More specifically not sabotaging yourself and once again f@&%ing up your resolution to drop a few lbs.  I’m no statistics major but I’m sure that that weight loss is the largest New Years resolution followed by getting in shape, quitting smoking (or some other vice), and lastly becoming a ninja warrior (my last year’s resolution).

Here is a shameless plug but I had a small column in Boston’s Metro’s fitness section last week on how to keep a resolution.  I haven’t quite made a national publication yet but that is definitely a goal of mine for the coming year.  Check out the article here.

One of the messages I was trying to get across in the column was something that I stole from Alwyn Cosgrove to use with my clients he refers to as the goal snowball.  I know, it sounds a little hokey but it is a great exercise and helps simplify a big picture goal into smaller, more easily attainable goals.

The first step to creating your snowball is to have a “realistic” goal or resolution in mind.  I am just taking a stab in the dark here but I’m sure for most of you that is going to be weightloss or getting back in shape or becoming a ninja warrior like myself.  If your goal is to look like Jamie Eason by summertime you might want to dial it back and start with just creating some of the habits that it will take to get you to that goal.

Here are the steps to get your snowball rolling:

  1. Have a reasonable goal – Whatever it is make sure it is what you really want and write it down.
  2. Write down 5  behaviors that must change – List them from easiest to the most difficult.  These are going to be what help you reach your goal.
  3. Focus on one at a time – Start with the easiest behavior and really focus on making that change for at least 2 weeks while maintaining the others.
  4. Move to the next change – Once you make the first one a habit move on to the next on.
  5. Keep going – Keep mastering each behavior one by one until your snowball grows bigger with the new behaviors.

Get the picture?

Here is an example:

Lets say your main goal for 2011 is weight loss and being one sexy mofo.  Some behaviors that might need to be changed are getting to bed on time, eating breakfast each morning, reducing calories, lifting weights, and working out 4 times a week.

The easiest out of those behaviors might be getting to bed on time.  The first two weeks make sure you are getting to bed an hour earlier each night.  One thing that my mother always told me when I was younger that “if it hasn’t happened by 10:00, it probably isn’t going to happen.”  I still don’t know what that means :/

Next would be eating breakfast regularly.  I’m not talking about the Lucky Charms that your used to eating now.  Your big change might just be to eat a cup of oatmeal and some yogurt for breakfast.  This alone will make you damn sexy.  Honest.

*Don’t forget that with each new behavior you are still maintaining the others.

Next order of business is to focus on reducing those calories.  When I talk weightloss to my clients the first thing I can’t stress enough is getting the right amount of calories.  To lose weight you must be in a deficit.  A simple formula I use for target calories to lose weight if you are working out is your bodyweight X 12.  Stick to that number!

For the next goal of strength training, a great step would be to talk to a trainer or buy a book or program.  DO NOT go to the gym without a plan/program in place.  You will get discouraged very quickly if you are not having some sort of victory which could very basically be not missing a training session and finishing a month long program.

By the time you make it to the most difficult behavior to change your snowball has grown large enough that you should be seeing results.  The last goal is to make it to the gym 4 times per week.  That would be 208 workouts for 2011.  Keep that number in mind and make it happen!

Keep those resolutions and make 2011 your best yet!!!!

Written by Steve