Happy New Year!
I was doing a little Internet research and found that 40 to 45% of Americans make new years resolutions each year. That is an interesting statistic. I'm sure that the percentage of those who keep their resolutions is much lower.
So, how do we stick to our resolution? I see a resolution much like a goal, so it would stand to reason that the same techniques used to accomplish a goal can be applied to a resolution. In the fitness world we teach all kinds of strategies for goal setting and achieving. Here are a few that I have found work well:
1. Be realistic. Set achievable goals. If weight loss is your resolution, for example, saying "I want to lose 150 pounds in 6 months" is not realistic. A better resolution would be "I am going to lose at least 5 pounds per month." This is an achievable task and you will not be stopped by the disappointment of not accomplishing it. And if you exceed your goal, awesome!
2. Set Short term and long term goals. Using the weight loss example, the long term goal is to lose at least 5 pounds per month. A short term goal for this scenario is to go to the gym 4 times a week for 2 weeks or to record all of your meals in a food journal for 3 days. These short term goals will help you reach your ultimate resolution of weight loss and not make it seem like such a daunting task.
3. Celebrate the small victories. Reward yourself! positive reinforcement is a great way to stay on task. If you accomplished going to the gym 4 times a week for 2 weeks, treat yourself to a new workout outfit, or go get a massage for those aching muscles, you deserve it! I have found that people are far more successful when they reward themselves for accomplishments rather than punishing themselves for slip-ups.
4. Shake it off. If you slip up and eat an enormous piece of chocolate cake at a birthday party, oh well. Just get back on it tomorrow. This is real life, things happen, so don't let it stop all of your forward momentum.
All of this talk about resolutions, I suppose I should share mine, so here they are:
- I resolve to do a concentrated fitness activity of some sort at least 4 days per week.
- I resolve to update this blog at least 3 times per week
- I resolve to schedule time just for myself at least once a month. (this will not be easy with a husband and 2 toddlers, but I will be happier for it)
What are your resolutions?