But before we head down that path, take a minute to think about last year’s resolutions. How well were you able to stick to them and create real change in your life?
Every year millions of people around the world make the resolution to “lose weight” or “get fit” or even “build 30 pounds of new muscle mass.” They jump into the new year with great enthusiasm and at least what seems like great resolve. But then things begin to “fizzle out” by February and by the end of March or April those resolutions are all but forgotten.
Here’s the problem: big but vague goals and non-specific plans.
This year, if you really want to succeed and make those positive life changes, try a different method. Create clear realistic goals with a strong, specific plan to reach them!
Below are 4 of the best fitness-related New Year’s resolutions you can make, along with some practical tips for how to actually realize them. Enjoy…
1. Resolve to go after “easy wins” — small achievable goals — fast in order to boost motivation and make it easier to accomplish bigger things down the road.
2. Resolve to stop consuming significant amounts of refined sugar and unhealthy processed carbohydrates.
3. Resolve to do some form of exercise on a regular basis (at least 5 days per week).
4. Resolve to drink at least 60 ounces of water per day.
Here’s a guarantee: if you can do the 4 things listed above, by this time next year you will be MUCH fitter, significantly healthier, and — most likely — quite a bit happier. That would be a pretty good thing, wouldn’t it?
Here are 4 simple strategies for realizing the goals listed above…
1. Create a daily list of relatively easy “must do” activities. Example: do 15 minutes of exercise in the morning, drink 60 ounces of water, and avoid all processed sugar. Get a regular paper calendar and, every day you do all your “must-do’s,” draw a line through the day on the calendar. Once you see that line growing for a couple of weeks everything will get easier and your motivation will only continue to grow. If you “break” the line, that’s OK. Dust yourself off and start again tomorrow!
2. Try to gradually reduce your intake of refined sugars and highly-processed “bad carbs” every day for 21 days. Then cut them out completely for a week or two. Most likely you will completely lose the desire to eat those unhealthy carbs within a month.
3. If possible, try to exercise first thing in the morning. Morning workouts tend to be easier to stick to because they make you feel so good for the rest of the day. Start off with very light workouts and try to increase the intensity levels bit by bit every day. The most important thing is that you just do something that makes you break a sweat — for at least 15 minutes straight — most days of the week!
4. Gradually increase the amount of water you drink every day. Just an increase of 2 ounces per day means you’ll easily be drinking 60+ ounces per day by the end of the month. Eventually the benefits will be obvious: you’ll feel better, have much more energy, and feel less hungry. Then it will be very easy to stick to the habit.
Once you’re rolling and these simple resolutions become “easy” (and they definitely will, if you make the initial effort) feel free to come up with something more challenging. Just make sure any new goals are specific and have clear plans to achieve them.
The key is to maintain momentum and to keep working toward real improvement no matter what happens.
Good luck this year and let us know how things work out for you!
Photo by jeff_golden