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Making Your Resolutions Stick

Posted Jan 01 2014 11:00am

medium 338290283 300x204 Making Your Resolutions Stick We all do it. We ride the wave of hope and excitement that a new year brings. We want better things for ourselves and our loved ones. The new year symbolizes a starting point, figuratively and literally.

Whatever you call it–losing weight, getting in shape or getting healthy–a move toward a healthier lifestyle that often includes dieting and/or exercising tops the list of the most common New Year’s resolutions. Take a look at the special deals offered at the gym or the sales on exercise equipment this time of year.

Many resolutions fail only because of a lack of assessment and planning. If you do some groundwork, you can make your resolutions happen. You just need to build a good foundation on which to build your goals.

Brainstorming your resolutions

The first step is to define what you want for the coming year. Identify two or three things you’d like to do or change in your life. You want to aim for a short list to keep things attainable. You certainly don’t want disappointment to top the list.

The next thing you need to do is to identify your why. Why is this particular resolution important? Don’t pick something that doesn’t ring true with you. I made a commitment to strength training and get sculpted arms. I didn’t do it for my husband, though he has noticed the fruits of my efforts: I did it for me.

Your game plan

With a goal in mind, you will then need to hone in on the specifics. Losing weight is not a resolution; losing 10 pounds before summer vacation is. With a defined number, you have a means to break down the final goal into small milestones.

Losing two pounds in January is a lot easier than saying that you have to lose 10 pounds by a certain date. You may already think that it sound daunting. Your objective is to remove the hard and replace it with attainable.

Making your plan work

There’s isn’t just one way to accomplish your goal. As I like to say, there is no black and white, just gray–unless you’re doing math or calculus. Now, you need to tweak your plan to fit you. It may mean a change in your schedule or it just may involve an attitude adjustment.

For example, I found making my workout goal difficult some times. If I missed a workout, I felt bad that day. To overcome these feelings, I turned it into a weekly goal of five workouts a week.

If the day got away from me, I still had the rest of the week, including two rest days that I could tap for exercise. This new mindset helped me conqueror the failure beast. I used the same thinking to re-evaluate my daily step goal. Okay, I fell short today, but tomorrow, I can add 10 minutes to my walk and make up for it.

The key to making your resolutions stick is to choose smart resolutions that carry meaning for you and plan with a gradual ascent to your goal. If you slip and fall along the way, remember that if your uniform isn’t dirty, you haven’t been in the game. Enjoy the ride!

photo credit: Mothlike via photopin cc

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