Celebrating Small Wins

Maybe you’ve heard this statistic: Only 8% of people will actually keep their New Year’s Resolutions. Whoa! So, 92% of us are bailing out on the goals we set each January?

Let’s look at why that is. When we look at goal setting, many of us are setting pretty huge goals. For instance, you may want to lose 100 pounds, or work with your doctor to reverse your type II diabetes. These ARE realistic, doable goals- people achieve these feats all the time. But how do you get there?

We often create daunting goals.
Losing 100 pounds can be pretty daunting. You’re not going to accomplish that in a week, or a month, or maybe even a year. You’re going to have bad days, you’re going to hit plateaus, and you’re going to get frustrated. You may even want to quit. Every single one of us has off-days, right? I’m not being negative here…this is just part of life. But it’s up to YOU to choose how to react on these bad days!

How do you hit that 100 pound mark? By hitting the 5 pound mark. Then 10 pounds. If you can’t celebrate 5 pounds, you may not make it to 100. I know its frustrating not seeing results as fast as you’d like. 100 pounds may seem a lifetime away from 5 pounds, but this is where the magic happens! You build momentum by cutting your big goal into tiny pieces and celebrating small wins along the way. When you can celebrate 5 pounds, you’re going to like that feeling of accomplishment, and you’re going to want more!

What does this look like? You don’t have to go out and buy yourself a new outfit every time you hit a small goal (but hey, you do you!) You know yourself best- brainstorm what would make YOU happy. You can put a dollar in a jar for every workout you finish or every 5 pounds lost. You can keep a gratitude journal or you can get an accountability partner to share wins with. Whatever that looks like to you- whatever will give you that momentum and be proud of yourself- do it!

Implement a gratitude journal.
Since we do hit bumps in the road, I like to encourage my clients to keep gratitude journals. I highly recommend and use myself the “Five Minute Journal”. Basically, you write down things you’re grateful for, what would make your day awesome, and 2 positive affirmations. Then at the end of the day, you do a reflection. If you journal in this type of format, you’re bringing to surface the good things. It’s a great way to reflect on your wins and find the good even in your bad days or what you perceive as a failure.

So you had to cut your workout short because you need to get back to the office for a meeting? Instead of beating yourself up, you should feel accomplished! You went to the gym anyways on your lunch break and got SOME movement in, even if it wasn’t as much as you’d hoped.

Maybe you had a Coke today, even though you swore you were giving up sodas. Don’t send yourself on a guilt trip. Instead, recognize that maybe last week you had 12 sodas, and this week you only had 5. #PROGRESS!

Look for the progress.
You didn’t gain all your excess weight in one week, and no matter what you do, it’s not coming off in just one week.

When you create small habits, one by one, you’re much more likely to stick with them years down the road. You’re creating a sustainable lifestyle. Very few people can quit all of their bad habits cold turkey, basically becoming a completely new person overnight. It just isn’t realistic for most of us, and that’s OKAY! When you make that New Year’s Resolution to hit the gym 5 days a week when you’ve never actually been….it may not be 100% realistic. If it means your success, you can go once a week to the gym for a month, and then build up to two days a week…until it feels normal to go five days a week. There’s NO SHAME in building up at the pace you need if it means you’re not going to quit!

The same goes with those darn sodas.
If you normally drink five a day, I can only imagine what kind of horrible migraine you would get going cold turkey! No thanks! But by weaning yourself off, you’re going to feel better and healthier the longer it continues. The better you feel, the more you’re going to be encouraged to cut even more out. I know from experience, the first coke I had after months tasted too sweet. I couldn’t enjoy it!

When I have clients cut out processed foods, that alone feels like an easy win for them.

What are some tangible ways to get a quick win right now?

Get an accountability partner- or 2 or 3.
It could be your best friend, husband, or even a girl you’ve clicked with in a facebook group. Doesn’t matter! When you partner with someone, you don’t want to let them down. They know your story and your struggles, they know where you started and where you’re going. They’ll know how much it means to you to reach your goals. When you text them and say “I meal prepped for my ENTIRE WEEK!” or “I actually ran an entire mile today without stopping!!” they can share that win with you, and more importantly, validate your goal. When we go it alone, it can be easy to dismiss our feats as though they aren’t important at all. Having an accountability partner means you’re not alone.

Make a list with the headlines of 24 hours, 72 hours, and 2 weeks. Planning ahead is a win of it’s own! One the day you hit a plateau, make this list. Ask yourself: what can I do in the next 24 hours that will propel me forward? In the next 24 hours, you can join a gym or sign up online for a group bootcamp class. You can reach out to a personal trainer and open a conversation or apply to be in their program. You can buy a bunch of healthy groceries that you plan to meal prep! All of those things are easy and don’t require much time!

In your list for 72 hours, you can actually take that bootcamp class or go to the gym you joined. You can do all the meal prepping with the groceries you just bought.

What can you plan to do 2 weeks from now? You could call a friend and plan to meet at the park to take your dogs for a walk. You could sign up for a local 5k! Get creative! But more importantly, get proactive. You may have heard this quote before- “If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail!” It’s one of my favorites!

Giving yourself grace when you mess up isn’t enough, although it is a cornerstone to success. You’ve got to be prepared if you want to see those big wins! You’re much more likely to go to the gym if you already have your workout planned. You know what body part you’re working, how many sets, reps, etc. It’s easy to justify cutting your cardio short if you don’t have a specific time or distance goal in mind! I know I’ve done it!

Create a Nightly Routine
If you already have your lunch prepped, you won’t have to make that decision on which fast food joint. Every night, go ahead and set out everything you need for the next day. Pack your lunch, breakfast (meal prepping breakfast is my FAVORITE!), fill up your water bottle, and pack your gym bag. Heck, I even read that Kim Kardashian sleeps in her gym clothes so she has no excuses! But by doing these things, you’ll feel accomplished before the new day has even started!

Get Ya Butt Outta Bed!
The last thing I’d like to add is getting up early enough! I know when I oversleep and miss getting to do my morning routine, I feel anxious and already behind. If you’re able to get up and get your workout in before work, you’ll burn more calories throughout the day. Plus, you won’t have to talk yourself into going after work when you’re exhausted. If you can’t get your workout in before work, try to at least move your body for a few minutes. 10 squats, 10 push ups, and 10 jumping jacks is all you need to get that blood flowing!

One of my favorite morning routines is journaling, like I mentioned earlier! If you can take five minutes, just jot down a few things you’re grateful for. I also like to do my devotions during this time and drink a big glass of water!

These are all things you can do in 5 minutes (minus the actual workout!) to really set your day up right. It will give you a positive mindset to carry through the day.

What are you favorite ways to celebrate small wins? I hope this helped! I’d love to hear your feedback! Just send a reply in the comment box below!

Need more help on your fitness journey? I would LOVE to help! Fill out my application on my coaching page to see if we’re a good fit to work together!

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