7 Steps to a Fool-Proof Fitness New Year Resolution

new year resol 1 stepWe have all feasted upon cakes and cookies and breads and drinks and rich, creamy foods — and now, admit it, you’re starting to feel a little sick. And you’re definitely starting to feel rather guilty — not to mention, rather unhealthy. It’s not just guilt simply due to the holiday gluttony, but due to the gluttony that may have ensued for the whole of the last year. I understand.

But this is not the time to feel guilty; it’s the time to get smart! It is not the time to join all the New Year Resolution makers but rather, it is the time to make a resolution with some resourcefulness and reason. I hope that your New Year is filled with health and happiness, but I want to help you reach that health goal just a little bit easier, and with a lot of success. Here are some tips to flawlessly flaunt your hottest & healthiest new body this New Year without having to “give up” on that “resolution.”

  1. Small, seriously. I know, and fully appreciate, that you want to say you’re going to go to the gym every single day this week. I think most of us would love to make that our goal. But as “they” say, all good things take time so make sure to start small. In order to breed success, you need to take caution with your vulnerable side, nurturing your feelings of success and competence, not letting yourself get close to that little thing called failure. Make your goal small so that you can’t help but achieve it. It sounds silly, but humans have a funny way of being hard on themselves, and if we don’t sense any closer proximity to our goal, we tend to want to abandon ship. If you think you might want to or be able to work out 3 or 4 times a week, make your initial goal to go ONCE. That way you will have succeeded in your goal, and you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something. This is more important than you may think. After 3 weeks of going ONCE a week, bump it up to going twice a week for the next 3 weeks. All good things take time. You can’t rush your results. Build a strong, steady foundation for success. You don’t build a house in one day, you don’t build a perfect body in one month!
  2. Scheduled. Let’s be real: if you don’t plan for anything in your day, it probably won’t happen. That is, unless we are talking about tweeting, hash tagging, pinterest-ing, mindlessly email-checking, and Netflix. Oh, Netflix. If you don’t set aside the time to do something, in this case, to work out, ahead of time, it is in my experience that you most likely will never spontaneously decide to go to the gym. Beginning a fitness regimen probably is not your new years resolution. Thus, your fitness goal, your fitness objective, has to be scheduled into your day, just like brushing your teeth, just like checking your email, just like attending a meeting. It has to become something you can’t miss. It is scheduled. and you have to attend or else your imaginary fitness boss (yours truly, if you want!) will count a strike against you
  3. Push those notifications. You know when your iPhone asks you if it can “push you notifications” from a certain app? Consider becoming your own fitness app and make it a requirement to push the notifications your way. Make it a priority to set a fitness alarm for that “fitness time” you scheduled into your day. Set an alarm, a recurring alarm, so you don’t have to remember to remember to set an alarm. That’s why we have these fancy phones, anyway, right?
  4. Enjoy it. Remember when your parents forced you to play an instrument, compete with 5 different sports teams, and join an extracurricular club? And remember when you quit almost all of that? While there are probably a multitude of reasons why you quit, a large part of it was probably because of a lack of enjoyment. Now think of the one or two sports or activities you stuck with. I bet the reason you stuck with those was probably due to a sincere and genuine enjoyment of that sport or activity. The truth is, you’re not going to do something unless there is something in it for you. So don’t force yourself to do an activity you hate, but you think is good for you. Instead find something you can enjoy so you can stick with it.
  5. The why. Make a list of WHY you are doing this, whatever “this” may be. And try not to simply list the superficial reasons such as having awesome Jennifer Aniston arms, or to look as hot as all those damn Victoria Secret angels. Let’s get deep. For every answer you give – such as, to fit in my skinny jeans again – dig deeper and ask WHY. Why do you want to fit in your skinny jeans?
  6. Use a ruler. How to measure your success? Is your goal even measurable? It’s often hard to know, so here are some examples of a measurable goal: I want to lose 10 pounds in 3 months . You can easily measure the pounds you are losing, Or…I want to fit into my old jeans by my Bachelorette Party. You can incrementally try on your jeans and see if they are even the tiniest bit looser. But here is an example of a vague, immeasurable goal : I want to get skinny, finally. What does “get skinny” mean? Does this mean lose 5 pounds? 10 pounds? What is your end point? Make sure to set a deadline, and make sure to pick something that can be markedly measured. This will allow you to celebrate the small successes, of those jeans feeling the teensiest bit looser, or the number on the scale being the tiniest bit lower!
  7. Say goodbye to your inner idealist. I am the eternal optimist, but even I understand that there is a time and place for ignorant bliss — and goal setting and achieving is not one of them. In order to be successful at anything, whether professionally or personally, you must be realistic. Unless you starve yourself on a no-carb diet, which is neither sustainable nor healthy, I sincerely regret to inform you that your goal of losing 30 pounds in 2 weeks, barring access to a magic wand, unfortunately will most likely not fabricate. Make sure to consult a health and fitness professional to determine, based on your fitness & health history, occupation and lifestyle, and other factors, what a realistic goal might look like for you.

By Melanie Schneider

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