The new year is the perfect time to look at your life and reassess what can be improved and how you can be happier and more fulfilled. Unfortunately, over 80% of new year’s resolutions fail, and most of those happen by mid-January! Fortunately for you, there are ways to set yourself up for success and beat the odds, helping you to stick to your goals and keep your motivation high. This year, find a goal and plan that work for YOU.
First, Set Smart Goals
Too often, we set goals that aren’t actually designed to help us succeed. For instance, starvation diets, ineffective or unrealistic workout plans, or goals that don’t actually line up with our real-life priorities can work against us. Instead of falling into this trap, this year it’s time to set smart goals that actually get you where you want to go.
For instance, if feeling better, improving your physical fitness, looking your best, weight loss, or generally being healthier and happier are on your to-do list, sticking to a sugar-free diet plan is your best bet. Sugar-free diet plans are effective because they allow you to nourish your body with healthful foods while eliminating all the physical and mental health problems associated with refined sugar consumption. Setting a goal to eliminate sugar is a smart way to reach your long-term health and fitness goals.
Then, Make Them SMART
Taking your smart goals and making them SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based) will help you break down your plans into actionable steps you can measurably work toward.
For example, you could try a 30-day no-sugar challenge where you eliminate processed sugar from your diet for the month of January:
- SPECIFIC – This goal is to specifically eliminate processed/added sugars from your diet, instead choosing foods and substitutions that don’t contain sugar. Set a specific start/end date that works for you.
- MEASURABLE – You either meet your goal each day to consume no sugar, or you do not.
- ATTAINABLE – One month is a great, attainable chunk of time for you to use best practices and ditch the unwanted sugar in your diet.
- RELEVANT – Sugar creates a whole host of health problems, so cutting it from your meals and snacks helps move you towards better health.
- TIME-BASED – 30 days is a great amount of time to start developing new, life-long habits.
Ways to Keep Your Motivation High
A big part of sticking to your goals and plans is to do what you can to keep your motivation high. Find small ways to refresh your motivation often in order to keep your excitement and momentum going. For example:
- Put a picture or phrase on your phone screen or bathroom mirror that will remind you of your goal
- Keep a journal to track your wins, progress, and lessons learned
- Take frequent progress pictures
- Have a friend or family member check in on you often to increase accountability
- Join an online forum or support group for like-minded people
- Set up a series of small rewards for yourself along the way
- Create a sticker chart or checklist
It doesn’t matter what items you choose, it’s just important to know yourself and what keeps you motivated. If you’re not sure where to start, try a bunch of different things until you find what works for you!
Don’t Rely on Motivation Alone
The reality of human nature is that motivation waxes and wanes over time. This is normal and healthy. Rather than hoping your motivation will always be at a peak when you need it most, you’ll be more successful if you put routines and systems into place so you can stick to your goals even when motivation fails. For example, some people lay out all their workout clothes and their morning protein shake mix out the night before, making it easy to get to the gym in the mornings.
For the goal of kicking sugar to the curb, planning out a sugar-free diet menu and meal prepping ahead of time can help you to stick to your goal even when your motivation is low. Research what to expect and how to handle the common hurdles you may encounter when working towards your goals for added success.
This Year is for YOU
Take charge of your health this year and make your upgraded lifestyle work for you. Start by setting a new year’s resolution that will actually help you feel and function better (and that you’ll actually stick to!).