Getting started in your nutrition and fitness journey is a daunting task.
Where do you start?
How do you start?
How do I figure out what on Google is right or wrong??? There’s so much information out there!
You are NOT alone.
In 2019, 59% of Americans wanted to exercise more, 54% said they would eat healthier, and 48% resolved to lose weight.
This number fluctuates from 40-60% usually each year.
Unfortunately, only 9-11% of these people feel like they’re able to stick with their New Year’s goals.
Does that mean New Year’s Resolutions are bad? Absolutely not!!
When we dive deeper, we learn some of the reasons WHY New Year’s Resolutions fail.
Lack of confidence
Lack of trackable progress
Not knowing where to start
Simply too many goals
Today’s blog is going to teach you how to actually get started on your nutrition and/or fitness goals this 2022 year so that come December you’re still crushing it and ready to move right on into 2023.
Decide Your Goals
We’ve written a lot on this subject matter. So we’re just going to share an old newsletter/email campaign we sent out back in 2021.
The biggest change we suggest in making when it comes to your New Year’s goals and resolutions is to set a “theme” first.
Let’s say your goal is lose 50lbs by the end of the year. What IF you actually don’t have 50lbs to lose? What if you do ALL the right things and only lose 20lbs this year? What if you lose 10lbs and realize that you’re MUCH happier there than another 40lbs lost? When you set fixed, specific goals right off the bat, you’re essentially pigeon-holing yourself.
Instead, we recommend starting first with a theme. Why? Because it takes into account the potential barriers that may come your way. They account for life, stress, sickness, change in goals, etc. Most importantly, they set you up for success.
Let’s say your goal is to squat 300lbs and your current max is 250lbs. Essentially your “theme” could be “Get Stronger”. As a subcategory to that theme, you can for sure go ahead and put a 300lb squat goal in there. BUT you’ll also be more inclined to incorporate OTHER aspects that will help you get stronger, like eating more protein or overall calories, sleeping more/better to enhance muscle protein synthesis, recovering and resting your body, AND targeting OTHER parts of your body to get strong. Now let’s say you hit 280lbs at the end of the year. Are you a failure? NO. You’re stronger and you did all the things you needed/wanted to do to get there.
Some examples of themes could be:
Body composition changes
Physically heal & recover
Under each category you choose for your theme, then you can write even the most idealistic goals under there because even if you don’t reach them, you’ll likely be better off than where you were before and that is a success.
How many goals should you set? We recommend THREE themes at most. Too many goals is a real reason you’re not seeing success. Again, another benefit of the theme is that there likely is a consistent theme within your goals. If your goals are to “eat healthier”, “have fewer binges”, “lose 50lbs”, and “go to the gym every day”, instead of having 4 things you have to work towards every single day...on top of being a functioning adult in 2022, going on our third year of a global pandemic...you have one general theme of “improve my health & wellness” this year. This gives you some wiggle room to have more flexible plans that adjust and change as you move through the year.
So go ahead and brainstorm. Write out your goals. Either write out the specific ones and find a theme OR visualize who you want to be in December and come up with themes for the year.
In the upcoming steps, you’ll see how we get to break them down into actionable, realistic plans.
It’s 2022. We have internet. We have phones. We have social media. We also are TWO years into a global pandemic that has bred THOUSANDS of people changing their jobs to something they have more passion and expertise in. You can find specialists in whatever it is you’re wanting to achieve. USE them. You’d be surprised HOW many people in small business are there to help...and how much free information they give away. Every single Clar-e-ty staff, including former staff got where we are by asking people better than us for information.
If you’re setting weight loss, health, wellness, body composition goals, you’re already in the right place. We have hundreds of free content out there for you. We also answer DMs, emails, and questions regularly. Engage with who you’re following or who you want to be like!! Not only does this help you, but likely your engagement with a small business improves their business as well...either via building confidence or through algorithms engrained in social media platforms.
Most importantly, don’t ask just the pretty people. Ask the experts and if they happen to be pretty and have thousands of followers, great. But start with the people who know what they’re talking about, who are educated, trained, certified, licensed, etc. I, recently, saw an influencer (even though she was giving great advice) give her rendition on how to lose weight because thousands of people asked her when she shared her weight loss story. While we love to see it, we wouldn’t go ask a person who just had heart surgery to repeat that surgery on a random stranger. Make sure who you’re getting information from is in line with you and your values.
If you want to lose weight and want it to actually last, don’t hire/follow/ask the person who is telling you things that you’ve already tried and didn’t work.
Red flags when it comes to nutrition...or honestly any goal:
All or nothing mindsets/challenges
“Just work harder”
“My way or the highway”
Promotions of Whole30, clean eating, any fad diet, 75Hard
Shame, guilt, manipulation-tactics
Green flags when it comes to goals:
Flexible advice based on you
Plans for the distractions
Compassion and empathy
The person who reach out to for advice should educate you, take you into consideration, have plans for when things go awry, and speak from a place of kindness and compassion.
Breakdown the How
Hopefully in step 1, you figured out a general theme you wanted to work towards this year and hopefully a few breakdown points below that. Now is the time to get specific.
If you didn’t write down specifics, go ahead and do that now. This can be as idealistic as you want, at first.
It needs to have a what and a clear “how”.
If your theme was to get stronger, you could have “follow a squat program for 60 days”, “go to the gym 5x/week”, “recover 1-2 days with walks, massages, yoga, etc.”
As you can see, we have a what, we have a how, and also a frequency! These are important in setting goals.
This varies, but we recommend working in quarters. Set specific plans for 2-3 months. Then at that point, re-evaluate. You don’t know what the year will hold for you. What if you fall and break your leg in June? You may not be able to squat for 90 days but you sure can stop & pivot and figure out a new way to get stronger *why we do the themes yet again*.
Most importantly, 2-3 months of work seems more realistic and less daunting than 12 months. This means you’re likely to stay on top of your goals and the habits needed to get you there.
The goal you set may require several phases. If you are working to lose weight, but are eating 1000 calories...we hate to tell you but that’s not sufficient enough to earn a place to lose weight. You might need 2-3 months increasing your intake before creating a calorie deficit. This may mean your initial quarter doesn’t bring any weight loss. But we would argue that you’re still working towards your goal, you just need to break it down into several phases!
Let’s say your goal is to lose weight. There are many avenues to try. We don’t first and foremost want to dive right down into a steep calorie deficit. So maybe the first 2-3 months is eating consistent calories and increasing your protein and veggie intake. Let’s say that works! Why would we change it up? Maybe the second quarter, you keep doing that, but you define those numbers a bit better and focus this quarter on moving your body daily, increasing your step count, or going to the gym. GREAT! Now the third quarter, you decide to add some variety to your meals. Wonderful. Fourth quarter is maybe the time we actually decrease calories slightly. As you can see, having a periodized and structured approach makes it more enjoyable and exciting, but also is way more likely to work!!
You need to have SOMETHING tangible for you to record, celebrate, track, and measure your progress.
Define how long you’re going to do X. How many days? Minutes? What’s the frequency in a week? Make sure this is realistic!! We don’t care what your goal is, but we can guarantee if you put “every day”, you’re setting yourself up for failure! Instead of every day (also keep in mind that you can adjust each 2-3 months), start small with 3 days even because you’ve got 12 months to adjust and increase that frequency if it works for you. But you’re doing so because you’re successful...not because you’re a failure...and that in and of itself is motivating. We also encourage using ranges, like 3-5 days!
What time works best for you? If you want to increase your gym attendance, decide what class works best for you.
How are you going to track and measure it? Are you going to use a habit tracker? Download an app on your phone (like a food-tracking app)?
Most importantly, it needs to be beyond the scale. Progress pictures, the fit of your clothes, your biofeedback (energy in and out of the gym, recovery, sleep, stress, mood, hunger, cravings?
Check out the book Atomic Habits for ideas 😊
One of the BIGGEST mistakes you could make in your nutrition journey is assuming it’s going to be rainbows and sunshine 24/7.
You know yourself best. You know what you've succeeded with in the past and what you've failed at. USE that as help in defining your goals. If you know you need a rest day for your own sanity, don't set a goal to be perfect and hit the gym OR even walk 7 days a week.
Maybe you respond poorly to stress & shut down.
Maybe work takes over your life.
Maybe your family comes first & when they're around you're going to be less compliant.
Maybe you have a sweet tooth and if you limit yourself, you're going to indulge.
Maybe you like being around friends and want that social time!!
You know these things, we believe it!!
Instead of fighting them, plan ahead for them!!! Decide how you're going to be flexible and let these things come naturally.
If you know you don't like being restricted, start your weight loss goals by ADDING things in first, like water, exercise, protein, veggies, fruits, and whole grains before you actively take things away.
There is so much room here to enjoy life while you reach your goals, trust us!
SO hopefully you have more clar-e-ty in how to get started on your goals this 2022 season.
If not, apply for a free complimentary consult call to ask the experts on where YOU should get started!!! Click the link below or check out all of our other free services & options.