In order to be successful, our resolutions need resolve. The New Year is a great time to set goals and resolutions. It seems to be the one time of year when we not only accept change…we yearn for it. But this motivation and drive can quickly peter out, and sadly by the end of January many resolutions can become forgotten causes. Make this year different. Put your desires and determination on paper. Make a fitness plan that fits your life and make a commitment to yourself to succeed.
Start by taking an honest look at your current state of health and how you got there (much easier said than done). Ask yourself those tough questions, such as: What’s my Body Mass Index, BMI? What is a healthy body fat range? How many calories do I actually need per day? What times of the day do I snack the most? What times of day can I squeeze in a workout? Evaluate your daily habits and routines and look for areas that you can improve.
After you identify these areas of improvement, write down a plan to change. The time you spend making a plan and visualizing your success will pay dividends in the long run. You’ll be far better off making a well thought out plan with a realistic goal, timeline, and milestones, rather than quickly plunging into a health-kick frenzy. The key to any long-term pursuit is to pace yourself so that you can reach the end. This can be the time of year when we make snap decisions…sign up for a gym membership….buy a treadmill…attempt a jog across town on January 2nd, etc.. And while all of these can be good and productive actions, plan them out before you leap forward.
Some of the more effective tools that work for me are food and exercise logs. When I “fall off the wagon”, the first thing that I do is re-start my food log. The food log keeps me honest and less likely to eat a dozen holiday cookies at one sitting ;-). It also helps me identify those tough times during the day when I’m vulnerable to over-snacking. The exercise log is another good motivation tool, as I’d much rather go for a short run and enter something in the log than leave a blank entry.
Another way to stay focused on your resolution into February & beyond is to set a goal that’s a few months away. For example, sign up for a 5k race in February or March and talk some of your friends into joining you. That small commitment may pull you through those low motivation days when many fitness plans crumble. Having others in the same pursuit will also strengthen your resolve to stick with it. Use the tools, calculators, and charts on the Fitness Plan page to get started. Other pages that may be helpful include: New Year's Resolutions; Fitness Resources; Treadmill Buying Tips; Elliptical Buying Tips.
You can find Resolutions Need Resolve and other motivational fitness information in the December 2007 article of The Bullhorn. You can sign up for this free monthly e-zine below.