By Leigh Anne Richards
It is that time of year again- Time to make those dreaded New Year’s Resolutions. I know most of you make them and then break them. The most popular resolutions involve losing weight and “getting in shape.” I have encountered people for many years who say they want to “get in shape” to improve their health, energy, and outlook. Maybe a Dr has even told them they had to lost weight for health reasons. They have been hearing if for years and still they don’t do it. Why??? It has to be an internal change- it is essential that happens. No ranting or raving about improvements in metabolic rate or cardiovascular benefits are worth a hoot unless there is that internal change. Nobody can make you get healthy and fit. You can’t force the epiphany but you do have to sit yourself down and have a good, long think session about what really will FIRE you up to get it done. Only you know what that spark will be. It is a deep personal decision and commitment.
Set SMART goals- SMART is an acronym that was originally coined in 1981. These goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. An example would be- “I want to walk/run in a 5K in April”. This goal is much preferable than saying I am going to get in shape. The former is specific. You know when you have attained it; it’s realistic for you because you can break it into daily actions. You also give yourself a specific date. Saying the latter (I want to get in shape) is vague. Since you don’t really know what you’re chasing you can’t really act on it. Most goal setting stops right there but another element to the equation of fitness is passion. Without it, the fitness resolution is not worth the paper it is written on.
Make this year the year to achieve your fitness or weight loss goal. Make 2015 the year that you break the cycle of resolving to make the change and then not following through. Here are ten tips taken from the FIRM website on how to Help Your New Years Resolutions stick for 2015
1. Be realistic- The surest way to fall short of your goal is to make it unattainable. For instance, resolving to never eat your favorite food again in setting yourself up for failure. Set a small goal such as not eating the food as much
2. Plan ahead- Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to set the goal. Think about it and commit to it before the big day.
3. Make a plan of action- Decide how you will deal with the temptation to skip that workout or to have that glass of wine. Ask a friend to be your accountability partner so you can have them to talk with if you are about to succumb to the temptation. Give yourself the talk about how your giving up will affect your goal
4. Make a Pros and Cons List- Put this on paper and keep the list with you when you need some motivation to help you keep that commitment.
5. Talk about it- Talk about it to people. Tell your friends and family members who will be there to support your new improved you or your health. The best case scenario is to find a buddy who shares your New Year’s Resolution so you can motivate each other. Don’t keep it a secret!!
6. Reward yourself- Celebrate your success by treating yourself to something that would not contradict your resolution.
7. Track your progress- Keep a journal. Log even your small successes in the journal. It could be keeping a food journal and recording those five pounds that you lost. Maybe it’s an exercise journal that you chart your different fitness activities every day.
8. Don’t beat yourself up- Don’t let an occasional slip up destroy your goal. Take one day at a time and keep on keeping on. Take one day at a time and focus on it
9. Stick to it- Experts say that it takes 21 days for a new activity to become a habit or to undo a habit. They also it takes 6 months for it to become a part of your personality. Be persistent and know it wont happen overnight
10. Keep on Keeping On- By mid February most people run out of steam and the resolution has gone by the way side. In the fitness business, we term it as “Jan Febs” Start over again. Recommit yourself for 24 hours. You can do anything for 24 hours. The 24 hour increment will soon build on each other and before you know it you are back on track.
What are your Fit goals for 2015? Share them with me at LAMetrofit@aol.com. Put them in writing and let me know. Turn your goals into ACTION!!
Leigh Anne Richards, MEd, Certified Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, General Manager- MetroFitness. For any questions or comments, contact Leigh Anne at LAMetrofit@aol.com
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