by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner
How are those 2012 resolutions coming? Studies indicate a third of New Year’s resolutions are broken by February. Whether you’re already teetering on the edge or perhaps holding out until spring fever hits, remain steadfast. Here’s how …
Perhaps your goals were a little too unreasonable. Or, maybe you didn’t make them specific enough. Hence, the typical excuses– too busy, too tired, too uninterested–seem logical for “calling it a year” before tax season. Everyone’s most important resolution at the start of each year should be the same:
Suppose you resolved to create a healthier life. If the diet fails, if a fitness session gets skipped, if you eat a bag of chips, all is still right as long as you remain dedicated to the greater goal. Resolutions should be specific; for example, steps needed to gain a healthier life rather than the general statement of obtaining one. Yet, when we stumble on one of those steps, don’t carelessly let yourself fall down the entire staircase.
Although advice shared here speaks of health and fitness, it’s applicable to any resolutions, even cleaning out your basement. An extra box hidden down there from unexpected company doesn’t mean you failed to be organized. It’s not an excuse to store upcoming months’ worth of junk in this overwhelming heap. You did what seemed necessary, perhaps for good reason. (Who wants a neat-freak’s raised eyebrow?) Move forward.
To keep the faith, make it easy. All the talk of challenging yourself and pushing hard can intimidate. When you break resolutions into little steps, it is actually hard to quit. Small adjustments can significantly impact your success. Here, we share common goals and how to make them more attainable.
It is a new year. I’m now on a diet. It’s all deprivation, celery, and soy from here. Watch me lose weight (maybe) and morph into a grump.
I’m going to eat healthier. Forget fad diets and avoiding my favorites. That will have me running to the comfort of carbs in record time. Instead, I’m limiting processed foods and sugary treats. Any food from a box will take a pause-and-plan approach. And, I plan to have something healthier available for such occasions.
I’m getting up early everyday to become a fat-burning machine. I’m going to be one of the productive morning set. What I eat won’t matter much. I can gain health benefits galore just from my morning sweat session. I could have a donut for breakfast as a reward.
I plan to exercise on a regular basis. I’m not a morning person, and my schedule is very hectic. My goal is to manage at least 30 minutes of exercise, five times a week. Rather than put time constraints on this commitment, I promise myself to fit it in most days. It may be after work, during lunch, or after dinner. Flexibility is just as essential as including exercise on the calendar. I’m also going to eat properly. Regular exercise does not allow me to gorge on junk food. If I happen to have an off day, I won’t feel doubly guilty with a flavored rice cake in tow.
This year, it’s going to be a new way of life for me. I’m going to meditate, do yoga, and be happy. I’ll live each moment.
Breathe. This year, I’m going to remember to breathe. Perhaps I’ll try a series of yoga classes to complement my swimming program or weight training. I can learn poses to use throughout the day for a good stretch and stress-release session. This should help me improve my posture, which often reflects my tension level. I’m going to introduce (not force) more thoughtfulness into my activities. I may not officially meditate, but awareness is a start. Simply noticing my breathing can help lower my blood pressure and ease tension. It will remind me I am a living force, not a machine.
Improved posture is a perfect segue into a healthier life. Instantly, it enhances your physical and mental well-being. Holding your frame correctly helps prevent aches, pains, and overall fatigue. It also avoids unnecessary strain on ligaments and muscles. Poor posture prohibits lungs from breathing deeply, thereby preventing muscles from getting oxygen needed for optimum performance. Emotional stress and negative attitude affect our overall outlook and appearance.
I am keeping my efforts a secret. I want others to notice the “new me” on their own. This will be the best indicator of my success.
I need support. This doesn’t mean I’m weak. I’m not ashamed to let others know of my quests. I need all the cheering I can get along this journey. At the Center, I’m going to speak with a personal trainer who can help solidify my fitness goals and guide me in attempts to achieve them. I’ll let my Group Fitness instructor know I’m trying to flatten my abs so s/he can share specific pointers during class. At home and the office, they need to know I’m trying a healthier diet. I can’t afford to be tempted with a bagel platter or late-night fridge raid. I need so much encouragement, I might ask the entire facebook community to hold me accountable.
You may discover others who are working toward similar goals this year. In last week’s article, “Willpower. You Have It. Flaunt It,” we learn some of the training team’s goals. Connect with these individuals, as well as other members. Surely, Fitness Manager Renal isn’t the only one striving to compete in a triathlon this year. Take advantage of the Center’s camaraderie. The support and insight shared might keep you committed, despite that gray day.
They say if you want to eat healthier, keep junk food out of the house. I emptied my cabinets and refrigerator of all the questionables and, of course, the obvious Oreos, chips, sodas, and such. I dare my sweet tooth to find satisfaction now.
I want to eat healthier. Sure, I’ve got some fun food in the kitchen (and a private stash of chocolate in the desk drawer). I’m going to cut-back on purchasing highly processed food and sugary treats. Although I won’t waste those already stocked items, I’ll savor some treats that won’t be bought next time. Truthfully, if I cut out all my desserts and unhealthy choices, I would find excuses for a trip to the store or chance to dine out. I would have to pay for this with my diet and my wallet.
Although you may not become fully invested in that New Year cleansing diet, put the blender on the kitchen counter. In clear site, it will be a convenient reminder to make protein smoothies and healthful juices. You may not have exotic veggies to pulverize, but some fresh strawberries and yogurt can do the job. A visible blender might even replace your weakness for that over-priced, whip-top frap.
It’s time for inner peace. A healer advised me to remove the TV from my house. To the basement with it! No more distractions from the outer world with mindless shows. I might even read the classics and nourish my brain.
Inner peace cannot be found in an empty space where a television once flickered. I’m going to incorporate five minutes of silence into my day. Maybe this can expand over time. For now, I need to detox from my high-tech life. Since there is no “patch” for noise withdrawal, I’m going to start small. Perhaps my new addiction will become meditation. Regardless, if I can’t resist tonight’s episode of Modern Family, at least I don’t have the hassle of a service call to reinstall my cable.
All Things in Moderation
Take a moderate approach to keeping resolutions and achieving goals. When you fall short, even by indulging in the same bad habit 364 days of the year, keep the faith. Do not quit. Make that last day brilliant.
Cease the all-or-nothing mentality and succeed.
“6 Ways to Change Bad Habits,” by Madeline Vann at www.everydayhealth.com.
“10 Weight Loss Resolutions to Skip This Year,” by Beth Orenstein at www.everydayhealth.com.
Muscular man (introductory photo): © Andrey Kiselev at www.dreamstime.com.
Apples: © Nadia Maslova at www.dreamstime.com
Inner peace: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wiredwitch/1109334003/