Usually, the beginning of the New Year also means making some changes. One of the biggest changes is taking control of one’s health and fitness. Making exercise and/or diet changes can be a bit overwhelming at first. The key is not to get stuck before you begin! Below I’m going to list five of my personal recommendations for making your health and fitness related new years resolutions come true.
1. Start with slow, gradual changes:
It can be tempting to want to make all the changes at once. Although it may initially seem to be the best approach, you may find it too difficult to maintain after a short period of time. Rather than completely changing your diet, working out every day, and eliminating any non-health related activities, try to start slow and progress each day/week. Try beginning each morning with a healthy breakfast and try to carry that momentum onto the rest of the day. As for exercise, try to get in at least 30 min of some sort of physical activity each day. This can be going on a walk, resistance training, hiking, etc. By starting slow, it gives you body a chance to adapt as well as learning what you enjoy doing and are initially capable of maintaining.
2. Put first things first/Plan ahead:
That hardest part with any sort of change can be finding the time to make it work. In order to ensure you get everything done during the day, try starting each day off with a form of physical exercise. This could mean scheduling your workouts first thing in the morning or simply practicing your own personal home routine. By putting it first, you are much more likely to get it done and not have any conflicts with your regular daily schedule. As mentioned above, you can finish your morning exercise routine with a healthy breakfast and you have a great start to each day working toward your goals.
3. Set both short-term and long-term goals:
By setting both short-term and long-term goals, you can maintain a sense of purpose while enhancing motivation throughout the entire process. Each time you set and reach a short-term goal it becomes a bit easier to continue to make changes and improve on your daily habits and routines. Think of short-term goals as little boosts to propel you onto reaching your ultimate goal. Don’t get caught up in only the long-term, ultimate goal. You may feel overwhelmed. Short-term goals are the road map to the final destination of the ultimate goal, one step at a time.
4. Think lifestyle change over short-term results/goal accomplishment:
Once you start reaching your goals and gaining some momentum, begin to ask yourself how you can turn this into a lifestyle rather than a resolution. This goes back to starting with slow, gradual changes. You are much more likely to maintain these changes and ultimately turn it into a new lifestyle rather than going fast out of the gates and burning out. Needless to say, a lifestyle change will have much greater impacts on your overall health. A big part of transitioning into a lifestyle change is learning along the way. Invest in your health and in yourself along the way. Reaching your long-term goal shouldn’t be the finish line!
5. Allow yourself to feel a sense of accomplishment:
Accomplishing your goals and making lifestyle changes should be an enjoyable process and one should you take pride in. Allowing yourself to feel a sense of accomplishment is very important. Realize you’ve made a positive choice and allow yourself to feel good above the positive results along the way. By enjoying the process you are much more likely to continue to strive to improve and ultimately transform your new year’s resolution into a new, healthy lifestyle!