Break Free of Broken Resolutions

The New Year has arrived and with it a myriad of resolutions, many focused on improving one’s diet. However, by the middle of February, the resolution list can be found in the refuse, next to the Twinkie and potato chip wrappers. Resolutions are a part of the human experience, part of the life cycle to be continued every year, but one destined to fail. They fail because there is a failure in the resolutions to plan for the rest of the year. It is easy to stay on the diet from January to mid-February. However, once the newness of the recently set goals wears off, and business and social engagements rise to a maddening crescendo, it’s back to the habits of last year. Sadly, this happens every year.

How then, do you break free from this trap? The first thing to do is to move away from the mindset of “New Year’s Resolutions”. In July, how likely is it for you to be still focused on the goals that set on January 1? Exactly. The key is to think about making real change and the steps required to follow through with that change. Here are 10 Commandments of Body Sculpting Perfection, adapted from James Villepigue and Hugo Rivera, which will help you stay focused and committed for the entire year.

  • Commandment #1. Believe in yourself. Remember the Little Engine that Could. If you think you can, you will.
  • Commandment #2. Set and write down your goals. My colleague Darlene McCullogh says, we need to speak in terms of setting S.M.A.R.T goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time specific. Move away from the vague “I want to lose weight” to “My goal is to lose 10 pounds in 5 weeks”. The latter is a S.M.A.R.T goal.
  • Commandment #3. Set new goals every 4-6 weeks. Compare your results with your previous set of goals, and take it one step further. For example, now that you have stopped smoking, you can move on to cutting out alcohol during the week.
  • Commandment #4. Place a calendar on your refrigerator. Mark a back slash on the days that you followed your diet without cheating. Make a forward slash on the days that you trained. If you trained and followed a good diet on a given day, you should have an X marked on that day.
  • Commandment #5. Place an updated photograph of yourself somewhere you will see on a daily basis. This photograph will provide you with additional motivation to follow through on your diet.
  • Commandment #6. Take pictures of yourself each month and place them on your refrigerator with your before pictures. You will be inspired by the progress that you are making, and therefore less likely to succumb to cravings.
  • Commandment #7. Write down the reasons why you are following this program and put them on your refrigerator. This will help keep you focused and more likely to achieve your goals.
  • Commandment #8. Keep your home free from foods that are not good for your program.
  • Commandment #9. Prepare all of your meals the day before. If you bring your food with you to work, you are less likely to give in to your temptations.
  • Commandment #10. Remember that only you control what goes in your mouth. The buck stops with you!

By following these steps, your new year’s resolutions will be the foundation for real and meaningful changes in 2012 and beyond. That means a leaner, fitter, healthier you; change you can believe in.