I love this time between Christmas and New Year – a time for me to sit back and ponder over the year gone by and the year to come, but no pressure as yet to clean out the kitchen, sort the piles of receipts and bills, although there’s the thank you notes to write.
I like to think I use it to good effect by reading around (a luxury I don’t get every month of the year) and to then carefully consider what I can put in place come Jan 1st 2017. I recognise that what I do between that early date and next December matters more than this crazy over-indulgent holiday week.
In years gone by I have either gone for the carrot or stick approach – rarely a combination of both, but this year might bring a departure to that. Sometimes I respond to a stern word or two and more often encouragement so maybe this mix will work better for the coming 12 months.
So goal setting is on my mind, but only just … I’m still exploring. The guest post below has been one feature I have read that has given me food for thought … it might do the same for you.
GUEST POST: Goal achievement, especially when it comes to health and fitness, can be a mystery. Most of us have no trouble with Step 1 (Setting the Goal). Setting a goal is the easy part, it’s those other steps that can be a puzzle. But you CAN turn achieving your goals into a science with the right strategies. Here are a few of our favourites:
DO create a plan. DON’T wait for “someday” to roll around.
Setting the goal is just the first step. Know where you’re going, what resources you’ll need, who can help and – most importantly – what Plan B is when life throws a monkey wrench into Plan A.
DO start small. DON’T focus on too many things at once.
Try focusing on one goal at a time. Use a small goal that you know you can do each day for the next two weeks, like getting up without the snooze or drinking eight cups of water daily. Build that first habit to boost your confidence and pick up speed.
DO write it down. DON’T forget to give yourself a deadline.
Deadlines turn wishes into goals. The act of writing down your goal is powerful enough to keep you committed and focused. Better yet, find a visual that represents your goal or how your life will be different. Seeing it makes it seem more possible.
DO be specific. DON’T deal in absolutes.
Avoid the words ‘some’ and ‘more’, as in “I will get SOME exercise” or “I will eat MORE veggies.” It leaves too much wiggle-out room. Deal in measurable things that you have control over. And never say ‘never’ or ‘always.’ All or nothing is a common attitude that leads people back to bad habits.
DO leave room for failure. DON’T expect perfection.
Persistence is key. Accept the fact that you might not make it on the first try. In a recent study, only 40% of people who successfully followed New Year’s resolutions did it on the first try; 17% of resolution achievers took six or more tries before they got it right – but they did get it right.
DO track your progress. DON’T fool yourself into failure.
Memory can be pretty selective. It conveniently forgets that extra brownie while remembering activity that never happened. The only way to know for sure is to track goals regularly with a checklist or journal.
DO reward your success. DON’T beat yourself up over failure.
This is the step that trips up most people. Negative thoughts are usually in our heads, telling us every day what we’re doing wrong. This is not the approach to take to succeed with your goals. Why not focus on what you’re doing right instead? If you take a step back, learn from it and take two steps forward.
DO find a support system. DON’T try to do it alone.
A goal buddy can make all the difference this time. People that can help are all around you – on the SparkPeople support message boards, at work, even in your own family. Just add one person to your support group, and you double your motivation, double your energy, double your commitment – and double your FUN.
DO make a commitment. DON’T ever forget that you can do it.
Feature courtesy of Mike Kramer sparkpeople.com
I know that my plans will include focusing on portion control it’s the only effective, long-term and virtually guaranteed way to lose and maintain weight after WLS. It’s oh so easy to veer away from checking your portions at every meal (guesswork comes in) and focus slides. I do use my bariatric portion plate every day but I shall also be using my bariatric measuring cups more, my bariatric bento for meals away from home, my new cutlery at meals in the home and also away (safely stashed away in a spectacles case for such eventualities) plus writing down in my journal everything that passes my lips and any exercise I do, to get back on track.
I’ll be covering this more as New Year approaches but for now there’s still some leftovers to deal with (even if re-purposed for the freezer for meals in the coming month). If you wish to get ahead and consider some portion control products and join me getting back on track then the details are below: