Stop trying to climb the New Year’s Resolution mountain, climb the smaller hills instead

How is your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight going?  After taking a look at the calendar I was stunned to realize that we’re almost three weeks into 2013 already and since it takes 21 days to form a new habit (AKA: a New Year’s resolution) then you are almost there!

But as I know from experience, that doesn’t always happen.  Your resolution may have already been broken.  I’m here to tell you that’s okay.  Today is a new day and you can resume your resolution right where you left off!  It’s very common for people to break a New Year’s Resolution, especially if it’s one that felt too drastic and overwhelming . It’s not the end of the world so don’t be too hard on yourself!

Before you start up, let’s make sure that you are not dreading the resolution that you originally set for yourself.  If you do, you’ll probably break it again.  Make the resolution more doable and change it a little bit.  If you make it easier to follow then you’ll have a better chance to stay on track.

It starts by thinking about your resolution.  Do you dread your resolution?  Why is that?  Do you feel like the resolution is similar to a gigantic mountain in front of you that is just too big to climb?   That is a very common feeling, and there is a solution.  Break up your resolution into separate miniature hills, ones that you can take on and accomplish without feeling overwhelmed.  Not only are these hills doable, but when you accomplish them you feel great, making you want to stay on track and keep your resolution!

For example, exercise:

Don’t tell yourself that you have to get to the gym and work out every day for hours, that’s a big mountain to climb.  Instead, tell yourself that you will walk outdoors for five minutes each day (approximately 650 steps on a pedometer.)   That is a tiny hill that you can take on and accomplish without any problem.  As the days pass by and you conquer those small hills, you’ll realize that you’re already outdoors and walking for five minutes, why not walk a bit longer.  Before long you’ll be climbing your own Mt. Everest, without even realizing it.

Another example, food:

Don’t put yourself on a strict diet; in fact, don’t diet at all.   That’s overwhelming and again, the thought of sticking to any diet month after month is too much of a burden and almost impossible to accomplish.  Instead tell yourself to relax about food.  Make small goals for yourself, like to eat a healthy breakfast every day.  If you find that is the reason why you’ve been skipping breakfast each morning is because you are short on time, simply keep a box of low-fat granola or protein bars in your car and you can consume one on the way to work.   Another idea is to take smaller portions at every meal.  It’s simple and doable, but can save hundreds of calories per day.   Focus more on the meals you are eating this year so that they are prepared with less fat, salt, sugar or all three of those things.    Guess what? You’ve just conquered another hill.

It’s okay if you went off your New Year’s Resolution.   Today marks a brand new beginning, it doesn’t matter what the calendar says.  You can resume your resolution right where you left off and conquer any hill out there – I know it, because I believe in you.

Photo credit: Move The Clouds

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