Keeping your diet in check and following through on your resolutions is as simple as following these steps.
In an effort to keep my 2013 New Year’s resolutions, and hopefully help you keep yours, I decided to not only write them down this year, but to share them as well. Nobody’s perfect, and maybe you didn't exactly have the healthiest of holiday seasons, but follow these steps and you will be a lot more successful in achieving whatever nutrition (losing weight or gaining it) or training goal it is you’ve set for yourself. Don’t be another statistic and sign up for another gym membership that you never use. Follow these four steps, commit, and make this year your best one yet!
1. Look Back to Move Forward
Think back to some experiences you’ve had in the past year regarding nutrition and how it may have impacted your performance. What areas could use some tweaking, changing, or even a complete overhaul? Maybe hydration is your concern and getting enough water and fluids is what caused you to cramp up often. Maybe skipping breakfast and other meals often left you drained or unfulfilled later in the day. Maybe your post workout nutrition wasn’t what it could have been and you didn’t see the gains you were expecting. Personally, evening and nighttime snacking was my downfall this year. I made a lot of poor choices before and after dinner that added a lot of unnecessary calories to my waistline leading to excess pounds.
2. Write it Down
Now that you’ve pinpointed areas you want to improve on for the new year, write them down! Grab a journal and put your thoughts down in writing to make them real while holding you accountable. If you’ve got a long list of changes to make, narrow your list down to a top 3, as you will be forced to really focus on those priorities. My top three are improving evening food choices, increasing my water intake, and eating more vegetables. Yeah, believe it or not even strength coaches can use more vegetables in their diet.
3. Create a Detailed Plan
It’s great to have goals, but you’ve also got to make a map for yourself on how to actually reach those goals. Otherwise, you will just wander around in frustration without making any improvements. In creating a game plan you might also uncover other areas of trouble that have led you to the problems you’re having. For me to make better food choices at night, I need to have the right foods in my fridge, and there are worse places to start than by stocking up on the Top 10 Foods under a dollar. I could also get more vegetables in my diet if made some of those evening snacks veggie based. To increase my water intake I treated myself to a new, pink, eco-friendly water bottle to keep with me at all times. Making a detailed plan breaks down change into manageable parts so your goals & challenges don’t seem so overwhelming.
4. Do It!
The greatest plan ever written is meaningless if it’s never implemented! Give yourself a timeline with a specific start date and stick to it. Look at a calendar, create checkpoints for yourself, and track your progress. Every morning I’ll begin my day with a glass of water and make a point to refill my new pink water bottle at least four times throughout the day. At the beginning of each week I’ll have a grocery list prepared and set aside a specific time to go shopping. And, every three weeks I’ll find, and try, a new veggie recipe idea. What are you going to do to get better?
Look, I’m fully aware that it might be cliché, but the beginning of a new year is a great time to make some positive changes in your diet to carry with you throughout the year. It doesn’t need to be something huge, just something personal and important to you. Write down your goals, create a detailed game plan, specify checkpoints along the way, and then get to work! I put my resolutions out here for everyone to see so feel free to call me out on them over the next 12 months. Now it’s time for you to get yours down so that we can make this year our best nutrition and training year yet.