At the beginning of any New Year, it’s easy to feel that you’re about to take the first steps on the road to better health, fitness and weight management. However, it’s not uncommon that, just a few weeks into your lifestyle change, your determination and even your self-discipline may be on the wane. But take heart: taking a little time to review, evaluate and reset your goals can pay dividends in terms of both your motivation and your ability to succeed.
Take stock of your progress…and be fair to yourself!
Whether you are looking to make a lifestyle change, achieve weight management goals or embark on a new exercise regime, the key to maintaining your motivation lies in keeping track of your progress. For some people, the fear is that you may not have achieved those lofty goals which you set yourself in the beginning. Failing to achieve a perceived standard can lead to you feeling demotivated and more likely to give up on your new lifestyle change prematurely.
However, if you adopt a flexible attitude – in which you give yourself the latitude to adjust and refine your lifestyle goals – you may well find that your initial targets may have been woefully optimistic or overly demanding. Remember: there is a world of difference between a challenging goal and an impossible one. Aiming for the latter is a recipe for defeat and demoralisation.
This is nowhere as true as in the case of New Year weight management. When reviewing your goals it’s as important to be kind to yourself as it is to be realistic. For example, instead of berating yourself for failing to hit a target weight or fitness goal, give yourself credit for the progress you have achieved. Even taking a single step in the right direction is cause for celebration!
Ask yourself if your initial goals were too optimistic. Be honest about the difficulties you’ve encountered and use these as a way to plan for future success. After all, whether your goal is to lose a few pounds or gain them does it really matter if you achieve this in one month or three? Reviewing and resetting your goals isn’t a failure – it’s being realistic in the face of your efforts so far.
Beating yourself up over the failure to hit an initial goal isn’t helpful – taking stock and reviewing your target to take into account your progress so far is a far more positive strategy – and one which is much better for your mental health too.