After a flurry of advice about how to set resolutions and stick to them, you might still find yourself fading a little. After all, the odds can be against you — some estimates note that about a quarter of people abandon their resolutions within a week of making them.
Now that we’re a few weeks into the new year, maybe turning to some experts can offer motivation. We asked five health professionals, including trainers and nutritionists, what their goals are and how they plan to stick with them:
1. DAVE ASPREY, AUTHOR OF “THE BULLETPROOF DIET” AND CEO OF BULLETPROOF
Resolution: To do something every single day that makes me better.
Strategy: Tapping into gratitude
“I chose this resolution because it’s achievable and doesn’t require perfection. Anytime you require perfection of yourself, your own innate fear of failure will cause you to procrastinate so you won’t achieve your goal. Even worse, once you fail a little bit, you’re likely to give up and toss out the entire resolution — and everything it stands for.
“Perfection is the enemy of getting things done. A commitment to doing things better is achievable.
“Every night before bed, I sit down with my two young kids, and I ask them three things they’re grateful for. Then I share three things I am grateful for. We also talk about our wins for the day. And that is the checkpoint I use to talk about what I’ve done to be a little bit better every day. After all, gratitude is one of the best performance enhancers there is.”
2. KIMBERLY GOMER MS, RD, DIRECTOR OF NUTRITION AT PRITIKIN LONGEVITY + SPA
Resolution: To get more organized.
Strategy: Evaluate then evaluate again
“Due to my busy schedule, I find that there isn’t enough time to keep organized and neat, so I thought it was a great resolution.
“I work with clients mainly to help them change habits. These habits are around food choices and exercise. But other habits — including being organized and ordered — can affect how we feel day to day. Using the order and organization to fuel my day will then help me stay on track.
“We all need a plan and then strategies to help reach our goals. It is helpful to re-evaluate our goals — every week or biweekly or even monthly — depending on the type of goals. Once we evaluate, we can see if the strategies need to be changed, enhanced or reworked. Monitoring progress and evaluating along the way always helps to keep me in check.”
3. KELLY MAGNUS, YOGA INSTRUCTOR, STUDIO THREE IN CHICAGO
Resolution: Take control of my nutrition to maximize my performance.
Strategy: Plan, plan, plan
“Aside from teaching, I’m training for a half-Ironman in June — and to truly maximize my training, stay injury-free, all while teaching, I know that nutrition is going to play a big role in my success.
“My approach to achieving this is to break it down by week. Each week, I’ll set mini goals that will help me be successful. If my week ahead entails travel, I plan to troubleshoot where and how I’ll get the proper nutrients and fuel to stay on track. If I have a few social outings on the calendar, I’ll plan ahead and know how I’m going to stick to my goal.
“My favorite way to work with students and clients when setting goals is to get them to think about how they want to feel first, such as, ‘I want to feel strong.’ As a result of that feeling, identify things you can do to achieve that. Those tangible things you can do to achieve that feeling turns into your goal.”
4. HEIDI JONES, FOUNDER OF SQUAD WOD, CROSSFIT INSTRUCTOR SOLACE NEW YORK
Resolution: To use my fitness in new and different ways.
Strategy: Daily reminders, and a little peer pressure
“I am going to challenge myself by signing up for a long-distance bike tour, a Spartan Beast Race and a GORUCK Challenge. The way I will make this happen is by hopefully convincing other fitness buddies to join me.
“Peer pressure is an amazing thing when used in a positive manner. There is a level of accountability when you build a team around a similar goal. Not only can we workout together, but we can also celebrate the achievement of the goal together, which makes it even sweeter.
“My number 1 strategy to successfully achieve my goal is to write it down and put it somewhere that I will see on the daily. The power of suggestion is just that — powerful. If I can see my challenge or goal written down on a piece of paper, or saved as my screensaver, it will keep me focused on the goal.”
5. JOY DUBOST, PHD, REGISTERED DIETITIAN & FOOD SCIENTIST
Resolution: To nail my protein intake.
Strategy: A little bit of everything
“I’d like to evenly distribute my protein intake throughout the day — 20–30 grams with each meal — but also to ensure I consume protein within 30 minutes after exercise, which can assist with muscle repair and growth.
“I am a competitive masters athlete in figure skating. As I age, I want to ensure that my diet supports the muscle synthesis needed to support my training. As many adult athletes know, it gets harder as you get older, so I want to ensure that I give my body the best nutrition possible to optimize my body’s recovery.
“As with any resolution or goal, a plan is needed. Writing it out and posting it on your refrigerator or mirror in the bathroom can assist with meeting your goals. Ensuring your grocery list accurately reflects those goals also helps. Stock your pantry or refrigerator with the proper foods needed to meet that goal. Have them visible and upfront so that when you open the refrigerator door or pantry those items are right in the front at eye level.
“Track your progress by keeping a diary which includes not just the food but any emotions or feelings tied to it. Share your goals or resolution with others. Find a supportive network and celebrate your success.”
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