If you’re like most people, you have already made New Year’s resolutions based around your personal health and fitness, following the holiday season of binge eating, drinking and generally being inactive. We throw around the term New Year’s resolution so frequently that we never stop to take note of what a resolution truly is. According to Oxford Dictionary, resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something.
This doesn’t necessarily sound like a solid game plan for success if you ask me. After all, how many times did you say you were going to do something and you forget, or something else comes up? If we’re honest with ourselves, it probably happens on a weekly basis. For me it happens daily!
Just yesterday I told myself that I would inflate my tire when I got home because the low tire signal has been glaring at me for weeks now. When I walked through my door after work, I run through a couple tasks on my to do list, and before I know it I’m eating dinner, watching TV and ready for bed.
If this happens so frequently for easy things like having a machine blow air into a tire for me, why would I trust the big life plans I have to be left up to words merely floating in the air. Well lucky for me, I do specific things to make sure I am on track for important goals such as improving my health.
Besides changing my mentality from a New Year resolution to a New Day resolution as discussed here, I have compiled a list of tips to help you have the fittest and healthiest year of yet.
1. Make it a Lifestyle Change:
By incorporating all components of living a healthier lifestyle into your life and dedicating yourself to a sustained lifestyle change, you set yourself up for success. Don’t just make fitness and nutrition a temporary change that only sticks around until you reach a specific goal: make it part of your life.
2. Tell Everyone:
Don’t keep it a secret: tell your friends and family about your resolution. Not only will these people provide you with support and motivation but they will also hold you accountable if you begin to slack on your diet or fitness regimen.
3. Get a Journal:
Journaling is a great technique for holding you accountable. True, you only need to be the person to see your writing, but, simply having to put down on paper what you've accomplished can force some people into action.
4. Get a Workout Partner:
Workout partners hold you accountable, provide motivation and much needed assistance in spotting and overall enjoyment at the gym.
5. Use Technology:
With smartphones and other technologies, a wealth of health and fitness information and resources is now available at your fingertips. Mobile apps for managing weight, exercise and nutrition are great tools to use on the go and take just moments out of your schedule to use.
6. Take Measurements and Photos:
Yet another way to keep your resolutions is to take before measurements and pictures of yourself along with progress pictures. Seeing the progress you're making along the way in the physical form of images and on paper can be very powerful for some people.
7. Get a Trainer:
If your goals put you out of your comfort zone, are beyond your knowledge or if you just need motivation, guidance and accountability: then you should seek out a personal trainer. Many people start off on the wrong foot and waste time and money then quit because they never achieve results. It may cost a bit of money upfront, but this will be money well spent if you're serious about reaching your goal.
8. Follow a meal plan:
Following a meal plan with set guidelines regarding caloric intake based upon your caloric needs is crucial when working to achieve your fitness goals. Just working out can only do so much if there isn’t a supportive foundation of good nutrition.
9. Set rewards for yourself:
Buying yourself a gift for a specific goal reached or having someone buy one for you can motivate you to stay on track with your fitness goals. Make the rewards healthy yet enjoyable activities, trips or materials rather than food or binge eating episodes.
10. Don’t do too much too fast
Stick with a fitness regimen and diet that is your level. Overtraining and over dieting can set you back in the long run with an increased likelihood of injury as well as binge eating due to extreme caloric restrictions and cravings. Use a modest and effective approach to training and nutrition that will be reasonable to follow for a long-term period of time. Focus on a long term lifestyle change rather than a crash or fad dieting approach that may elicit rapid short-term results but will ultimately lead to rapid weight gain or loss of progress once the crash/fad diet ends.
Joe Sans owns and operates Tension Toner.