Design a New Year's Resolution that Works
Katelyn Sander

Design a New Year's Resolution that Works

Living Well

Written by: Marvin Nixon, Personal Trainer & Health Coach, Toronto Athletic Club

New Year's resolutions are not designed to create achievable change. Previously, we’ve discussed how to initiate Healthy Habits that form Goals. The well-tread resolution "I am going to lose weight," is not an action. Losing body fat is not achievable without small steps. The small steps, our Healthy Habits, create the Goals that lead to lasting change.

I encourage anyone wanting to make a change to start with your Vision for the end of the year. Be considerate of that Vision aligning with the Values you consider most important. Work backward all the way to New Year’s Day with the absolute smallest Action you can do right now towards change. Consider what Actions need to happen to get there and then pick one to start.

Treat the process of change like acquiring a skill. Is the action you have chosen something that can be practiced and made stronger? Can these actions lead to Smart Goals? Set a shorter-term time frame you feel is Reasonable and Time-Bound and focus on making these Goals become Habits. These Habits will become the building blocks on which you will accomplish your resolution.

What action needs to be taken today to start that journey to a lighter and healthier you in one month, 3-months, 6-months, and a year?

Do you need to:

  • Cut out a certain food?
  • Add healthier food?
  • Start exercising?

What action is something that you can do and will enjoy enough to continue doing it? The key to reaching any health goal is consistency. No one can be consistent at something they hate.

Can that action be smaller and almost certainly achievable?

This develops an Action that leads to a Goal. The Action needs to be easy. So easy that it probably seems silly. If you are not sure that you can achieve the Action then make it easier, and easier, and easier, until you feel that you could do it without fail. That small Action is the first step in a process!

If you choose to start exercising what specifically are you going to do, when, where, and how often?

Going to the gym is an Action made up of a series of Steps:

  1. Put gym clothes in your bag
  2. Get to the gym
  3. Walking in the door

Sometimes the heaviest thing in a gym is the front door.

If exercising 5 days a week is too big an undertaking, what would happen if you put workout clothes in your gym bag five days a week? Does that feel like an Action that is so small you cannot fail? Do this for a week before trying to do something more. The next Action towards accomplishing your Goal is facing that heavy gym door.

Do you have a New Year’s Resolution for 2023? Let us support you in honing your Vision? Let us use that Vision to create an achievable set of Actions that allow you to accomplish your Goal! Our Health Coach Marvin Nixon, can answer your questions and work with you to get on track towards your ultimate health and wellbeing. Email Marvin here.

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