Parades, fireworks, hot dogs and … New Year’s resolutions? Yes, it is the Fourth of July this week, but it’s also the mid-point of the year and a good time to revisit those resolutions you made way back on January 1st.
How are you doing with those New Year’s resolutions? It has been six months, and while it may seem like forever, that’s actually a short time span for creating lasting behavior change. If you have not met your goals, you are in good company. Less than 10% of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually keep them.
Regardless of how long your commitment lasted – and kudos if you’re still going strong! – now is a good time to take stock, make revisions and recommit to your diet and fitness goals. After all, you haven’t failed until you give up – and you have six more months to achieve your New Year’s resolutions!
Here are five reasons from Fit After Fifty that you may have fallen short of your goals.
1. Unrealistic Expectations – Have you set a goal for yourself that is actually achievable? If your resolution was to lose 50 lbs. in three weeks, it is no surprise you did not meet that goal. Don’t set the bar so high that no one could possibly reach it. It is better to set a smaller goal and be successful, than to set yourself up for failure by setting an unrealistic one.
2. Poor Planning – Did you even have a plan? If you have no plan in place to actually achieve your goal, you are likely to miss the mark. Start by writing down your goals and posting them where you’ll see them often. Then, brainstorm how to reach your goals, one step at a time, setting deadlines to keep you moving forward.
3. Giving Up Too Easily – When you begin to stumble, you may become discouraged and give up too quickly. This is especially true if if your goal was unattainable in the first place. To get back on track, break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces. Set intermediate goals, or benchmarks that can inspire you to continue.
4. Trying to Do It By Yourself – It is easier to reach your goals when you allow someone else to be part of your progress. Having a buddy who inspires you to do better is essential if you want to reach your fitness goals. It can be very lonely working out at home or at the gym by yourself, and it is easier to find an excuse to skip “just this one time.”
5. Poor Time Management – Sometimes you will set a goal that turns out to take a larger chunk of time every day than you can afford, or is a project that takes longer than you expected. Don’t be that person who won’t work out if you cannot spend a whole hour. Split your workout into smaller bites. It is better to exercise for 15 or 20 minutes than not at all.
Now would be a good time to revisit your fitness resolutions, and adjust your plan and your expectations. It is never too late to start over! And, with summer in full-swing, there’s no better time than now to develop an exercise habit. Summer days tend to be a little less busy, there’s extra incentive to be active outside, and more hours of sunlight make it easier to exercise before or after work. Plus, there’s still plenty of time to get a solid exercise routine established before things get hectic again in the fall – motivation enough to get back to your exercise schedule now, rather than later when it will be harder to stay on track.
With a little creative thinking, you can make the next six months into your most successful year ever for achieving your New Year’s resolutions. And don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t succeed at first. Instead, remember that achieving a goal is a process, and congratulate yourself when you make progress! Your body, and your health, will thank you for every bit of progress you make toward reaching your diet and fitness goals.