Resolution Time

It’s that time of the year when it’s time to make New Year’s Resolutions!  If your Resolutions involve health & fitness, look no further for some tips on sticking to your Resolutions in 2016.

1. Ask yourself WHY?
Before hitting the gym, ask yourself some introspective questions: Why did you choose this Resolution?  How will it help you in your everyday life as well as in the long-term?  Who will it benefit?  What will it feel like to accomplish your Resolution? 

2. Write It Down.
Resolutions should be both specific and measurable. Make your resolutions follow the SMART Goals:  specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound.  It is important to keep your Resolutions realistic.  Gradual, small steps is the key to achieving your goals.  Re-visit the SMART Goals constantly and change as needed.  It is also important to be flexible – life happens!

Keep your Resolutions where you can see them every day.  It takes time to build new habits, but constant reminders will help keep you focused.

Another tool that would be fun and productive would be to make a Dream Board.  A Dream Board could be made from magazine clippings, artwork, or anything that inspires you.  There are also digital versions you can make.  It will be a great reminder and artwork to help inspire you when need it.

3. Break Up the Resolutions.
If your Resolution is to run 1000 miles this year, breaking it down to miles per month might seem more manageable.  Give yourself several mini-goals per month that will help you succeed.  For example, start with jogging for 3 miles, then increase to run/walk for 3 miles and continue to add/decrease as your schedule allows.  There’s no rush, you have all year!

4.  Plan a Kitchen Makeover.
If it’s not in the house, you won’t eat it.  That’s a fact.  Purge, purge, purge.  Once you have spent the time purging what is edible, what can hinder your new goals, and what can remain, you will have a much easier time making healthy choices.  Feel free to donate edible items that you no longer need to a local food bank. 

Meal planning is essential to success in your new wellness journey.  Plan out what you will be eating at every meal, this includes snacks!  Make a list and stick to what’s on your list.

5.  Take a BEFORE Picture.
Say what?  It’s important to document your journey.  Along with writing down your goals, there is nothing like what a picture can say.  Even if you don’t see the scale moving, a picture will be proof to you that positive changes are occurring.  No one has to see the picture but you.  It might be the hardest thing you do at the beginning of your journey, but you’ll thank yourself later for doing it.

 6. Treat Yourself!
Go ahead – you deserve it!  After setting some mini-goals for your Resolutions, reward yourself after earning those benchmarks.  Choose a reward that won’t undo your hard work, for example, new fitness apparel, a massage, a pedicure (for all the miles you are logging), or a race entry.

Be sure to write your rewards next to your SMART Goals so you can easily see your successes!

7. Find a Buddy.
The more people you tell about your journey the better.  Post on your social media accounts.  You never know who you’ll inspire to make positive changes.  

Join a running group or gym to find like-minded people who can help you.  Knowing that someone is waiting for you at the gym may help in preventing you from skipping the workout.  Finding active friends might entice you to try new activities – perhaps, you’ll experiment with a team sport, go rock climbing, sign up for a race or more.

8. Ask for Help.
Don’t know where to begin?  Or how to do certain exercises?  Best bet is to turn to a personal trainer to clear up confusion, help prevent injury, and set you on a clear path towards your goals.  A personal trainer can also run full assessments that will help document your journey, such as body fat analysis, fitness assessments, and measurements.  

The most important investment you can make is in your health.  Another option to combat the costs of a personal trainer, would be to sign up with a friend or convince your office to hire a wellness trainer.

9. Make Your Workouts Non-negotiable.
In order to be successful at your new workout routine, you need to decide when and where you will be working out.  Ask yourself realistic questions.  Can you make it to the gym 5 days a week before work?  If the realistic answer is no, then pick a fitness routine that is doable.  The best time to work out is when you can.  

Make a fool-proof plan, put your sneakers, keys, water bottle, etc. by the door for those early morning workouts.  There is no magic recipe to determining what time of the day is best.  Make a commitment to days/times and make them unbreakable dates.

10. Forgive Yourself.
Although the Resolutions may be daunting, they are also exciting.  You know your WHY, you’ve written down your SMART Goals, you took a BEFORE picture, you’ve taken some healthy cooking classes, you hired a personal trainer, you found new hiking buddies, and have been hitting the gym 3 times on a regular basis every week and then you get sick.  You have to stop and take care of yourself but your progress stops.  Simply put, don’t.  Everyone has had setbacks, but it’s important to be kind to yourself.  Take the time you need to recover, then re-evaluate your Resolutions and continue.  

See you in the NEW YEAR!
Grace Martinez