I had the opportunity on Tuesday to appear on Proctor’s IMPACT show to discuss New Year’s Resolutions and ways we can all be successful with our goals in 2013. Rather than wait to post the interview I thought I would share these tips so that if you are planning on changes with the New Year you are armed with tools that will help move you closer to your goals.
1. Plan ahead. Make a plan for how you are going to fit your activity into your schedule and healthy food choices into your day. Have healthy snacks available in single size servings so you can easily grab and go instead of hitting the vending machine when the mid day hunger pangs set in. On Sunday nights plan your weekly activity. Have your workout clothes and sneakers packed the night before so that even if you are running late in the morning you don’t have to take extra time gathering your exercise clothes. If you fail to plan, your plan will fail.
2. Remind yourself of your goals. Whether it is to lose weight or become active so that you can enjoy more activities with your kids, write your goals on a post-it note and put it somewhere visible so that you have motivation reminders to help you continue with your healthy lifestyle changes.
3. Plan for setbacks. Maybe the kids are home from school on a snow day and you can’t make it to the gym for your favorite group exercise class…have a back up plan to keep exercise a priority. You may have to do an abbreviated workout at home – that’s okay – something is better than nothing.
4. Surround yourself with a strong network. Find ways to incorporate healthy choices into your family time. Make a healthy recipe with the kids. Make family time active – sledding with the children or even ice-skating provide for a great workout and calorie expenditure.
5. Ease in gradually. Many times folks join a health facility and go from no exercise to exercising daily, or in some cases twice a day! We all want instant results but gradual progression is the way to maintain an exercise program and folks are more likely to sustain a healthy lifestyle if your changes are reasonable and realistic.
6. Tell others your goals. Sharing your goals and successes with others will help keep you on track and accountable.
7. Make sure it is YOUR goal. Don’t let others talk you into something. If peer pressure has you training for a 5K and it is not something you wanted to do in the first place, chances are you will abandon your resolutions because it isn’t important to YOU.
8. Have fun! Find a type of exercise that is fun for you. When you enjoy something you are doing, you are more likely to do it regularly. At the Y we have a wide variety of exercise programs for all ages and abilities. Try a few, or several until you find what’s the right fit for you.