA certified Fitness Nutrition Coach, author and co-founder ofthe F.I.T.T. Academy, a community of fitness enthusiasts who support each otherthrough positive support and team events in the Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohioareas. She is a marketing professional and mother of three.www.myfittacademy.comFacebook: www.facebook.com/FITTAcademyTwitter: @FITTAcademy Email: FittAcademy@yahoo.com

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