Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution only to fail shortly after the first of the year? The majority of people have great intentions especially when it comes to exercise and dieting. It’s easy changing behaviors for a couple of days and then it seems things happen that get in the way. These obstacles keep us from reaching our full potential. There is a science behind making changes stick that anyone can learn.
Let’s use the New Year’s resolution example above to show how this might work. Most people make some lofty goal of losing twenty-five pounds only to give up a few days later because it was too hard. The reason for this is they don’t see any progress because the positive changes are too small and the goal was too big. The secret elements I have found to setting an attainable goal are simple to follow; the goal must be realistic, specific, measureable, and small while having a time limit placed.
Before you set a goal, it is important that we talk about the why. There has to be some motivation behind why you want to achieve or change something. You need to be clear on why you want to achieve or change. That is your motivation for driving yourself to work a little harder, change a habit, or even develop a new behavior.
In the weight loss example above, current reality is that you are twenty-five pounds heavier than you want to be. You have to paint a picture in your mind of why you want to lose twenty-five pounds. It might be for health reasons or you just want to look better in your clothes. The reason is ‘the why’ you need to be telling yourself out loud every day. For example, I want to lose twenty-five pounds to take extra weight off my knees and relieve the pain. By saying those words out loud everyday, you are conditioning your brain to see what the future could look like thus starting the processes of changing behaviors.
You must be wondering how I achieve larger goals if I set goals that are small. It’s simple; break larger goals down into bite size small goals that are easier to reach. The science behind selecting the goal is as important as the elements listed above. I have found that goals should focus on changing behaviors. Let’s stay with the example of losing weight. Setting a goal to lose twenty-five pounds this year is a very lofty. If you break that down and set it for two pounds a month, would that help? That is better but does that goal address changing behavior?
If you really want to lose two pounds in January, you need to start changing behaviors. Ask yourself what behaviors affect losing weight? Then assess the behaviors in your life that have affected weight gain to see what needs to be adjusted. Maybe you don’t sleep well, maybe you eat too many sweets, or maybe you don’t exercise enough.
I suggest picking one thing to change, master the new habit and then move to the next, keep goals small and don’t bite of more than you can chew, pun intended. Let’s assume that you don’t want to adjust your diet and you want to address it through exercise alone. Remember, you want to think small so you are changing behavior slowly. Could you set a goal to walk for an additional ten minutes every day? This goal does meet the elements. It’s reasonable, specific, measureable, small and yes it has time placed on it as you are doing it every day.
Let’s talk about how you hold yourself accountable for walking those extra ten minutes every day. I am a big fan of the Fitbit trackers and yes there are lots of others trackers on the market that will work. These devices make it easy to track changing behavior even in small increments making it easy to hold yourself accountable daily. The Fitbit will not hold your hand or twist your arm to get you up and moving; that has to come from the desire in you to change.
This is why you should be stating your goal out loud every day perhaps even posting it somewhere clearly, where you see it during the day. This is your motivation to change.
The Fitbit in this example is a tool used to track and measure your progress. Making small changes that you can see will add up and motivate you to keep going. In this case, when you can easily walk ten extra minutes a day, it has become a habit so increase it to twelve minutes and so on until you achieve your larger weight goal. The new habit has become your current reality and is easy to maintain.
If you are serious about getting healthy then look into the keto diet plan for losing those unwanted pounds and keeping them off.
For fitness and flexibility look at this article on Yoga for Beginners.
Please follow the link below to get your copy of my eBook “Fitbit Your Health – Behavioral hacks to get up and get moving. You will learn how changing behavior worked for me.
If you want to improve your health, wellbeing, or just want to drop a few pounds then you need to establish new behaviors. This book highlights hacks to change your behaviors in small ways that can add up to huge improvements.
- Behavioral hacks to get up and get moving
- How to make small changes add up
- Use your inner voice to motivate yourself
- How to use family/friends as support
- Humorous insights
This is a must read for the average person who needs assistance in getting up and get moving. Follow this author as he takes you through a humorous and motivational journey in his pursuit to improve his health and wellbeing.