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New Year, New You? How Not to Set Yourself Up for Failure

Updated: Feb 22

Come on, let's be well have you done with your New Year's resolutions?

Every year you make them and every year they fail. You start strong, maybe for the first week or so and then by February, you've either given up or forgotten about them.

Or maybe you do this.. begin the year with a detox or "slim tea" to try to rid yourself of the extra weight and guilt of overeating during the holidays.

Stop doing that to yourself. Resolutions don't happen because you make them on January 1st. You need a PLAN with goals that are realistic and achievable. Take note of these points to set yourself up for success.

Identify your goal

For instance, if your goal is to get fit, which is one of the top new year's resolutions - what does that mean to you exactly? If it's weight loss, how much weight? A more toned body, what does that look like? Reduced A1C, lower blood pressure or cholesterol - what levels do you need to get to for improved health? When goals are vague, i.e. you want to lose weight, it's hard to know when you reach success. Getting specific with your goal will allow you to work towards it with achievable steps.

How will you get there?

You can't wish or pray a goal into existence. To manifest it, you need a map to help you accomplish it. This is where many people fail, especially us ladies. We look at other women on social media who have the look we desire and try to copy what they do. We drink the detox Kool-aid we saw advertised on TV, buy the waist-trainers worn by our favorite influencer and go hard with the TikTok workouts, only to get disappointed when we don't get instant results or the results are unsustainable. Or maybe, you attempt to make drastic changes, or too many changes all at once, only to get overwhelmed and quit. Sis, please don't be afraid seek out proper help and direction.

Should you go it alone, or hire professional help?

This is where you really have to reflect on what your achieving your goal means to you - whaat's your "why". If you want to shed a few pounds to look cute in a birthday outfit in two months, then you maybe you can go it alone or get a buddy for support. But if you've tried to lose weight in the past and have repeatedly failed or your habits are negatively impacting your health, consider hiring a professional as a necessary investment for your wellness and longevity.

You decided you need help, now what?

If you choose to hire a fitness trainer, do your due diligence and ask questions on how she or he can help you. If learning how to choose and prepare foods to support your goals are important (not only to lose the weight for your birthday trip), then you need someone who is knowledgeable about nutrition. An experienced fitness coach will also consider your current fitness level and won't push you to do difficult workouts that may cause you to get injured or discouraged.

Staying the course

This part is uber-important. Recognizing that change isn't instantaneous is key to persevering through the challenges and setbacks. As a fitness coach, I assure my clients to trust the process and understand that success is not linear - there are ups and downs which are perfectly normal. I also encourage them to look beyond the scale to measure their progress and embrace the power of small triumphs. Victories like walking up a flight of stairs without getting winded, getting out of bed with greater ease, or comfortably walking without that pesky thigh rub are all signs that you are moving in the right direction in your fitness journey.

Start from a place of self-love

Are you ready to make 2024 your year of fitness wins? Whether you decide to tackle your goals solo or get the support of a fitness expert - remember, be kind to yourself! Your desire to change should be fueled by self-love and wanting to enhancing your well-being, strength, and vitality - not changing who you are. Take that important first step and let's see if we can make it happen!

Pat Greaves is a Menopause Fitness Specialist, NASM certified fitness trainer and Precision Nutrition coach whose passion is helping women 40 and over to become a healthier, fitter version of themselves. She has contributed her fitness expertise to Women's Health magazine, Prevention magazine, CNBC Make it, and has been featured on NBC New York with Michelle Park.

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