“You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.” –Mary Pickford
It’s the first day of a new month. It’s the first day of a new week. It’s the first days of the best days of the rest of your life. Don’t wait until the year has gone by to decide to get back on the wagon. Do it now! Remember back in the days of this thing called the “Super Nintendo,” there were those grey game cartridges that you would stick in the top of the system in order to play the game. So you’re playing the game, having fun, killing Galoombas & Koopa Troopers (how I loved Super Mario World), and you make to Browser’s castle (again) ready to find the Princess and free Yoshi’s friends…. Now your palms are a little sweaty because you’ve not been here before. Just as you go in, the game freezes- what do you do? Well, what every other 80s baby did- curse loudly, hope your mom didn’t hear it, snatch the cartridge out of the system and blow frantically into it then reset the game. Okay well, maybe it was just me and my friends! Regardless of how you went about it- whether the game froze, you ran out of lives, whatever- you had to restart the game.
The same is true for your weight loss and wellness goals. There have been many times (and there’s bound to be many more) when I have needed to blow something fresh into my wellness plan and reset the system. As you progress in your journey, you’ll find that even though you haven’t fallen of the wagon, there is still a need to reset in order to get the results you want. When that time comes (or if you’re in that time now), here are 5 easy ways to reset the system (no cartridge blowing required) and move onward towards accomplishing your goals.
1. Goals: Set 2 or 3 new less aggressive (but not weak) goals within your goal. Sometimes (especially if you fancy New Year’s Resolutions) we set lofty goals like “I’ll save $10,000 this year” and stop there. We don’t move past the aspiration to the execution- how are we going to get it accomplished? What do we need to do in order to make it happen? We just have this lofty goal (in the case of $10k- completely “pie-in-the-sky-gonna-take-a-miracle-but-all-things-are-possible” kind of goal) and as the year moves forward and you realize that nothing has been done with this giant goal looming over your head… our confidence in our ability to pull it off begins to sink and before you know it, we’ve jumped ship and deserted the goal. Avoid this by breaking your big goal into smaller manageable chunks that don’t overwhelm you. So instead of being stressed out about losing 40lbs this year, your focused on loosing 4lbs this month. Or if you’re at a place where the scale is no longer your friend (I’m thinking mine is going back into the doghouse) make your goals around something besides pounds like inches, adhering to your meal plan 5 out of 7 days each week, working out x number of times this month, etc. Accomplishing these small goals helps you build momentum that propels you forward and even through the “why-isn’t-this-S*@#-WORKING” plateaus. Connecting with your small goal daily keeps you focused and reminded of what’s important.
2. Tracking: Now this is where the learning consultant (my day job) comes out in me. What gets measured, gets done. That’s how it works in the corporate world, and the same is true for you. It’s easy to set a goal in your mind only to forget all about it. But when you say it out loud, write it on paper (or type it in your nifty smart device), AANNNNDD measure it (*gasps and clutches pearls*) every week… it gets done. Or you deem it not important and don’t do it and that kinda speaks to the need to restart. *sidenote: we make time and provision for what we deem is important- be that work, school, weight loss, taking care of the kids. It’s all about what we choose to prioritize- that’s the brutally honest truth folks. And when I remind myself just how important not just weight loss- but optimum health, how important that is to me, then I choose to do the work it takes and stick to the plan.* So think about a simple quantitative way to measure progress again your goal this month. Perhaps it’s measuring the number of workouts each week or measuring the number of calories you consumed. Tracking this weekly (or in applicable instances, daily) helps you see if you’re really on track to accomplishing your mini goal. It gives you a chance to check in with yourself and determine whether or not you’re putting in the work and if not, you can see what you need to work on.
3. Back to Basics: Eat LESS and Move MORE. My weight loss journey started with baby steps and keeping a keen eye on portions and calories. While I’ve moved beyond my calorie counting days and have settled into a conscious, clean-eating groove, when I need to reset, move through a plateau, or shock my system, having that laser focus on how much food I’m really eating helps. The honest to goodness truth is when you get past the fact that weight loss is 100% mental, 70% of results come from time spent in the kitchen and the other 30% of results come from time spent exercising. So when you tighten up on the meal plan, the results will come.
4. Community: Plug in to a community. There are tons of groups on social media that build camaraderie and allow you to share your experience. More like “I-don’t-want-everybody-all-up-in-my-business,” no worries- this is where the incredible community of bloggers comes in handy. Whether they know it or not, this healthy mama and this fit chick are a part of my restart system because they keep me motivated, share fresh ideas, and inspire creativity. Checking in with them helps me be reminded that there are other people working on being their best self too and they are experiencing some of the same challenges. It’s kind of like they’ve been there and done that and are able to relate with how I feel and help me move beyond it.
5. Challenge: Those 30 day exercise challenges are great ways to shake it up and add a little something extra to your routine. They encourage you to at least do one little thing towards your fitness goals. Often times if you do that one little thing, you’re more likely to be able to convince yourself that you can do something else- like drag your lazy bones to the gym. Pintrest is chocked full of different challenges that are easy to follow and actually work (in conjunction with the right food and exercise plan of course). Why not target your core with this planks challenge.