But by far, the most common New Year's resolution is the one in which we resolve to get into shape. We'll exercise every day, we'll join a gym and actually use it, and we'll burn calories until we whip our bodies back to where they were when we were 18. Every year, we start with the very best of intentions, and by February, we're right back to our old unhealthy habits.
Not this year. In 2009, I'm going to help you make your resolution stick, so that by March, you're on your way to your healthiest body ever. It all starts with a few small adjustments to the way you set out to make your changes.
- Make your resolution realistic. No one is going to go from couch potato to marathoner in one fell swoop. If you aren't a regular exerciser now, you aren't immediately going to work out six days a week, and by vowing to do so you set yourself up for serious disappointment and ultimately, failure. Small steps set you on a path to long-term lifestyle changes; begin by making the commitment to exercise for 20 minutes a day, three days a week. Once that's become a part of your routine, build on it a little every few weeks.
- Set small goals and then reward yourself each time you achieve one. Every five pounds lost earns you a special treat, whether that's a new CD downloaded to your iPod or a pedicure or a new game for your Wii. Just be careful of rewarding yourself with junk food, or you'll be undoing all your hard work.
- Figure out what's behind your unhealthy habits. Do you turn to junk food for comfort? Why? Maybe counseling is in order, or maybe just a good long soul search, but identifying the issues that hold you back will help you move forward.
- Get a support system! Tell people about your goals and ask them to hold you accountable. Join the HealthStyle Fitness Facebook group and find others who will support you on your journey. Click here to join the HSF Facebook Group!
- Believe in yourself. You can do it.
- Join a fitness program or hire a trainer. Boot camps, fitness makeovers and hiring a top notch personal trainer provides the motivation, accountability and gives you all the tools you need for success.
- Make a list and check it twice. Write down the little things you need to do to accomplish your goals - squeeze in enough servings of fruits and veggies, walk for 20 minutes, get to your HealthStyle small group. Check them off as you complete them. At the end of the day all those little checkmarks will give you a great sense of accomplishment.
This is the year you're really going to do it. The team at HealthStyle will help you every step of the way. Happy New Year - and happy new you!
Your friend in fitness,