Top Five Resolution Mistakes

It’s a new year and that time again when we are all excited to start fresh, we make resolutions and goals in hopes our lives will be more prosperous, we hope to feel better and look better.  A new year means a new chance to start eating better, exercising more and a new chance at changing our bodies and our health.  But the question remains…how long will it last?  How many of us make resolutions only to have them fade away by March?

Here are five mistakes I’ve seen people make when creating their resolutions.

Mistake #1 – Making too many resolutions

Sometimes we can go overboard with our resolutions and this can eventually make us feel overwhelmed because we know we can’t commit to them all.  Any new behaviour needs to be practiced over and over, it actually takes 21 days for a new behaviour to become a habit and for it to be deeply ingrained in our brains.  This year pick no more than 3 goals, and these should be goals you can carry out on a regular basis (daily or weekly).  For example, if you’re goal is to lose weight you’re 3 new behaviours could be eating a protein smoothie for breakfast, drinking at least 2 litres of water daily and eating a colourful salad daily.

Taking on anymore than 3 goals and you can easily set yourself up for failure.

Mistake #2 – Being too vague

It’s hard to meet a goal if it’s too vague.  Make your goals very specific.  For example, a vague goal could be something like, “lose weight”, “be able to run 5km”, specific and more achievable goals look more like this, “lose 1 lb. every 2 weeks until I’ve lost 10 lb.”, “run 1km week 1, 2km week 2, 3km week 3 etc until I can run 5km”.  These goals are quantifiable which allows you to also track your progress.

Mistake #3 – Not setting a date or benchmark

What good is your resolution if you have no start date, end date or an end goal, it’s going to be very hard for you to achieve what you desire.  You must give yourself a start date, such as “January 1st I will weigh myself and write it down”. Your end date is just as important, for example “I will lose 1 lb. every 2 weeks until March 1 or until I’ve lost 10 lb.”.  It’s also important to set realistic end dates that you know you can fit into your lifestyle.

Mistake #4 – Not sharing your goals

Tell the world!  You can increase your motivation, accountability and stick with your goals if you share your progress with family and friends.  You can share in many ways, by emailing close friends and family, Facebook, twitter, writing a blog, or sharing your journey on YouTube.

Mistake #5 – Thinking everything will work out perfectly

Let’s be honest, there will be times when you feel your goal is not going the way you planned, or life gets in the way and messes things up a little.  Allow yourself some wiggle room, it doesn’t always have to be “all or nothing”.  If you’ve had a day where your diet went awry, don’t worry, get back at it tomorrow.  If you’ve committed to working out 1 hour every day and you have a day where you’ve only got 20 minutes, don’t get discouraged, those 20 minutes are better than not doing it at all.  Just keep at it, it will all be worth it!

Feel free to share your new year’s resolution in the comments below and what tactics you are using to stick with them.