It has been about a month and a half since the new year. How have you done in keeping your resolutions? Or shall I say promises to yourself? I read two articles this week that stated that Tuesday February 9 was the day that our fitness resolutions begin to die. One article by USA Today said “gym check-ins will drop and will never be as high again for the rest of the year. An article by CBS News stated “people who committed themselves to gym-going in January slack off and stop showing up regularly. They call it the ‘fitness cliff’.” Although these articles refer to those that are gym members, I wonder if this applies to our fitness resolutions in general. We make promises to ourselves that we are excited about achieving. We are hopeful, we are ambitious, we are pumped to get fit. And then a month and a half later…. the winter blahs set in, the kids’ schedules get crazy. Life happens. Once again we put our health and fitness on the back burner. At what cost?
We all have hurdles to overcome, obstacles and distractions that take us away from our goals whether fitness or otherwise. Life gets in the way and we put ourselves as our last priority. Gold’s Gym has a “list of warning signs that your health goals are at risk - C- Can’t find time L- Lacking a game plan to keep you going. I- Ignoring your commitment and falling into old patterns. F- Frustrated with lack of early results F- Forgetting why you started”. If you see the signs early you can overcome your personal hurdles. A hurdle is a setback for sure, but the hurdle can be as big or as small as you decide to make it. They will happen no doubt but keep trying to get over the hurdle and move forward. Here are some things that may help you when the hurdles seem too big to get over.
Find an activity you love to do. Do you like to do activities by yourself because you appreciate the alone time? Maybe a walk, a bike ride, or a swim gives you energy. If you like to be outdoors perhaps a hike, cross country skiing in the winter, a walk on the beach? If you like to compete find some buddies to play tennis, basketball or a soccer game may be in order. If you like classes, yoga, Zumba, Pilates are good options. If you love to feel strong find a buddy or a personal trainer to lift weights or do Cross fit. There are so many options out there. Don’t give up. Keep trying new things to keep your exercise interesting.
Exercise for Good health. Going on fad diets often leads to a feeling of being good or bad depending on if you stick to it or not. Here is what exercise does for you. “It improves our moods, energy, reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, breast cancer, better sleep, stronger muscles” according to The Federal Centers for Disease Control. Our bodies were meant to move plus with the above benefits it seems regular exercise would be great for us all. Make exercise a regular part of your life.
The small things matter. Start small. Make goals you know you can accomplish. Lofty goals lead to failure. Only commit to what you know you can accomplish. As you complete your goals, celebrate them. Small victories become big victories. Marathon runners don’t just run a marathon; they train in increments.
Find a buddy. I think people like team sports because we are meant to be in community. Belonging to a community inspires us, it motivates us and energizes most of us to be with people. Find a personal trainer, a buddy or a group of people to work out with. It’s much more fun.
Track your progress. Especially if you are a result oriented person, keeping an exercise log will be motivating for you. Keep track or your improvements and celebrate them. You will get stronger; you will get better if you keep moving forward toward your goals. Improvement happens over time not just after doing an activity a couple times.
Review your goals every 90 days. Keep your goals in your present state of mind. To review your goals frequently keeps them fresh. Todd Durkin is a motivating speaker and personal trainer who has 3 questions he asks himself and writes down every 90 days. Look under Todd Durkins 90-day Wonder for specifics on how you can keep your goals fresh.
Good luck and here is to a happy and healthy 2016