It’s almost the new year and that means most people will vow to lose weight, exercise and eat healthier – the most common New Year’s Resolutions. Resolutions are easy to start; the challenge is sustaining them. One month later, have you adhered to your good intentions?Statistics show that, at the end of January, approximately 64% of resolvers are still hanging in there; six months later, that number drops to 44%, according to John Norcross, University of Scranton psychologist and author of Changing for Good.
Making resolutions is the first step, but you’ll need a plan and a healthy dose of perseverance if you want to succeed.Here are a few points to remember as you create your New Year’s Resolutions:
· Set realistic expectations. You will not lose 10 pounds in a week – not even if you eat only fruit and drink water (which would be very unhealthy because your diet would lack vital protein).
· Create mini-goals. If you want to become more physically fit, instead of trying to complete 100 sit-ups on January 2, attempt 20 sit-ups and add 5 sit-ups each day. Small increments add up and, within a few weeks, you’ll not only feel better but you’ll also have increased endurance. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. So, unfortunately, you won’t get an ab 6-pack in the first week of the new year.
· Celebrate small goals. Don’t place added pressure on yourself to be perfect. No one is perfect and no one has a perfect diet or exercise regimen. It’s important to reward yourself for reaching halfway or mini-goals. If you want to lose 20 pounds, celebrate losing the first 5 pounds by buying yourself flowers or getting a massage.
· Believe in yourself. You have the willpower and perseverance to succeed!
· Good health is a marathon, not a sprint. A realistic resolution is one you can sustain for at least a year -- not just for a few weeks.
If you’ve totally run out of steam when it comes to keeping your resolution by mid-February, don’t despair. Start over again! Recommit yourself for 24 hours. You can do anything for 24 hours. The 24-hour increments will soon build on each other and, before you know it, you will be back on track.I wish you a healthy and happy new year!
To learn more about Fitness for Health’s exercise programs or how we can help you accomplish your fitness goals in 2014, visit www.FitnessForHealth.org.