Set Yourself Up for Success in the New Year

Set Yourself Up for Success in the New Year

Right now, I bet you’re busy wrapping presents, planning family feasts, and going to holiday parties—and I hope you’re having a ball. (I know I am, because we Italians really know how to celebrate the season!) However, you know me—I love to enjoy the moment, but I also like to think ahead. So as we inch ever closer to January, I want you to take a few minutes to start thinking about your goals for 2017.

Today, as part of my New You in the New Year campaign, I want to talk about one of the best ways to achieve these goals: by preparing yourself mentally for the lifestyle changes you’ll be making. Here are three traps that can derail you unless you’re ready for them and know how to protect yourself:

The “Sacrifice” Trap It’s all too easy to think of a lifestyle change as a sacrifice you need to make. But if you frame it in this way, you’re ignoring all of the rewards you’re going to get—and that makes it harder to stay motivated. So instead of saying, “This is what I’m losing,” tell yourself, “This is what I’m getting.” First of all, remember why you’re making changes: to get slimmer, healthier, more energetic, and younger. That’s a big deal! And second, think of your changes not as sacrificing, but as swapping out.

For instance, let’s talk about your diet. If you follow my Bone Broth Diet plan, you’re going to be replacing greasy, sugary, unhealthy food with glorious food—from omelets and stir-fries to pot roasts and lobster with clarified butter. So you’re not sacrificing; you’re swapping out bad foods for great ones that you’ll love even more. (Don’t believe it? Check out my new cookbook!)

Now, let’s talk about exercise. It’s true that if you dedicate an hour a day to moving, you’ll miss out on some couch-potato time. But seriously, what sounds like more fun: Sitting on your butt watching a rerun of Real Housewives—or going ice skating with your girlfriends, dancing around the house to your favorite music, or taking an invigorating Zumba class at the gym? In this case, you’re swapping out a boring session on the couch for an activity that’s good for your soul as well as for your body.

So remember: You’re not sacrificing—you’re swapping. The “Habit” Trap Habits are comfy things, and it’s easy to slip back into them even when they’re unhealthy. For instance, you may be in the habit of rewarding yourself with a take-out pizza for finishing a big job, or treating yourself to ice cream to soothe yourself when you’re upset. If so, become mindful of these habits and actively think of ways to replace them.

For instance, I’ve gotten in the habit of treating myself to a warm bath (with some fancy bath salts) and a good novel when I’m in the dumps. And to congratulate myself after finishing a big project, I whip up a healthy dessert like my OMG Chocolate Chip Cookies and share it with friends—after I take my own cut, of course! The “I’m not comfortable” Trap When we make a change and then feel uncomfortable, we tend to think, “Oh, no—something is wrong!” As a result, we’re likely to revert to our old ways of doing things.

But here’s a secret: Nearly all big lifestyle changes are uncomfortable at first. For instance, you’re likely to experience a few days of the “carb flu” when you give up sugary, high-carb foods—and that’s a good sign, because it means your body is becoming a fat-burning machine. And you’ll be sore for a while if you go from sitting all day to exercising—but that discomfort means that you’re building beautiful muscles. It takes your body a little time to adjust to a new, healthy lifestyle, and initially it may get a little cranky—but remember that soon, you’ll feel radiant.

You’ll have energy to spare, you’ll feel happier than you’ve felt in ages, and I’m betting that you’ll even experience that (ahem) “tiger blood” in the bedroom. And that’s worth a few days of discomfort, right? — As the soldiers on G.I. Joe used to say, “Knowing is half the battle.” And while I usually don’t take advice from cartoon characters, it’s true in this case—because now that you know about these three traps, you can easily avoid them.

Just remember: You’re swapping, not sacrificing; you’re replacing old habits with better ones; and you’re going to be fully prepared for a few days of discomfort if it means a happy, beautiful, sexy new you!

Keep thinking Big and living BOLD!