Making Goals You Won’t Fail
1. Create SMART Goals
Think about what you’d like to accomplish — whether it’s losing weight, eating more whole foods, consuming less sugar, cooking regularly, or starting a new exercise plan — then create two to three challenging, but achievable goals.
The best goals pass the SMART test, meaning they’re Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
Create goals you can stick with, so start small. If your goal is too big or far out, it’s easy to procrastinate and or lose interest.
Instead of committing to losing weight, a goal that’s well-intentioned but too broad, make a more specific goal to lose 10 pounds in five weeks.
For every goal, write down several easy, actionable steps you can take each day, week, and month to achieve it.
When you crush the original goal, sit down and assess what you need to do next to meet the next milestone on your weight-loss journey.
2. Record Your Progress
Each day, take two minutes to jot down what you ate, and how you moved, and how your body felt as a result.
You can also include notes about dishes you loved, new recipes you tried, cravings you had, soreness you felt, how many reps you completed, or challenges you overcame.
Recording your journey can help you track your progress over time, and hold you accountable when your motivation lags!Journaling can help you see where you may be lacking in your nutrition as well.
You could also use an app like My Fitness Pal or Beachbody’s Nutrition+ app to help you keep track.
3. Make exercise convenient
Whether it’s trying to find time or shelling out money for equipment, exercising can be a hassle, and even minor obstacles can be damaging in the early stages of habit forming, says Sandra Aamodt, Ph.D., a neuroscientist and author of Why Diets Make Us Fat.
On the other hand, simple actions that reinforce your commitment and make exercising easier can be hugely motivating. “Keep your workout DVD in your computer or player, keep your gym clothes by the door, and figure out what equipment you actually need,” says Aamodt. Better yet, many of the best workout programs don’t require equipment and you can do them anywhere and when it’s convenient.
4. Make your workout fun
People who pair activities they know they should do but avoid (like exercising) with activities they enjoy but aren’t productive (like listening to audiobooks) work out significantly more often than those who don’t, according to a paper in the journal Management Science.
The technique is called “temptation bundling,” and it can have a powerful effect on willpower, according to the researchers. The key is to pick the right “temptation.” In the study, participants were allowed to listen to cliffhangers like The Da Vinci Code, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Hunger Games, not War and Peace.
Workouts don’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) grueling experiences you dread. It should be something you actually look forward to, so find one you get excited to do.
Hate slow and steady workouts? Do a workout that features high-intensity intervals, such as INSANITY. If you prefer something that’s a little more freeform, try a dance workout, such as CIZE or BARRE Blend. Or if you don’t have a ton of time, try intense workouts that are less than 25 minutes long, such as 22 Minute Hard Core and FOCUS T25.
The important thing is to find a workout that works for your lifestyle and your interests. Try different workouts of varying intensity and format to see what gets you motivated. MM100 cycles through 10 different styles of workouts, it’s hard to get bored with that one!
5. Overhaul your diet… the right way
Small dietary tweaks — like ordering a burger with salad instead of fries — often lead to better long-term results than sweeping changes, like eliminating burgers entirely.
“If you always forgo your favorite foods for those that seem healthier, you may end up disappointed, which can sabotage your success,” says Albert Matheny, M.S., R.D., C.S.C.S., USAW.
That one change alone may help you drop up to 2.5 percent of your body weight in six months, according to a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Eating more fruit may also help. In a Harvard study, people who ate a daily serving of apples or pears lost 1.24 more pounds over four years than those who did not.
6. Think positive
Pay attention to how great you feel right after a workout.
Simply recalling a positive memory about exercise — like that time you killed that workout — can inspire you to keep exercising, according to a study in the journal Memory.
Think about all of the great reasons why it’s a blessing to be able to move your body, use your heart, your lungs and your muscles, and let that motivate you!
And there’s no better time to focus on the present than after a good sweat session. Research suggests that exercise produces feel-good hormones and chemicals like endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. In both cases, you’ll benefit from the power of positive thinking.
Sources: varying Beachbody Blogs from beachbodyondemand.com