If anyone can get you to stick to your resolution, it's this girl
Jen Widerstrom is a Shape advisory board member, a trainer (undefeated!) on NBC's The Biggest Loser, the face of women's fitness for Reebok, and the author of Diet Right for Your Personality Type. (And she gets real about body image on Instagram.) Here are her tips for setting—and crushing—your health, fitness, and weight loss goals.
Step 1: Acknowledge Your Importance
Why are the promises you make to yourself the easiest ones to break? Is it because the only person you'll end up disappointing is yourself? Or that you've prioritized pleasing others over your goals? Either way, you deserve better than that. Think of a promise as a powerful muscle—like the glutes or lats—that can affect how your body looks, moves, and feels. Just like a muscle, you can strengthen your promise over time and develop it into one of your assets. The stronger your promise becomes, the more probable it is that you'll be able to commit to reaching your goals, whether that's to move more, eat better, or finally sign up for a race. (Related: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Your Own Will Power)
Step 2: Train the Power of Your Word
I first experienced this concept when I promised myself that I wouldn't eat dessert in restaurants. I focused on one dinner at a time. It felt a little low-impact in the moment, but looking back, it was the just-right start: a small, clear goal that was surprisingly hard to accomplish. I told no one about this, which forced accountability and strength to come from only me. I made it through that week. And I used this small exercise to prove to myself that I could trust myself. This dessert challenge marked the end of my empty promises. My confidence grew every time I kept a promise I made to myself. Whenever I failed, I used that as information about where my system was faulty and applied it to the next opportunity to fulfill my promise.
Step 3: Know That Your Word Matters
Every time you stay true to your word, you'll find that each challenge becomes less daunting because you'll know that your word has substance and that it leads you closer toward reaching your big-picture goal: that exciting life you want to lead. This creates a self-powered momentum. Each accomplishment builds on the next, and suddenly, before you know it, you are unstoppable. (Need more motivation? Trainers share their go-to morning mantras.)