This is the time of year when we buy our new planners, write down our new goals (or update our old ones), and convince ourselves that this year will be different. This year I am going to lose weight, eat healthier, feed my kids better food, not eat so much junk food, etc, etc, etc…
I go through this routine every year.
But slowly, each year, the routine is changing a little. Each year I have fewer goals to update, because I actually achieved some. Every year I am celebrating more as I reflect on the goals I achieved, rather than being mad at myself for the goals I didn’t achieve. Each year I feel like I am doing better at succeeding.
I feel like I am finally making progress, and that my goals are meaningful and achievable.
How do you feel about your goals? Do you share in my celebration as you look back at the year before? Or is your experience different, and looking back at your goals makes you sad, or angry, or defeated.
New Years is tough because we are often reminded of what we didn’t achieve.
I want 2020 to be different. I want to you to reflect back on this year as the year that you made real gains. The year you smashed your goals. And I want to help you!
There are a couple of things I did in my life that really helped me achieve my health goals, and I have listed them below. I hope these 5 tips for New Year Resolution Success helps you succeed as well.
Tip #1: Keep it Simple
If it’s complicated, it’s hard. And if it’s hard you won’t do it.
Keep your goals simple, and keep your plan for achieving them simple.
I know the plan for you to achieve your health goal – losing weight, not being bloated, having more energy, etc. – can seem complicated. There are a million different books out there telling you how to regain your health, and there are a million and two different ways to do it.
It’s super frustrating, overwhelming and feels impossible.
So, how do we simplify it?
We answer this simple question – what do all the books and the experts say that is the same?
They all say: avoid processed sugar, eat real food (not processed food), and eat more vegetables. And generally they all mention or suggest to reduce calories, but that happens automatically if you avoid processed sugar and processed food.
That is why I created the Easy Nutrition rules – no processed sugar, real food only and eat more veggies. The rules help you keep it simple.
Tip #2: Have a goal you actually care about
We all make goals. Making goals is the easy part. Following through and actually doing the work to achieve that goal is the hard part. That’s why you need a “why” or a reason. You need a goal you actually care about.
A lot of people tell me they want to lose weight. But few of them actually ever do.
The ones that actually lose the weight are the ones that really care about succeeding. For a lot of people this comes in the form of a health scare; they or someone they know got really sick, or died, because of their poor health.
I have a friend whose friend lost significant weight and then they found a tumour. Had he not lost the weight they would never have noticed the tumour, and he may have died from cancer that was diagnosed too late. This motivated my friend to lose a bunch of weight. She wasn’t scared for her health in the moment, but she was scared for her future health.
For others their reason to lose weight may be quality of life – they aren’t comfortable moving in this world as a larger person, or they can’t do all the things they want to do, like ride amusement park rides, because of their weight. Or they may simply want to be able to chase their kids around without losing their breath.
For me, I care about achieving my fitness goal – winning my pro-card in the NPAA Fitness competition – because I don’t want to be embarrassed on stage. I am committed to competing on stage in May. Thinking about being on stage, half naked, is very motivating and gives me a really good reason to work hard.
Regardless of your reason for wanting to succeed at your goals, you must care about succeeding. You must care about the outcome, and you have to want to do it. Like deep down, in your bones, you have to want it. If you are kind of wishy-washy, and don’t actually care about the outcome, then you likely will not succeed.
Tip #3: Have a Plan and Create Systems – Batch Cooking
Have you read Atomic Habits by James Clear? It’s an awesome book about how your habits dictate your success, and he shares his process for developing strong habits that serve you.
In his book he says, “You do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems”. Which really means, if your systems, processes and the way you do things sucks, then your outcomes will suck too.
To succeed at your health goals you need a plan and a system. The most well known of those is the meal plan, but how you meal plan varies from person to person and diet to diet. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter how you meal plan, you just need to do it.
What does matter is the system you use. The system is much more important than the actual plan.
The system I use is batch cooking. Batch cooking has been proven, by me and countless other busy moms, to be the most efficient and practical system for creating healthy meals. Even Marie Forleo utilizes batch cooking, which I was excited to read in her book.But then I was sad, because I thought I invented batch cooking (insert hand to face emoji).
Simply put, batch cooking is making a large quantity of protein (meat or beans) and then using it in other recipes to create 10 minute meals. For example, I will cook a large tray of Costco chicken thighs, then use the chicken thighs in different meals such as chicken tacos, chicken soup, or chicken pasta. Or, even more simply, chicken with fresh cut veggies.
The point is, you are spending about 20 minutes cooking the chicken once, then over the course of about 5 meals you are only spending about 10 minutes prepping each meal. The batch cooking system gives you the ability to cook healthy meals quickly and without a lot of thought or inconvenience.
Tip #4: Follow the metrics you care about and enjoy using
Do you count calories? Or points?
I never, ever wanted to count calories or points. And frankly, it is unnecessary. You do not need to count calories or points to succeed at your health goals. All you need is to follow the Easy Nutrition rules – no processed sugar, real food only, and more veggies.
But, I have learned, much to my chagrin, that counting or following some form of metric does help.
Metrics – calories, points, our weight, our inches, etc – help us monitor our progress, they help keep us accountable, and they help guide us. But only if we want to use them or enjoy using.
For me, I never wanted to count calories. It takes time and effort to log the food I eat, and count the calories. It seemed like way too much effort. And frankly I didn’t really care how many calories I was eating in a day. I knew if I avoided processed sugar, processed food and gluten (it makes me bloat), I would have the health I wanted. I didn’t need to count calories.
But then, I got curious.
During training for my first fitness competition I wondered how many calories I was consuming. So I started counting them. It was kind of neat to see how many calories were in different food items, and how much calories I was consuming. And it was interesting to learn how the calories affected my body.
As I started tracking what I ate I found I was starting to take more accountability for what I ate. The calorie app was keeping me accountable. I didn’t want to log a high calorie, not good for me food item, so I would not eat it. Or if I did, I made sure I was back on track the next day.
I have found that following a set of metrics, calories in this case, can be a great tool for keeping you accountable and staying focused on your goal.
If you are interested in counting your calories or tracking your macro’s there are two apps I recommend – My Fitness Pal and Fat Secret. Both are free, with an upgrade option available.
Tip #5: Get a Coach
A coach is helpful for the obvious reason – they can keep you accountable. But a coach is also important because they help you with all of the above tips. They are your full-meal deal package.
A coach will help you set a realistic goal, one that you want to achieve and feel confident that you can achieve. A coach will also give you a plan, or help you create your own plan. They will help you build systems, and create habits that will help you succeed. A coach will also pump you up when you lose your motivation, they will pick you up when you fall down, and they will inspire you to keep going.
Yes, it’s all a little cliche, but a coach can be the difference. The right coach may the right tool that makes this year the year that you achieve your health goals.
Regardless of your goal, these five tips will be the key to your success. You don’t have to use all five, each one has its own strengths and merits. But if all used together you will smash your 2020 health goals.