It’s January 1st and you’ve resolved to eat healthier, workout, pay off your debts, call your mom more & spend more time with friends. You’ve got high hopes for ALL of it, & you’re excited to finally make a change. But by mid-January, you’re overwhelmed, deflated, & abandoning the best of intentions. Sound familiar? If you have a track record of abandoning your January goals & intentions, know that you’re not alone!
As humans, we’re programmed to operate in the world of all-or-nothing thinking, with the idea that ‘go big or go home’ is the goal. When it comes to goals for January, we tend to overcommit without knowing what we’re getting into, or how to accomplish them. And we feel like we need to start on January 1st, which means we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make lots of changes in January, right after a big holiday month, instead of letting ourselves ease in.
What’s a better strategy? Give yourself a trial run! But even before that, map out what you’d like to accomplish and be SPECIFIC! I always recommend utilizing SMART goals, which means making goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic & time-bound.
Here are a few examples of how you can implement SMART goals:
- Instead of saying ‘I’m going to eat more vegetables’, you can say ‘I’m going to eat a big salad for lunch Monday through Friday’ or ‘I’m going to prepare 4 different types of veggies on Sunday & incorporate them into my lunch & dinner meals.’
- Instead of saying ‘I want to eat healthier’, be specific with what you’re going to implement. You can say ‘I’m going to build my plate around protein, veggies & healthy fats every day’ or ‘I’m going to only eat when I’m hungry, sitting down to eat my meals without distraction whenever I’m home.’
- Instead of saying ‘I’m going to exercise’, you can say ‘I’m going to attend Crossfit on Monday, Wednesday & Friday at 5 pm for 3 months.’
By making goals specific, manageable & timely, you’re much more likely to be successful. And make sure you’re realistic! If you haven’t been paying any attention to what you’re eating, it’s not a good idea to jump right into keto. Your body will be thrown for a major loop & you’ll be left feeling the effects of making such a drastic change (think irritability, nausea, & headaches, to name a few). Feeling so badly will make you think you’re on the wrong track, and you’ll go back to your old habits. Instead, meet yourself where you are by getting started with smaller goals first. If you want more tips for goal setting, head here.
When I say a trial run, I mean it! Don’t put all the pressure on January 1st. Start now instead! Want to do a Whole30 or clean up your eating habits in January? Browse the web or buy a cookbook & make a few of the recipes to find new favorites! Start eating meals that align with your goals. This way, you’ll see which flavors & combinations you like more than others & can readjust as needed. Want to start exercising? Join a gym, get a Classpass membership, or join a yoga studio now and start going to classes. This will help you figure out which type of exercise you enjoy, & also which frequency is most realistic for your schedule and lifestyle.
The benefit of doing things this way? You’ll know what’s actually attainable in January, & what goals you should save for future months. Data shows that almost 80% of people abandon New Year’s goals by February. Given that statistic, wouldn’t you rather make smaller changes that actually stick?
To sum it up, here’s how:
- Map out everything you want to accomplish. Be specific! It’s not enough to want to eat healthy – you need to map out how you’ll do it.
- Prioritize your list based on what’s most important to you.
- Take action THIS month. Don’t wait until January. Give yourself a trial run now. Sign up for the gym, experiment with new recipes, or start saving a few dollars each week. By getting started now, you can figure out which goals might be too ambitious, & which are just right.
- Assess what’s working and what’s not. Not all of the goals you set will be realistic, & some might not be right for you in the moment. Keep those in your back pocket for future months when you’ve got some confidence in your ability to change your habits.
- Tweak your list for January. Be realistic here. Ideally, you’d only change one thing at a time. At most, I recommend bringing two new habits into your life at once. Your January Whole30 or your new workout routine might be enough to start. By being honest with yourself and keeping your list of goals realistic & manageable, you’ll be much more likely to make sustainable, long-lasting changes.
The key to building new habits (and making them stick) is consistency & repeating the behavior you’re trying to instill. Here’s how our meal plans can help you with your goals:
- Want to maintain consistency during the busy holiday season but don’t have any dietary restrictions? Our balance plan is perfect for you.
- Planning on a January Whole30 & want to give the meals a test drive? Grab a few meals each week to see which ones are your favorites & to get a feel for the rules before January.
- Want to try the keto diet in January? Start on our low carb plan today to slowly wean yourself off a higher carb diet, which will ensure that you don’t shock your body come January.
- Only need a few meals for the week because you’ve got holiday parties & activities? We’ve got you covered! Choose only the meals you need & leave the rest. Our plans are flexible!
I’m curious – have you ever done a trial run for a new habit or behavior? If not, are you going to try it this year?
If you’re looking to remove common inflammatory foods, give a new healthy habit a test run, or just reset, our Whole30 plan works to improve your mood, your digestion, and help give you clearer skin. Check our our Whole30 meal plan today!