January 1st, the unofficial end to all of the holiday season hoopla, huge feasts, and family time.

A brand new year, a brand new you!!!

This is the time to burn off all of those holiday cookies, Kahlua drinks, and eggnog and once and for all and get into the best shape of your life. You devise a plan to clean up the diet, eat less processed food and cut back on the tasty alcohol laced desert drinks.

In addition to eating better you’ve also made the resolution to exercise 4 days per week at your local health club and go for nightly walks with Fido in the bitter cold.

These ideas are all wonderful, and I applaud anyone looking to better themselves and make positive changes.

But Why Wait?

Why make up your mind now to change later? A date on a calendar should not be a trigger to make positive changes. Get ahead on your goals and start today to minimize the Holiday damage or …GASP… Get into better shape now before the New Year and develop positive habits.

 What is the big deal with New Years resolutions anyways?  Some statistics say as over 50% of people make a serious New Years resolution with the majority of those targeted at weight loss or improving health in some fashion.

Now what percentage of people succeed in their resolution? 20%? 30%?

Nope, most numbers put the success rate closer to 10%. That is a pretty measly number, why is it so low? 

Because most people struggle mightily with developing a game plan. A blueprint must be designed with the backbone being proper goal setting for lifestyle changes. No fad diets, but real change in how you eat, exercise, and live your life. Here is how to set up your goals.

Goals that are set should be all of the following:

         Written down, ideally somewhere that you see the goal daily

         Specific and measurable

         On a deadline

         Realistic

         Inspiring and personally significant

 

By using these criteria you can develop a concrete, well-formed outcome goal with a much higher probability of success.

 In addition, understanding the difference between Outcome goals and Behavioral goals is important.  To put it simply Outcome goals are the final goals such as “ I want to get to 10% body fat.”

Behavioral goals are the driving force that represent the steps you must take to reach the outcome. An example of a behavioral goal could be “ I commit to missing no more than 10% of my scheduled exercise sessions for the next eight weeks. “

 In order to reach that final Outcome goal you must have well-defined and practical behavioral goals.

 This is a template I often use myself and with my clients when attempting to make a change. Trying too many new things at once is often too drastic, so I approach one change at a time, master it, and add a new one every two weeks.

 

 

  Goal Setting and Lifestyle Change  
                   
 Main Goal:                  
Behavioral Change:   Monday: Tuesday: Wed.: Thursday: Friday: Saturday: Sunday:  
                   
wk1-2:                  
                   
wk 3-4:                  
                   
wk 5-6:                  
                   
wk 7-8:                  
                   
wk 9-10:                  
                   
wk 11-12:                  
                   
                   
To achieve a goal you must select specific goals. To accomplish goals it is best to focus on one  
clear and concise activity at once and make it a habit for two weeks. Once you have performed  
this new behavior 14x straight add a new goal and build upon progress using the same strategy.  
Ex:                  
Goal: I want to lose 20lbs, or 5% body fat.            
Behavioral Change: weeks 1-2              
Eat 1 handful of vegetables 3 times per day. (At this point you would use the Days to check off  
That you performed your goal.)              
                   
wks 3-4                  
Take my dog for a 25 minute walk upon waking up each morning        
                   
* Put this template somewhere important that you see daily. It could be on a bulletin board at work,  
your fridge at home, or your nightstand to see your goal each morning and check off at night.  

 Remember, Goals should be

 

–         Written down, ideally somewhere that you see the goal daily

 

–         Specific and measurable

 

–         On a deadline

 

–         Realistic

 

 –         Inspiring and personally significant

 

 

 

So there you have it, I really don’t like New Years Resolutions and believe a date on a calendar should not keep you from initiating positive change in your life. Make changes now, but have a game plan to give yourself a fighting chance. It is better to make smaller, easier changes and build momentum over time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Every great structure has a blueprint, your body is no different. Get ahead of the 8 Ball and get going today!Image

About Eric Bach Performance

Eric Bach is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Precision Nutrition Level 1 (PN1) with a degree in Kinesiology Concentrated in Human Performance and Emphasizing Sports Performance from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. A former collegiate Strength Coach Eric now resides in Denver, Colorado. Eric coaches clients at Forza Fitness and Performance Center and trains everyone from weekend warriors and post rehabilitation patients to professional athletes. Eric developed his passion for fitness through a competitive sports career which included competitive Olympic lifting, Football, Track and Field, and Powerlifting. Eric is a self proclaimed fitness nerd who enjoys reading, eating, deadlifting, and living a healthy and fullfilling life while helping others dominant their lives in and out of the gym. Eric can be contacted at ericbachperformance.com for all consultations and questions

2 responses »

  1. bezzymates says:

    This is a really good post. Many people I know resolved to change their lives mid year or well before Christmas. As long as goals are obtainable and realistic, resolutions to improve your quality of life and health should be made anytime of the year.

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