Hey there! It’s Marissa here to keep you accountable, straight into your inbox to check on how your New Year’s goals are going!
On this scale of 1-3, be honest with yourself and evaluate how reaching your goals has been going for you since the start of the year:
- I’m going strong! Been on track since day 1 and am still killing it!
- I’m 50/50. I’ve made some progress toward some goals, but none towards others. Or, I feel like I’m putting in some work, but no forward movement has happened.
- I am a total failure. I haven’t put in action toward any goals and feel like I’ve gone backwards since January 1st.
Feeling like you’re on top of the world?
Here’s how to kick it up a notch:
Take out a sheet of paper and write out everything you have changed about your lifestyle, routine, and habits that led to the success you had in January. These practices that are now a habit for you are what should stay stable through the month of February.
Look at the S.M.A.R.T goals you wrote for January (Go to my website’s “BLOG” tab if you’re a new subscriber and want to read last month’s newsletter!). If you have been able to check them all off, it’s time to write new, more challenging goals. Think of ways to LEVEL UP from the goals you accomplished this past month. Here are some examples:
Go to the gym four times per week every week? Let’s make it five!
Getting stronger in all your lifts as planned?
Add in a goal to work on a weaker area of your body that you typically neglect, or a goal to work on mobility and stretching on top of training hard.
Hitting your protein intake goal consistently?
Perhaps it’s time to calculate goals for your carbs and fats and get more specific.
Hitting your macros every day?
Take a look at fiber and water intake every day and set intake goals for each of those.
Feeling like you’re killing the fitness game and are doing everything to a tee?
Set a goal to spend more time focusing on de-stressing and mental health.
All that counting and number crunching can be stressful sometimes!
Just like last month, make sure all the new goals you set are realistic and can be achieved WHILE keeping everything you put into action in January constant. Just because you crushed the first month of the year, doesn’t mean you’re invincible and can put the weight of the world on your shoulders. Take it one step at a time just like you did to start and focus on small wins over a long period of time.
Feeling like you’re right in the middle?
Here’s how to find direction and really pursue what you want for the month of February.
Take out a sheet of paper and write down all the goals you had at the beginning of the year. Be honest with yourself and check off the ones you have made significant progress on.
On areas you HAVE made progress, continue pursuing these goals in the same way. While it would be easy to add on more tasks to these goals, it’s time to devote more effort to the goals that have been neglected.
For example, say you had two main goals at the start of the New Year.
One was to begin a weight loss journey, and the other was to get stronger in all your compound movements (squat, bench and deadlift).
You have made progress getting to the gym and with your diet, so pounds have come off, but your squat, deadlift and bench have not been a priority in your workouts.
While you COULD devote even more effort to dieting for weight loss, you’re already cruising there. Why not just continue to lose weight at the same rate (note: STILL making progress in this goal, not putting it on hold), and devote that EXTRA energy to start focusing on proper programming to get stronger in your lifts?
Devote your energy this month to setting more TANGIBLE and realistic goals toward the areas you have neglected pursuing.
If you feel like these goals are no longer relevant to you, it’s also perfectly okay to re-evaluate and stop pursuing (according to you) worthless goals!
Feeling like you’re on the low end of the scale?
Here’s how to get out of that rut.
Take out a sheet of paper and write down all the goals you had at the beginning of the year. Leave space between each one. Below each goal, list out ALL the reasons that you believe you did not achieve those goals. Examples could be:
- work-related stress
- life-related stress
- eating out
Now, go back through each list and note every single reason that is something that you think “happened to you”. AKA everything that was a circumstance that you believe prevented you from doing what you wanted to do. Next to each of these, write two ways that you could work around these obstacles in the future.
The truth of it is, your success lies in planning. If you are prepared for things to go wrong, then there is no way for you to fail. Your ACTIONS, or lack thereof, is what determines whether you progress, not the circumstances you find yourself in. There is ALWAYS a choice.
For example. Did you “have to” go off your diet because you were asked to stay at work late? Next time make sure to have healthy snacks packed at your desk or in the fridge at work, so if you have to stay late, you don’t “have to” eat the stale donuts that Brenda brought in at 8AM.
Did you skip the gym because you were so exhausted from work, that when you got home you fell asleep and skipped your gym time? Moving forward you should pack your gym clothes and pre-workout with you to work so that you don’t have to stop at home – you can go straight to the gym.
The first step in working toward your goals is TAKING ACCOUNTABILITY. Realize that most of the reasons you probably wrote down are just excuses. You failed to plan and pack for success, and your lack of preparedness is what made those circumstances seem unescapable.
The second step is to start PLANNING! Get to work and write out things you can do at home, at work and in the kitchen to not leave any room for failure! I can guarantee you that this month will be different if you are proactive about planning ahead.
Let’s talk about a time that I failed – and how I got back on track!
My month of January wasn’t the greatest in terms of my diet, I’m human and let the temptations of indulgences get to me for most of the month. During the last couple weeks of January, it really hit me that my body was paying the price for my lack of discipline in my diet. I didn’t gain a ton of weight, just a couple of pounds. However, it was enough weight to make my clothes start fitting tighter and to make me feel uncomfortable in my own skin. Because of this, I got fed up with being complacent, and I made some immediate changes to feel good in my skin again.
The first thing I did was TAKE ACCOUNTABILITY. My weight gain and how I felt about my body in mid-January was no one’s fault but my own. The actions and choices I made were what led to me feeling uncomfortable with my body. At the end of the day, the food I do or do not put into my body is always my choice – no one was force-feeding me.
The second thing I did was I decided not to be shy about speaking up and ordering something separate for myself at dinners with friends and family or packing my own food when it was necessary. My friends and family are fairly understanding of my lifestyle and choices, so the “guilt” and “shame” I anticipated feeling that prevented me from doing this in the past was fabricated by my own mind. I was more concerned with “fitting in” and being “normal” than with my own goals, and it led me to ordering foods that were not favorable for my daily macro goals. I was being a bigger critic of myself than my friends and family would have been – I was holding myself back for no reason.
The third thing I did was I executed consistency regardless of my circumstances. I started planning for success, packing more food with me when I went out somewhere for the day, and stopped leaving things up to chance. Preparing for multiple circumstances allowed me to never have failure (in terms of choosing food that is conducive to my goals) be an excuse in any situation.
Since I made these changes, I have felt a lot better in my skin and I have lost the puffy, bloated feeling that made me insecure and uncomfortable in my body. I’ve lost some of the weight I gained and am feeling back to my normal self, all just by exercising some extra discipline and being consistent for a couple of weeks.
3 tips to improve your heart health
It’s not all about your physique remember what’s on the inside matters too!
• Take omega-3 and 6 vitamins
• Do your cardio/take care of your cardiovascular health
• Eat foods high in dietary fiber like fruits, veggies, whole grains
What would you like to learn about in my monthly newsletter? What do you have more questions about? I would love to help you learn as much as you can about fitness and health in 2019. Email me your suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org!