It’s about that time of year again. The New Year is just around the corner and with it comes those things we promise ourselves we’re going to achieve in the 12 months ahead. It can be easy enough to identify a health and fitness goal or two. The hard part is sticking with such resolutions. Forbes contributor Dan Diamond cited that just eight percent of people who make a New Year’s resolution stay the course. That’s right: 92 percent of us quit or fall short! We’re here to help you make sure you’re part of the eight percent who buck the trend in 2015.
1) Set Big and Mini Goals & Reward Yourself for Hitting Them
One of the reasons that resolutions often fail is that we shoot for a big, year-end milestone, such as “drop 25 pounds,” “squat 300 pounds” or “run a 20-minute 5K” without identifying any stepping stones to help us get to it. There’s a reason that companies like ours set quarterly goals: because they give us something to shoot for every few months and provide more realistic feedback about the health of our company.When it comes to your health in 2015, you should be just as deliberate and intentional. If you’re trying to hit a time goal for a certain distance, then shoot to drop a certain number of seconds by the end of March, a few more by the end of June, and so on, right through the year end. Same goes if its weight loss. Don’t just keep your final goal in mind, but also build in smaller targets to aim for throughout 2015. Check them off one by one and you’ll likely meet or exceed your end of year aims. Doing so will seem a lot easier if you give yourself goal-specific rewards along the way, like splurging on a new piece of workout gear if you hit a certain race time goal.
2) Record Your Progress
Before hitting the gym or going out for a paddle, or lining up at the starting line of a cycling race, it’s all too common to either ignore previous performances or simply forget what has come before. While it can be liberating to follow Nike’s advice and “Just Do It”, making true progress is a lot easier when you collect information on how you’re doing. Pew Research found that 63 percent of people who track at least one health or fitness metric (such as bodyweight, exercise routine or body fat percentage) report a positive impact.Recording each workout and/or keeping a food log will seem like a chore for a while. But you’ll soon get used to scribbling down each day’s data, and will likely come to enjoy comparing week-to-week and month-to-month results. If you’re not seeing improvement over time, you can start to examine why. Were you sick for a few days? Maybe that big project at work derailed things. Negative trends can actually turn into positives when you look objectively at a detailed journal of what’s going right and what isn’t, and can provide insight into what you need to do to make continual strides toward your goals.
3) Get Accountable
Some of us are incredibly goal-oriented and can reach for and grab our goals with little more fuel than intrinsic motivation. But for even the best self-starters (and the rest of us who don’t fall into this category!), it’s beneficial to go with the buddy system and get some help along the way.Start by telling at least one trusted friend or family member about your year-long and mini goals for 2015. Then get him or her to commit to checking in regularly (weekly or monthly is realistic) on how you’re doing. Accountability is a simple yet amazingly effective in helping to reach your health and fitness targets.If your accountability partner is someone who shares your active interests, then all the better. Have your buddy pick you up on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for those early morning workouts you both dread, while you do the driving Tuesdays and Thursdays. Or workout with your wife or husband. One study found that 43 percent of people working out alone quit part way through the year, whereas only 6 percent of those exercising with their spouse quit.You can also both start using similar wearable technology or fitness apps to log and compare your progress electronically, and to offer regular encouragement. Competition breeds excellence, so pulling in some outside help can only be beneficial.
4) Embrace the 80/20 Eating Rule
Whether you’re looking to lose weight, pack on muscle or boost sports performance in 2015, you’re not going to reach your goals if you fuel your body poorly. You wouldn’t put 85 gasoline in a Ferrari, so neither should you put junk food into your system on a regular basis. As famed big wave surfer Laird Hamilton says, “Potato chips in, potato chips out!”To avoid potato chip-level results, aim to eat whole foods at least eighty percent of the time. When possible, make these foods organic to avoid pesticides and herbicides (especially those chemical-heavy foods on the “Dirty Dozen Plus list”), and non-GMO to skip the possible risks of genetically modified “Frankenfoods.”We know your life happens at the speed of now, so also consider incorporating one-stop nutritional solutions that offer everything you need for a meal in a convenient shake. One example is UB Super, which provides superfoods, organic vitamins, fulvic minerals, prebiotics and probiotics and 16 grams of complete non-GMO protein. With UB Super, fast food convenience meets superfood quality, and can help you meet your daily need for quality fuel on the go.