While things may look a bit different this year, the month of December is undoubtedly a highlight of every year: the holiday season, virtually connecting with friends and family, and spreading holiday cheer to others!
Then the holiday festivities are over in the blink of an eye, and we’re left to focus quickly and prepare 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 successfully reach your goals. 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, 2021.”
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, 2021, I will get on the elliptical for up to 30 minutes, five days, or more per week. 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 is posted to OPTAVIA’s Facebook Page, every week. Use these inspirational 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 few weeks of the year, and that’s connecting with your Independent OPTAVIA Coach BEFORE you set your 2021 goals and put your SMART plan into play!