Now that we’ve rung in the New Year, it’s time for some resolutions. Instead of “Happy New Year,” let’s embark on a “Healthy New Year.” But be wary of setting Biggie-sized resolutions. Why? To avoid setting yourself up for certain failure. Research shows that six out of ten people quit their health clubs after the first 30 days of membership. Here are some guidelines for establishing goals geared for success:
- Start with “Bite-Sized” resolutions. For example, “Get my body in shape” is very broad and ambiguous. You need to break this goal down. Perhaps you want to do something about belly fat. Start in January by focusing on your abs and getting your 10,000 steps in.
- Next you need to equip yourself with the necessities for carrying out your goals. Join a gym, if necessary, or purchase some basic exercise gear.
- Establish a support group for yourself – find some workout buddies, or involve your family and friends in your exercise quest.
- Map out an entire year’s worth of healthy habits that you can take on alone or with the help of your support group. Choose activities that are enjoyable and attainable. Also, include both physical and nutritional elements, as well as spiritual and mental components. For example, our monthly resolutions look like this:
- January – Cut the “junk” and move to the tune of at least 10,000 steps per day, five days per week. Resolve to get plenty of sleep (7-8 hours per night).
- February – Play in the snow. Shovel it, snowshoe in it. Get outside on those brisk winter days and snag some Vitamin D. Increase our water intake.
- March – Focus on abs and back while strength training, and increase fruit intake. Get massages and facials.
- April – The weather’s still a bit “iffy” here in Colorado during April, so we’ll do circuit training in the gym and reduce our sugar intake by snacking on carrots and hummus.
- May – Get our arms and legs swimsuit-ready through gardening, landscaping and yard work. Increase our veggie intake, especially leafy greens.
- June – Bike to work and explore local biking trails. Substitute processed foods for fresh, locally grown produce at the Farmers Market.
- July – Entertain “actively” outdoors. Play badminton, volleyball, croquet, and bocce ball. Grill fresh fruits and veggies on the barbecue.
- August – Play tennis and golf with our workout buddies and snack on locally grown melons.
- September – Hit the local hiking trails and increase fiber intake with homemade, high-fiber trail mix recipes.
- October – Rake our leaves and wash our windows. Enjoy daily walks and runs outdoors while enjoying the fall foliage. Snack on pumpkin seeds and nuts.
- November – Indoor circuit training in preparation for holiday overload! Experiment with recipes for healthy treats to serve during the holidays.
- December – Cardio at the mall while shopping and ice skating at the local rink. Pace ourselves at the holiday buffet parties.
You’ll find that when goals are attainable and enjoyable, you’re much more likely to stick with your resolutions. Healthy New Year – here’s to a fit and happy 2014!