1. Stay committed
This one seems like the easiest thing to do, but with 365 days in the year, it is tempting and much more easier to put something off until tomorrow instead of doing something today. For example, my goal this year is to lose 25 pounds, and if I keep saying “I’m going to go to the gym tomorrow” or “I’m going to eat better tomorrow”, I will never do anything and I will probably end up worse off. However, off days are necessary too. Cheat days exist for a reason as the body does need rest. However, without staying committed to the plan, I cannot and will not achieve my goal.
2. Don’t get frustrated
Rome was not built in a day. If your resolution is a long-term one, don’t be afraid if you don’t see any progress at first. It will take time, and it is important to realize that the choices made in the short-term truly do affect the long-term outcomes. Applying this to myself, healthy weight loss is over time; weight is more difficult to regain if lost over time, while it is easier to regain it if it is lost in a shorter time span. My habits in one day will not affect what I gain or lose, however, the decisions I make in a span of weeks and months will. It is the accumulation of daily habits that affects us, not the one day.
3. Maintenance is key
Last year, my goal was to lose 30 pounds, and I had successfully lost 20 at my peak. However, because I let my schedule get the best of me and I did not maintain my lifestyle, I regained 15 of those pounds back before the end of 2017. In other words, I wasted about 8 months of hard work and dedication with 4 months of a complete reversal of these habits. Had I maintained my progress, I could have lost the remaining 10 pounds I wanted to lose or even lessened the amount of weight I gained, but I did not. This goes to show that, even if you are close to or have reached your goals, maintaining that achievement is important because, if not, all of your progress goes back down the drain.
I failed to live up to my standards in 2017. I can’t say I will in 2018, but if I want to achieve my goal, I have to leave this keyboard and get to work.
-- Ricardo Canelo