How many new year’s resolutions have you made and kept through the years? If you’re like most people, you can relate to the difficulty involved in reaching your goals. It is time to make your goals stick, so they positively affect your life rather than make you feel like a failure!
First of all, get rid of the idea that you have to do your goal perfectly to be successful. This is an uncomfortable mindset if you have a perfectionist mentality, but less is more when you do the “less” over a longer period.
Most people have an “all-or-nothing” mindset: they make one or two mistakes and then give up. To avoid this defeatist thinking, add some additional bite-sized options alongside your initial goal. You can still aim to make your most challenging choice, but by adding plan “B” “C” and “D” to plan “A,” you also have a few easier options on those days that you have run out of time or feel less motivated.
Doing plan “C” instead of “A” won’t be giving up, but rather it is part of your plan and still helps you move towards your goal. Even if you ended up always choosing the least ambitious option, you would still be way ahead of the game at the end of the year. However, that isn’t usually what happens!
Those days that you feel a little lazy or drained, you have less challenging options to help get you out there doing something. Once you’re out there, often you do just a little bit more. Crazy, but it’s true.
Implementing something is so much better than doing nothing. These additional options will help you not only to continue to reach your end goal but also to keep your motivation going. Just carrying on helps keep you out of the “failure-mindset” and deters you from abandoning your goal altogether.
So if your new year’s resolution is to run three miles a day, then that is your plan “A.” Plan “D” may be to run around the block or to run on the treadmill for ten minutes. Don’t think of plan “D” as a cop-out, since there will inevitably be days you can only do so much, due to time, motivation, weather, or a million other life-averting events that keep us from fulfilling our tasks.
Maybe you decide to cut out the refined sugar in your diet this year. That’s an ambition that can improve your health in a big way but can also set you up for failure. Lose the “all-or-nothing” mindset and add few easier alternatives to help you make this new year’s resolution successful. Plan “A” should include eating fruit in whole fruit form to help satisfy your sweet tooth and to access thousands of nutrients that work together synergistically to improve your health. Plan “B” or “C” might include one square of dark chocolate or a Yasso bar.
Plan “E” may be to share a dessert with the table and eat only a few bites of dessert. The first bites are the best tasting anyway. You’ll feel better that you didn’t just throw in the towel and eat the whole dessert which would lead to a whole week or longer of desserts. You see, you can have your cake and eat it too while consuming a lot less sugar over the year and feeling a whole lot better both physically and emotionally.
More ideas for plans “B,” “C,” “D,” and even plans “E” and “F” for this no-sugar goal, can be found in my book Lean Body, Smart Life. In fact, I narrowed down scientific findings to the twelve most important changes you can make for your health and weight in this book to help know which new year’s resolutions will make the most significant impact on your health and weight.
My Healthy Challenge for this month is to add alternative, less stringent options to your goals to help you achieve them and to make 2018 a success. You are more likely to continue working toward your goals. “Less” really is “more!”