The holidays are now over. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s have come and gone, and some of you may have gained a few pounds eating all the delicious foods that accompany this wonderful time of year. Along with the festivities, many will make New Year’s resolutions to lose those extra pounds or to spend the next year getting in shape. Most Americans (88 percent in 2010 according to a recent poll) make at least one resolution, with the majority being related to health and fitness. In 2010, 55 percent promised to eat healthier, 50 percent resolved to exercise more, and 38 percent wanted to lose weight.
While health and fitness resolutions are well-intentioned, unfortunately most people fail at keeping them. With all the excitement surrounding these promises, it’s easy to get caught up in it without really taking them seriously. So how do you insure that you actually lose those few pounds, get in better shape, and spend the next year healthier and fit?
We have some suggestions to help you keep your New Year’s resolutions:
- Set exercise as a top priority, budget time into your daily routine to exercise and plan healthier meals/snacks. Importantly, be consistent with your routine.
- Be realistic about the type of workout you plan and the results you expect to see by choosing an obtainable goal. Find a workout routine that’s appropriate to your fitness level, the time you have to spend, and the results you’d like to achieve.
- Avoid choosing a resolution that you’ve struggled with achieving year after year. This will only set you up for failure, frustration and disappointment. If you are tempted to make a promise that you’ve made before, then try altering it.
- Incorporate physical exercise into your workday and your daily life (use the stairs, park at the back of the lot, etc.).
- Create a game plan. At the beginning of January, write a comprehensive plan that includes your fitness and health goals. By writing your own personal plan and you’ll be more likely to succeed.
- Break your goals down and make them less intimidating. Rather than one big end goal, divide your goals into smaller pieces. Set several smaller objectives to achieve throughout the year that will help you to reach your ultimate goals.
- Don’t assume sticking to your plan will be easy. Plan on obstacles, set-backs and frustrations along the way and be prepared with specific ways to overcome them.
- Be patient. Most experts agree that it takes about 21 days to create a habit and six months for it to actually become a part of your daily lifestyle. The first few weeks will be tough, but it will get easier.
- Reward yourself along the way. If you’ve stuck with your resolution for 2 months, treat yourself to something special, like a professional massage or spa treatment.
- Limit the number of resolutions that you make. You’ll spread yourself too thin trying to make multiple changes in your life. This will just lead to failure of all of your resolutions.
- Remain flexible and realize that things change frequently. Your goals and needs may be very different in June then they were when you made your resolutions in January. Embrace change, even if that means that your resolution is altered.
Lasting lifestyle changes are possible, and they can start with a New Year’s resolution! Did you make any New Year’s resolutions this year? What were they and what strategies will you use to keep them? Do you think resolutions are a waste of time? Post your thoughts…we would love to hear from you! Stop by Fit-Est or call 203-557-4900.