Make your New Year's fitness plan stick

Make your New Year's fitness plan stick

untitledstartfreshlogountitleduntitleduntitledWe’re done with the cookies, the cakes and the chocolate-dipped peppermint sticks. We’ve opened all the gifts, saw all the family and drank to a happy holiday season (many more times than once!) We’ve reached the end…or is it the beginning?

Whatever it is, it’s time for the resolutionist in each and every one of us to start ranting and raving about the litany of things we’re going to change in the coming new year. Declarations of organizing our lives once and for all, losing those stubborn 20 pounds, and eating only raw foods are spewing forth from mouths all across the country.

How many will actually follow through? Sad to say, but not many. Not many at all.

While resolutions are well-intentioned, unfortunately most people fail at keeping them. With all the hype surrounding these promises, it’s easy to get caught up in them without really taking them seriously.

We live in a throw-away society, and even our resolutions, I’m afraid, are not immune. However, especially for promises that include improving our health, it’s in our best interest to take them seriously.

So what’s the secret to successful resolutions? While you can’t wave a magic wand and make your resolution come true, there are some easy steps to take to make it easier to fulfill your promise to yourself.

*Choose an obtainable goal. Resolving to look like a super model is not realistic for the majority of us, but promising to include daily physical activity in our lives is possible.

*Avoid choosing a resolution that you’ve been unsuccessful at achieving year after year. This will only set you up for failure, frustration and disappointment. If you are still tempted to make a promise that you’ve made before, then try altering it. For example, instead of stating that you are going to lose 30 pounds, try promising to eat healthier and increase your weekly exercise.

*Create a game plan, write it down and schedule it in. At the beginning of January, write a comprehensive plan. All successful businesses start with a business plan that describes their mission and specifics on how they will achieve it. Write your own personal plan and you’ll be more likely to succeed as well. Schedule your workout days and times in your weekly/monthly planner. It only takes 21-Days to form a habit! Before you know it, working out on a consistent basis will be as routine as brushing your teeth.

*Break it down and make it less intimidating. Rather than one BIG end goal, dissect it into smaller pieces. Set several smaller goals to achieve throughout the year that will help you to reach the ultimate goal. Then even if you aren’t able to reach your final goal, you will have many smaller but significant achievements along the way. For example, if your goal is to complete a 10K race, your smaller goals could be running a 5K in less than 30 minutes, adding upper and lower body strength training to increase your muscular endurance, and running 2 miles with a personal best completion time.

*Ask friends and family members to help you so you have someone to be accountable to. Just be sure to set limits so that this doesn’t backfire and become more irritating than helpful. For example, if you resolve to be more positive, ask them to gently remind you when you start talking negatively.

*Reward yourself with each milestone. If you’ve stuck with your resolution for two months, treat yourself to something special. But be careful of your reward type. If you’ve lost 5 pounds, don’t give yourself a piece of cake as an award. Instead, treat yourself to a something non-food related, like a professional massage or new workout attire.

*Don’t go it alone! Get professional assistance. Everyone needs help and sometimes a friend just isn’t enough. Sometimes you need the help of a trained professional. Don’t feel that seeking help is a way of copping out. Especially when it comes to fitness, research studies have shown that assistance from a fitness professional greatly improves peoples success rate.

*Limit your number of promises. You’ll spread yourself too thin trying to make multiple changes in your life. This will just lead to failure of all of the resolutions. Just think “this is only 1 hour of my whole entire day” and get in your car and go.

On average, only about 20% of us keep our New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, some of the biggest failures are found in fitness resolutions. But don’t let the statistics get you down. By following the tips above, you’ll be better equipped to fall into the successful 20% category!

Best Wishes For 2014!
Julia

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