Already 2 years ago we started the year with an article about good intentions. In this article I have extensively explained the phenomenon of 'underreporting' and what you can do about it that completely sabotages the achievement of your goals. A new year means new opportunities, so I thought it would be nice to make another article on the subject of 'good intentions'.
First, let's talk about making New Year's resolutions. In itself a nice idea of course, but there is a danger that we will postpone improving habits until January 1. “This morning I ate neatly according to my schedule, did my cardio in the afternoon, dinner neatly… but then the contents of that bowl of chips miraculously found its way into my esophagus. Shit. Ruined day. Owwww, the rest can also follow, tomorrow I'll start again! ”
And how did you get through training in the past two weeks? Many gyms had adjusted opening hours or were not open at all. Normally you train four times a week, but that was not going to work the week of Christmas .. 'so then just a rest week, full house again next week '.
A good intention for the new year is of course the best known example, but actually we do this with many things in our lives.
Where do good intentions come from?
Where does this nonsense actually come from, postponing or moving forward from working on goals and things that need to be done? (and yes, I have a hand too).
Perhaps it reassures you that good intentions at least date back to 153 BC. A deity named Janus had two faces, one with which he looked into the past and 1 with which he could look ahead into the future. I wonder what he saw when he looked aside, but we're not going to discuss that now.
The Romans thought that Janus looked back on the past year on December 31 and looked ahead to the coming year; they made plans for the following year and forgave people for problems in the past. They believed that Janus could forgive them for their mistakes in the past year and bless them for the coming.
And behold, good intentions are born! A nice thought of course, but postponing is lurking. This is a topic that I will probably devote to a future article, but for now we will postpone it for a while.
I have already postponed until January, what now?
Fortunately you are not alone. That science often gives many people a peace of mind. If you do something wrong or wrong together, it is not so bad, even if that does not change your own situation in itself. If you were on average a 5 and had to stay put that would be a shit, but it felt better if a few of your friends were in the same boat. Strange, right? Also a nice subject for the next article, which I postpone for now. A good intention for next year I think.
But how are we going to make sure that you actually start with those good intentions that you have made so carefully since mid-summer? Because yes, then half of the year is over, so we just save our intentions for the following year. How are you going to ensure that your good intentions are not a fate in the New Year's lottery?
I have a few tips for that!
1. Formulate your goal
“I want a six-pack” is not a goal, but a wish. "I want to be muscular" is not a goal, but a dream. And dreams can be deadly, as it turned out on April 4, 1968.
When formulating your goal, it is important that you formulate your goal well. Here is a trick for: SMART. This means specific, measurable, acceptable, realistic and time-bound. In short, this means that you have to make your goal as detailed as possible. When you set your goal in this way, you also prevent yourself from looking up at your goals like a mountain and after a few months you have to be disappointed to realize that you will not succeed again. To drown the grief about not achieving that six-pack in bags of crisps and chocolate bars.
This means that the goal is clearly and concretely described. You say what you want to achieve, when you want to achieve it, how you want to achieve it and why you want to achieve it.
Means giving your goal clear boundaries; it must be clear when and at what time the goal has been achieved.
Literally means that the goal and the steps needed to reach the goal are acceptable; are you really okay with everything you have to do (and leave!) to achieve your goal?
Means that your goal must be achievable with, among other things, the effort that you are willing to make and the time that you are willing to invest.
Means that you make clear to yourself when something needs to be done to reach the goal.
Now it can of course be very cumbersome to work in such a structured way and by no means everyone (myself very rarely) wants to think out and write goals well in this way. But it is good to have all the points pass through your head. How much do you really want to do that competition? How much effort do you want to put into the 20 kilos that have to be removed? Do you really have a realistic picture of what is needed to achieve what you have been calling aloud for at least one day for half a year now that you will actually do it from 1 January?
2. Get advice, preferably paid
A (good) coach can help you on your way to higher heights on that mountain that you look up to. However, be critical, not just because it costs money. One can already call themselves a coach before they can spell the difficult word 'sqaud' correctly (yes, I mean that one exercise that we all never do), time and time again appears on Instagram, among others. Knowledge of things is also unnecessary; just doing what you have always done yourself and saddling everyone with the same 5-times-a-day-chicken-with-rice-and-broccoli schedule is the order of the day.
Cheap is expensive. Pay with peanuts and you will get monkeys. But when you invest your money wisely, you will see that those few tens of dollars a week pay off absolutely.
You may now be thinking “later friend, with your sales pitch ”. But time and again experience shows (from me, but I hear other coaches about this as well) that advice that is not paid for is followed less. When you pay for advice, you literally invest in that advice. And nobody likes to invest without something in return.
Another advantage is that coaches usually work with check-ups; you are therefore checked every other week or every month and you have to account to a certain extent for what you are eating or eating; To be controlled in a certain sense has a proven positive effect on maintaining a plan and on achieving goals.
3. Set small goals with rewards
Here we come back to the SMART story, but I will mention it separately. A big goal can seem unreachable and overwhelm you enormously. Rather make small, manageable goals and plan a (realistic) reward after achieving each small goal.
A goal like 'I want to have the theory test of my driver's license at the end of the summer vacation' is a lot harder to handle than 'at the end of every week I want to finish 1 chapter of my theory book'.
When you also plan a reward after achieving such a small goal, you increase the chance that you will remain motivated until the end.
Mind you, I consciously say a realistic reward. If your main goal is to lose 6 kilos within six months, with the smaller goal being 1 kilo each month, but then reward yourself for every lost kilo with an all-you-can-eat night in the local sushi tent, wear it you move the wood a bit to your own stake.
4. Remember yourself
Another tip that you can apply is to remind yourself of your goal. To prevent uncomfortable situations in public spaces, or worse an arrest, I would not do this out loud to yourself all day long. What you can do, for example, is to stick a note next to your mirror where you have written your wish on (the mirror could have been, but then those perfectly exposed, perfectly posed Insta-selfies on which our winter sleeping reserves fall away are no longer so good) off, so better next to it).
In this way you are reminded every day of the goal you are working on. Also consider this for a moment; every time you read your goal, think for a moment why you want to achieve that goal and what it means for you when you reach the goal. This works better than sticking your most obese photo on the fridge door with the text underneath 'yes dude, take one more'; Positive associations and rewards work better than fear and punishment.
5. Falling is not a problem, staying on the ground is howling
Let's be realistic; you're gonna screw it up. In my last prep I smeared 6 raw wraps with chocolate paste and finished them in about 5 minutes. Wasn't even tasty.
Dinners, evenings with friends, an unexpected injury, being stuck in a traffic jam for a long time, or a bowl of chocolates at work that everyone could have one of, but at that moment you are sorry about all your colleagues and drag the whole bowl into your car like a starving bear drags a dead animal into its cave, are part of life. No matter how strong you are in your shoes, there will come a time of weakness. And that's not so bad; One weak moment won't kill all of your progress.
How you then deal with the rest of the day, or the week, matters all the more. Scenarios such as I described at the beginning of this article (stuffing your face with a half thawed and frozen again full of ice crystals on Wednesday evening) is not a huge problem in itself. However, it does become a problem if your subsequent thought is'this week is ruined now, I'll start again on Monday '.
Accept your mistake, bale briefly, but then pick up the thread again. 1000 kcal over your energy budget is better than more than 9000.
Leave the negativity of 2018 behind in 2018, as Janus did. "Don't let the sun go down on December 31, 2018 about your anger."
I wish you all the perseverance needed to reach your goals this year.
What is your good intention for 2019?
Jan Willem van der Klis