Tips on New Year’s Resolutions
With time, New Year’s resolutions often fade. We mean well, but somehow the determination loses momentum by February, becoming an irritating reminder by March. Resolutions that focus on improving fitness are a good example of this tendency. To know the truth about humans and resolutions, all you have to do is notice the increase in wait-time for the treadmill at the gym just after the holidays and again a few weeks later. The numbers drop, almost on cue.
Unrealistic goals play a large role in the resolution dropout rate. It’s hard to keep up a strict regimen when daily life presents itself. Add a few real-life ambushes to an already busy schedule and demanding resolutions can be the first to fall by the wayside. The more intense the initial workout plan, the easier it is to self-talk out of showing up.
One way to ensure that resolutions become part of lifestyle is to keep them simple and attainable. Instead of wedging a high-power workout program into a time of day that is apt to get derailed due to family or work commitments, try an activity that is enjoyable at a time that is less busy. You can always bump up the intensity level as you experience success with the current plan.
Not a morning person? Skip the early morning workout in favor of a later time. Tired after long work days? Try walking during lunch breaks. Not a self-starter? The buddy system can nix the urge to skip workouts.
When it comes to resolutions, positive thinking is the key. One of my favorite motivational speakers once said, “No one is as mean to us as we can be to ourselves.” When new students join my yoga class, I often comment on our ability to self-deprecate. Newbies will invariably make fun of their own lack of flexibility, even if they have never tried to be more flexible. They tend to compare themselves to others in the class and take pot-shots at their own performance. Given time, we begin to smooth the negative self-talk into a more positive approach to the efforts made in class. The subconscious mind does not have a sense of humor and believes what you say or visualize. If you see yourself in your mind’s eye, achieving your resolution goals, you are more apt to actually do so.
The old saying, “No pain, no gain” is not your friend when it comes to initiating a fitness program. If you give yourself a bit of a break, physically and emotionally, you can very possibly find yourself with a whole new set of lifestyle approaches, including a fit and healthy body.
- Pam Brooks