December 29, 2011

Guest Post: New Year's Resolution Success

With New Year's Eve coming our way, many of us are giving thought to New Year's Resolutions. I'm happy to have Sandy Woolfrey-Fahey, one of my bestest friends, offer up a guest post on this very topic and, hopefully, inspire you like she has me over the last year. Sandy and her husband Mark live in Mount Pearl, NL.  After her youngest child was born, she left the world of corporate communications and is now a stay-at-home mom to their three little boys, Alex 6, Liam 4 and Devon 21 months. She also provides childcare to two other children.  Her house is a busy one with lots of time for fun kiddy activities, but historically she`s put a low priority on time for herself. Throughout 2011 she made an attempt at changing this and started making time for herself, health and fitness. This year she has lost nearly 80lbs after sticking with this year`s New Year`s resolution!

New Year's Resolutions
by Sandy Woolfrey-Fahey

To some people New Year’s Resolutions bring great motivation, to others they bring dread and well others don’t give them a passing thought.

Historically, I was most often in that last group. I am not accustomed to making resolutions and even less accustomed to sticking with them, but when I rang in 2011 I vowed it would be different this year and approached it as a challenge that I wasn’t backing down from. My husband and I, as our resolution, wanted to start on a path to being a healthier and leaner couple and on January 2 joined with other family and friends in a two month biggest loser type challenge.

To back up a bit, at that time I had had three kids in just over four years and lost my mom in that time as well. I was tired, overweight and had not thought about scheduling time for me in a long time! 

So for the first two months in 2011, we were focused on us. We were going to succeed and we were held accountable by the weekly check ins that the competition provided.  He and I ended the challenge in third and first place respectively and we had set the foundation for success!

Fast forward to the end of 2011, we have lost a combined total of about 160lbs.  We have logged hundreds of kilometers, him running and me on the elliptical and most importantly become a healthier couple and better role models for our three little boys. Deciding to stick with this resolution was THE BEST DECISION I’ve made in quite a while! 

The easiest part is coming up with the resolution whether related to fitness and health, personal development, money management, philanthropy, or any part of your life you want to improve. The hardest part is seeing it through - believe me!  It has to be one that’s important to you and you have to REALLY want your end goal.

I like the sentiment, motivation and discipline that’s part of making a resolution, but I don’t have a cookie cutter plan for sticking with it (if I did I’d be pretty rich)! I do, however, think our success had a lot do to with our approach. So, what are our tricks to sticking with our resolution?

Make a plan including goals and time lines.  If it is weight loss, set a certain percentage by the end of the first month, by 3 months, by 6 months and the end of the year. This really kept me motivated! If it’s to read more, make a list of books you want to have read by the end of the year and pick a month for each one. You can make a plan for any resolution.
Find an easy way to stick with it to limit your chances of making excuses. If it’s an exercise based resolution, decide if you’ll be more likely to use a piece of equipment at home or at the gym or just getting outside.  Think about how exactly you’re going to most easily achieve your ultimate goal.  If you want to volunteer more, make a set commitment of a time and place to be each month.

Find support/partner and tell everyone!  I found this great for keeping myself accountable. The more people that know the more positive pressure you feel to stick with your resolution!

Celebrate milestone successes. Some resolutions may take a while to see the end results, but celebrate each step along the way.  Even small steps in the right direction are getting you closer!

Get motivated by making a resolution this year. We can all benefit from making one and positively changing our lives.

How do you plan to succeed?


Lesley Ann Staples said...

What a great success story! inspirational for us all.

Deborah Slade said...

Sandy you look amazing! The photos are truly fabulous and you should be so proud of yourselves. Thanks for the inspiration as I set some New Year's Resolution goals of my own.

Deborah Slade