Happy New Years to everyone. I'm sure you all have a New Year's Resolution in mind for 2011. NO!? Is that because they don't last and in about a month you have forgotten what your resolution was in the first place? Well I would like to give you some pointers on how to make a resolution last the entire 365 days.
1. Make a very clear goal, with clear steps on how to reach that goal. For example: Let's say my goal is to get in shape. OK a very common goal of sorts. But how clear is it? What is the game plan? If you went out and bought a gym membership then what is your plan to get to the gym? And once you make it to the gym what are you going to do there? And what is your time frame to get in shape? Is it going to take you 3 months or more to accomplish this goal? Would it make sense to set a strength goal or a weight loss goal? Lose 10lbs in 90 days, or be able to do 25 pushups in 30 days. Be clear with what you want so you know if you have reached this goal or not. The Goal of "getting in shape" is too vague. Go deeper and ask yourself more questions. Like what does getting in shape look like, feel like, smell like? (well maybe not smell because for some that may mean the inside of a men's locker room. Skip that one. But you get the idea.
2. Make your resolution something that is meaningful to you, not punishing. Your goal should not be something that is a "have to" but a want to or choose to. I want to lose 10 lbs in the next 3 months. Not because my husband says I don't look as good as when I did when we first met. If you choose a resolution that someone else puts on you then you are bound to fail. It has to be something that you want to achieve, for you. "I want to lose 10lbs because it would be a great accomplishment and I would be healthier, stronger and feel great about myself." If MY husband told me to lose 10lbs (not only would I laugh out loud since "that" would never happen) but I would rather eat the entire plate of cookies in front of him than hit the gym for him. So husbands if you're out there, do NOT nag, beg or plead your wives into shape it will only backfire and you will look like a bigger fool!
3. Set a time clear time frame to accomplish the goal. I want to get into shape in the next 10 days. Um... well as a personal trainer, I can tell you that you can be well on your way to getting in shape in the next 10 days but it will probably take a little longer to achieve success. Be reasonable and honest with yourself as to how much time you have to devote to the task. How many days a week are you going to work on this goal, and how much time per day. Is that something you are willing to commit to?
4. Keep a journal of how well you are doing. If you keep track of your goal, and how you are doing in a journal you will be more responsible for your actions. If every time you go to the gym, you get to write down your workout, and how you are feeling when you are done, that will keep you on track. Then over the next few months you can look back and see how much you have accomplished and keep your eyes on the prize.
5. Get a support system. Get a friend who has a similiar goal to workout with at the gym or wherever you plan to workout. Someone who can help you come up with workouts and motivational tools to keep you going. Support systems are so important in so many ways. They keep you motivated when you feel like quitting. They keep you company so the workout doesn't become stale. But most of all they can hold you accountable for what you're doing. They can also remind you why you set the goal in the first place.
6. Break your goal down into monthly and weekly goals and include fun activities. We are still trying to lose weight, and you can reasonably lose 1-2 lbs a week unless you are a member of my boot camp we can accomplish more than that together. Including a calorie deficit and the right workout you can accomplish fat loss in a reasonable amount of time. 1 lb of fat equals 3500 calories. So if you want to lose 10 lbs you have to lose and/or not eat 35,000 calories total (3500 x 10 = 35,000). Sounds simple right?! Well there are healthy ways to do this and unhealthy ways to do this. But you can really design your workout and eating habits around this so you in a short amount of time you can lose 10 lbs.
Making it fun for you will help you in your journey. Train for a 5k race in your town. That will get you motivated and give you something else to think about while you work on your first goal. Training for a 5k includes some walking or jogging, so you will probably lose weight in your training. Take your kids for a bike ride every Friday after they get out of school. Learn a new hobby: Snowshoeing, running, swimming, hiking, or anything that will get you moving. Ask your kids, friends and family members if they would like to join you in learning some new hobby that gets you moving. If they do not want to join you then find your own hobby and starting looking for groups of people who would love to be your support group. Do not attempt this alone. If you are new to the exercise world and you become discouraged there won't be the support to keep you going, you may stop and never pick it up again. So please take this last step seriously and find your workout groupies. It will make achieving success all the better.
My resolution this year is to do 3 triathlons, and cover 1000 miles of movement in the year. That includes walking, running, biking, and swimming. (but not driving) For me to break this goal down I have to have roughly 20 miles in each week. If I don't get those miles in, they add up for the next week. I keep my mileage down in a journal to keep track, and keep me motivated. I have included fun activities to strive for, (triathlon) and a great support team to train with. I include my boot campers if at all possible in my training. They get to sweat right along with me and it's fun for all of us.
Please let me know what your resolution is and if you want any suggestions on making it last 365 days. Good Luck and have a Happy New Year!