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- by Brad Callen
Your New Year's Resolution
The New Year is quickly
creeping up on us. Do you have a New Year's Resolution? Well, if you're
like most Americans (88 percent in 2001 according to a GNC poll), you have
at least one resolution. And, if you are like the majority of these promise-makers,
your resolution is probably related to health and fitness. In 2001 (according
to GNC), 55 percent promised to eat healthier, 50 percent resolved to exercise
more, and 38 percent wanted to lose weight.
are well-intentioned, unfortunately most people fail at keeping them.
With all the hype surrounding these promises, it's easy to get caught
up in the hype without really taking them seriously.
We live in a throw-away
society and even our resolutions, I'm afraid, are not immune. However,
especially for promises that include improving our health, it's in our
best interest not to take them lightly.
So, what's the secret
to successful resolutions? While you can't wave a magic wand and make
your resolution come true, there are some easy steps to take that will
make it easier to fulfill your promise to yourself.
· Choose an
obtainable goal. Resolving to look like a super model is not realistic
for the majority of us, but promising to include daily physical activity
in our lives is very possible.
· Avoid choosing a resolution that you've been unsuccessful at
achieving year after year. This will only set you up for failure, frustration
and disappointment. If you are still tempted to make a promise that you've
made before, then try altering it. For example, instead of stating that
you are going to lose 30 pounds, try promising to eat healthier and increase
your weekly exercise.
· Create a game plan. At the beginning of January, write a comprehensive
plan. All successful businesses start with a business plan that describes
their mission and specifics on how they will achieve it. Write your own
personal plan and you'll be more likely to succeed as well.
· Break it down and make it less intimidating. Rather than one
BIG end goal, dissect it into smaller pieces. Set several smaller goals
to achieve throughout the year that will help you to reach the ultimate
goal. Then, even if you aren't able to reach your final goal, you will
have many smaller, but still significant, achievements along the way.
For example, if your goal is to complete a 10K race, your smaller goals
could be running a 5K in less than 30 minutes, adding upper and lower
body strength training to increase your muscular endurance, and running
2 miles with a personal best completion time.
· Ask friends and family members to help you so you have someone
to be accountable to. Just be sure to set limits so that this doesn't
backfire and become more irritating than helpful. For example, if you
resolve to be more positive ask them to gently remind you when you start
· Reward yourself with each milestone. If you've stuck with your
resolution for 2 months, treat yourself to something special. But, be
careful of your reward type. If you've lost 5 pounds, don't give yourself
a piece of cake as an award. Instead, treat yourself to something non-food
related, like a professional massage.
· Don't go it alone! Get professional assistance. Everyone needs
help and sometimes a friend just isn't enough. Sometimes you need the
help of a trained professional. Don't feel that seeking help is a way
of copping out. Especially when it comes to fitness, research studies
have shown that assistance from a fitness professional greatly improves
people's success rate.
· Limit your number of promises. You'll spread yourself too thin
trying to make multiple changes in your life. This will just lead to failure
of all of the resolutions.
On average only about
20% of us keep our New Year's resolutions. Unfortunately, some of the
biggest failures are found in fitness resolutions. But don't let the statistics
get you down. By following the tips above you'll be better equipped to
fall into the successful 20% category. If you need professional help with
a fitness-related resolution, visit www.workoutsforyou.com for help.
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