The end of December is undoubtedly a highlight of the year: holiday season, connecting with friends and family, and spreading the holiday cheer to others!
Like that, the holiday festivities are over in the blink of an eye, and we’re left to quickly focus and gear up for the last few days of December so we’re prepared for the start of the New Year.
Having an action plan in advance to avoid making unhealthy decisions or slipping back into unhealthy patterns is essential, as is creating a strategy NOW to prepare for the New Year before it arrives!
One of the easiest ways to define your strategy is to consider how you can reach your goals successfully. We recommend revisiting the “SMART” system. Here is an example: You want to incorporate a regular fitness routine into your schedule, but you aren’t quite sure how to start or what to do. Maybe you have never exercised before. That is perfectly fine! By using the “SMART” system, you can take baby steps and start your journey for the New Year, one step at a time.
Follow these examples before you outline your own goals:
S: Specific. Instead of “I’m going to get in shape,” say, “I am going to walk a mile in 17 minutes by February 1, 2020.”
M: Measurable. Instead of declaring, “I’m going to walk regularly,” try “I am going to walk for 20-minutes at least three days a week.”
A: Achievable. If you are new to exercise, do not expect to run a marathon on your first day or even run at all. It is important to start with baby steps and then build upon them! Celebrate each victory, no matter how small!
R: Realistic. Tell yourself, “I’m not going to miss a workout. Ever.” But, in reality, kids get sick, bosses call emergency meetings, and tires go flat. So instead, make yourself a promise you can keep, like “Beginning January 1, 2020, I will get on the elliptical for up to 30 minutes, five days, or more per week at my local gym. I will allow myself two or more rest days per week without feeling any guilt.”
T: Time-based. Schedule your workouts as if they are important meetings you have throughout the week at work, or with your children, and honor that commitment to your optimal health and wellbeing. Make it easy by setting dates for when you want to accomplish your goals and write them on your calendar. Having that visual reminder will help hold you accountable as you start the New Year and start working to engrain these habits into your routine.
Additionally, you can turn your goals into reality by taking advantage of a vision board. Collect pictures of your WHY, cut out images in magazines that inspire you, or find motivation through quotes and other meaningful words, similar to what we post to OPTAVIA’s Facebook Page, on a weekly basis. Use these inspiration words to motivate you and post to your board. Once you’ve captured goals through imagery, you’d be surprised how much clearer your focus and determination will become.
There’s just one more essential step to take in the last two days of December, and that’s connecting with your OPTAVIA Coach BEFORE you set your 2020 goals and put your SMART plan into play. Before you kick-off your New Year, order the NEW Habits of Health® Transformational System as a guide and foundational learning tool so you get the most out of your journey, hard work, and striving for optimal health and wellbeing.