“I think in terms of the day's resolutions, not the years'.”
– Henry Moore
It's that time of a year – time to reflect, analyze and make resolutions for the upcoming year.
I don't really make any New Year's resolutions.
I believe that taking small actions all the time is more beneficial than setting huge, unrealistic resolutions that leave us overwhelmed, confused and eventually, disappointed.
The Most Common New Years' Resolutions
But people like to start the new year with resolutions. They give themselves and sometimes other people, promises. According to time.com, the most common New Years' Resloutions are the following:
- Lose weight and get fit.
- Quit smoking.
- Learn something new.
- Eat healthier and diet.
- Get out of debt and save money.
- Spend more time with family.
- Travel to new places.
- Be less stressed.
- Drink less.
As you see, five of these resolutions (1, 2, 4, 8 and 10) are related to health and fitness. Number one is, of course, the good old lose weight and get fit.
What's Wrong With the Weight Loss Goal
Sure, losing weight and getting fit is a huge step towards healthier life. But how come the same resolution makes it to the top of the list of New Year's resolutions every single year? There must be something wrong when we fail to achieve it year after year.
Here's what's wrong with the weight loss resolution: Most of us have no idea how to achieve it. Just saying that “I will lose 20 pounds this year” won't do the the work.
We may start the year off with a great plan and take some serious action, like doing a 7-day detox or going completely sugar-free for 30 days or do hard core raw vegan diet after having eaten meat all life.
There is a quote by Traci Mann that is right on point:
“If you are on your 4th “30-day plan”, it should be clear that system is not working.”
So, forget about overwhelming diets and 30-day plans that require you to make extreme changes that are clearly too much for you. Forget all the diets that make you buy THIS one awesome fat burning product in order to get rid of the stubborn belly fat in just 30 days.
Should You Then Not Want To Lose Weight?
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be in a better shape, to lose fat and as a result, become healthier and happier. Your happiness shouldn't purely depend on your body fat percentage or weight, but being in better shape can definitely add value to your life.
For example, your energy levels will improve and as a result, you will be able to do many fun things that you have always wanted to do.
You will be able to keep up with your kids and be that fun parent who is not only sitting and waiting while their kids are playing at the playground but plays herself too.
Your health improves – when you are in a healthy weight range, your cholesterol goes down and blood pressure stabilizes.
You will strengthen your immune system and as a result, you won't get sick as easily.
You learn to cook and make better food choices which are both important in maintaining good weight.
Set Smaller Goals – but Stick With Them
If your goal for the next year is to lose weight, shed fat and get fit, do it in a way that is reasonable, enjoyable, sustainable and doable for you.
It all starts from small steps that, when kept in mind all the time, build big results. So, instead of simply saying “I will lose 20 pounds”, have a plan on how you are going to do it and know the steps that you will have to take.
The key is to stick with those steps and do your best in every situation.
Below are the steps that you should be taking if your goal is to reduce body fat and drop your weight a bit. However, if these are all new things to you, I recommend to take your time and commit to just one thing at a time. After two or three weeks, when you are getting used to that change, add another step. Trying to do all at once will more likely than not lead to failure, because it will simply be too much to handle.
So You Want to Lose that Weight? Here are Your Steps:
- Learn to cook. It's not hard! There are ton of healthy recipes out there that help you. You will find many healthy and tasty recipes here in Urban Jane. Also, I have collected seven simple dinner recipes into my ebook that I will send you to thank you for signing up for my newsletter. All the meals in the ebook come together in 30 minutes or less.
- Don't starve yourself. Depriving is not going to take you closer to your goals but quite the opposite – there is a good chance that you will end up bingeing. Believe me, I've been there.
- How do you know if a recipe is healthy? Make sure that it includes protein, fat and carbs.
- Which takes me to the next thing: Make sure you get enough protein with each meal, because protein keeps you full. Also it's thermic effect is high, which means that breaking down protein requires a lot of energy from your body, so it has to use a ton of calories to do that job.
- Have enough fat! I used to make the mistake of avoiding fats at all costs, and that wasn't the smartest thing. I was hungry, I was brain fogged, I lost my period and felt crappy overall.
- Don't forget the carbs, but choose the source carefully. Sugary cereal and granola should not be your staple, and there is also not much valuable in bread and pasta. The best sources are root vegetables like sweet potatos, beets and turnips. Pumpkin and squash are awesome too.
- Eat (or drink) your greens. Every day. You can fit good three or four handfuls on spinach into one smoothie. Do that! Alternatively, have a big salad every day to make sure your need for leafy greens gets covered. Of course, you can do even both. Also, don't forget that salad is not just a bunch of rabbit food that doesn't do anything to your hunger. Adding protein (seafood, chicken, beef, beans, eggs) and fat (olive oil, avocado, nuts, cheese) makes a salad way more filling.
- Treat yourself once in a while. Limiting yourself from all the good things that you enjoy is a surefire way to starving, depriving and possibly bingeing. Just be smart with your choices and know how much of your favorite treats you can have without letting the weight to creep up.
- Don't stress about every morsel you eat. When you are eating out, of course you can't control exactly what's in the food. But you can make good choices, keeping in mind points 2-7.
- Work out. This is important! Working out keeps your metabolism going, and when done right, energizes you. Find the way of working out that you enjoy, do it a lot and eat accordingly. I have noticed that running and water sports tend to make me hungrier, so I pay closer attention to my food when I'm doing these activities.
You need to have a game plan if you want to drop some weight and fat. Just wanting, dreaming and waiting won't get you anywhere.
Instead of making huge, often unrealistic resolutions, know what are the small steps that you can do every day to get closer to where you want to be. Even if you went wrong, take the next step right – or as right as it is possible at that moment and in this current situation. Every single action matters, because small steps will add up.