7 Proven Techniques To Accomplish Your Fitness Goals
Have you broken your New Year’s resolution yet?If so, you aren’t alone. Studies suggest that 20% of resolutions are broken within the first week and 80% are broken by the end of February and the actual figure is probably much higher than that.But the big question is: Why?An even bigger question: What can we do about it?We’ll explore the top seven reasons for breaking resolutions and proven science-based techniques for avoiding them.#1. All-or-none thinking. “Resolutions” set us up for failure by luring us into all-or-none thinking. Most people think in terms of “keeping” their resolutions, or “breaking” them.Thinking in black-or-white terms of “success” or “failure” can be fun as long as you are making good progress. But the joy of feeling like a “pure success” soon fades with the first minor setback, and you plunge into feeling like a total failure.In other words, all-or-nothing thinking leads to the next cause of breaking resolutions: the snowball effect.Don’t let little set backs keep you from achieving big goals. It’s OK to lose a battle here and there as long as you keep your eyes on the prize and win the war.#2. The snowball effect.We’ve all experienced the snowball effect: letting a minor lapse snowball into a major relapse and a total collapse. Because all-or-nothing thinking is a major factor, it happens to resolution-makers all the time.Dieters frequently suffer from the snowball effect as well, because they typically think in terms of being “on” their diet, or “off” it. Any little setback leads them to think that theyhave “broken” it and they pig out.Don’t let one bad meal or one bad weekend of eating mess you up in the head. It’s ok to take a step back as long as you take two forward.#3. Overlooking progress and dwelling on setbacks.The “law of effect” is the most fundamental law in psychology. It’s simple: actions followed by rewards are strengthened and likely to recur.It seems obvious, but most people do just the opposite. Study after study has shown people who try — and fail — to make life changes self-reward too little, and self-punish too much.Resolutions-makers (and dieters) do this all the time. After two weeks of healthy eating and exercise, for example, they have an ice cream cone. But instead of rewarding themselves for two weeks of solid progress, they beat themselves up over their minor setback.This is not a race. It’s a marathon. It’s who can sustain exercise and healthy eating the longest. Don’t beat yourself up.
#4. No plan (& bad goal setting & we forget)These reasons all go together and they all have the same root cause.Most people resolve to do X in the coming year, and don’t think much beyond that. But an annual resolution is too far in the future to be motivating. You won’t be inspired to take action, or to make a plan and follow through. And because such a distant goal simply won’t show up on your “radar screen,” you’ll soon forget about it. Until next New Year’s.Instead, studies show that resolution-keepers use the proven principles for setting goals that will keep them focused, motivated, and confident.#5. The “nice-to-keep” syndromeLet’s face it — for most people, their resolution is a “nice-to-keep,” not a “need-to-keep.”Sure, they’d like to be fit, or quit smoking, or have better relationships, or whatever. But by February, they get focused on issues that are supposedly more “pressing,” or get bogged down “putting out fires.” Their longer-term, nice-to-have goals keep getting put on the back burner, and are soon forgotten.Resolution-keepers do it differently.They use a variety of commitment-enhancing and pre-commitment strategies that ensure they avoid the “nice-to-keep” syndrome. They find ways to keep themselves accountable, and follow through on the things that are truly important to them.#6. No Vision (& not understanding the all-important “why”)The motivating power of any goal comes from truly understanding *why* you want it. But most resolution-makers don’t think through their underlying motivations.Just wanting to lose ten pounds for its own sake may be a fine goal, but it won’t be enough to motivate you when you have to make sacrifices or suffer a setback.But you’ll have that motivation if you know that getting in shape will mean having more stamina for playing with your kids or going on a big hiking trip with your friends.#7. Not enough action.All of the “small” reasons for not keeping resolutions add up to one big reason: not enough action.Most people know what to do in order to keep their resolution They have the blueprint for success. But they don’t take sufficient action.There’s no great secret to weight loss success – just burn off more calories than you take in. Eat more vegetables, watch your portion sizes, and exercise more (studies have shown that weight loss maintainers average one hour of exercise per day!). It’s not hard to figure out. It’s just hard to do it and maintain these lifestyle changes over the long-term. Most people start out OK, but don’t take sufficient action to cement their new habits, and make their life changes permanent.
Michael Romig BS, CPT, CFT, PES, CES, RES & FT
PG Fit, LLC
Chicken Stir Fry
Think you don’t have enough time to cook a healthy meal? Think again. This healthy and delicious chicken stir fry takes only minutes to make. Instead of chopping the vegetables yourself, this recipe calls for pre-chopped ingredients found in the produce section of your grocery store. Skip the take out line tonight and try this recipe instead.Yield: 6 servings
Here’s what you need…
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1 cup asparagus, cut into 2 inch segments
- 1 (16 oz) package pre-chopped stir fry vegetables
- 1 (10 oz) package shredded cabbage
- 1 cup chopped pineapple
- 1 cup chopped cooked chicken breast
- 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok. Add the garlic. When the garlic is browned add the asparagus. Stir fry for 5 minutes or until the asparagus turns bright green.
- Add the chopped stir fry vegetables, cabbage, and pineapple. Stir fry for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the cooked chicken pieces and mix in the teriyaki sauce. Stir fry for another minute, until the sauce is evenly distributed.
Nutritional Analysis:One serving equals: 117 calories, 1.8g fat, 15.8g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, and 10.7g protein.