January 1st seems to be a magical date in some of our lives. Millions of Americans take this opportunity to decide, with good intentions, to change our unhealthy behaviors and bad habits or just simply want to feel better from the previous year.
Unfortunately, for most of us, our good intentions fade and by March we fall into the same behaviors. So we procrastinate and start to rationalize with ourselves and set the next special date to begin our goals anew. “I’ll start my diet on Monday”, “I’ll start my workout program after ‘Walking Dead-Pizza-Night-Sundays’ are over” You get the point. Your new starting point leads to another and pretty soon January is on the horizon again.
Here are some tips to help make your 2015 transition to a healthier you more successful:
1. Set smaller goals that are attainable. We have to stay realistic. If exercising more frequently is your goal, schedule 3 or 4 days per week at the gym to start instead of seven. If weight loss is your goal then set weekly or even daily goals of exercise and dietary intake to achieve your much bigger goal.
2. Take more steps to achieve your goal. Go the extra mile when it comes to your everyday life. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Stand and walk around while you’re on the phone. Park further away when you go shopping. Take your dog for an extra walk per week.
3. Avoid sabotage. Be aware of your environment. If your goal is to get smaller then avoid social settings that revolve around unhealthy food. Instead of meeting friends for a meal, meet them for a brisk walk. Avoid the aisles at the grocery store that tempt you. You know which aisles I’m talking about. Remove those tempting foods from your pantry.
4. Support and accountability. Enlist friends and loved ones that may have the same goal in mind and help one another. Countless studies show that you get far more success from an exercise program when you have a workout partner. They can motivate you and you can motivate them. Hold yourselves accountable.
5. Get help. Stay humble and never assume that you know everything. If you want or need help… get it. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. There are countless sources in bookstores and on the internet that specialize in what your ultimate goals are. Study up. Hire a personal trainer or coach to help you with proper form to avoid injury.
There are many important things to consider during your New Year’s Resolution process but the main thing to remember is that your unhealthy behaviors didn’t happen overnight and changing them won’t happen overnight either. Your new healthy choices require time to develop into habits. Remember that the changes you seek are for a positive reason so be patient in the process. You’ll love the outcome.
You’re taking care of yourself and that’s always a good thing.
– Dan Engle, Membership Director CAC – Silver Lake