Happy New Year everyone! Okay, here we go! It is a new year, a fresh start, and you’ve probably already set a bunch of New Year resolutions. Am I right?! It sounds weird, but I don’t really celebrate the new year anymore. For me a fresh start can happen at any time, any moment.
But a coincidental New Years resolution a few years ago was that I quit smoking. Never really gave it a lot of thought before, but on New Years Eve 2018, I just had enough, and I haven’t smoked since. An unfortunate side effect of this was that I gained some pounds that were really hard to lose. I mean, I am not in my twenty’s anymore. When you are older it takes more effort to maintain your body. Instead of rushing into dieting, work outs (and probably at one point giving up), I gave myself time and set small, manageable goals.
My first small goal was not to eat sugar every day, but every other day. When I got used to this, I added a second goal: 10 minute work outs, 3 times a week. So a few weeks in I was ready for my third goal: healthier eating. To be more specific: portion control! As I look back on my journey, this was probably the most important one! Without realizing, my portions were way too big! I always forced myself to finish the plate because I was eating healthy food, but in fact I was overeating. Yes, even with healthy food you can overeat.
Of course I also fall back into old habits sometimes, but you can always start again. That didn’t mean that I failed, but that life happened. So don’t be too hard on yourself when it happens (because it will), but also do not use it as an excuse to give up. Get back on track, and enjoy the process!
My tips to reach (and maintain) your goals for 2022:
- Set one goal at a time. This is more manageable.
- Don’t rush into it, but take your time. There is no fast track in reaching your goals. Achieving goals takes time.
- Setbacks happen and that is okay. Accept them, maybe take a small break, and start again. You haven’t lost anything. You gained experience!
- It is always nice to share your enthusiasm with other people (friends or family), but it will also be harder to reach or maintain your goals. People’s expectations of themselves are often (too) high and tend to give up easier when they feel they have to prove something to someone else. Sometimes it is better to keep your goals to yourself until you have reached your first. You do it for YOU, not for them!
- Know that you are not alone! Find someone that has similar goals and support each other. I do this together with my partner. Whenever he feels like giving up, I am there to motivate him, or the other way around.
Let’s make 2022 healthier, happier, and more fun!