This week we’re going to talk a little about New Years resolutions. We’ll get back to body types and dressing for them in the New Year. We got a little derailed by the holidays. So let’s tackle New Years resolutions. I love New Year’s Eve. It’s full of celebration and promise and seems to give us a a fresh start. On the flip side, the new year is a time to make sweeping, unrealistic promises to ourselves (and others) about things we want to change. Resolutions are good things. They are hopeful and positive and full of promise. But sometime in late January those resolutions start to fade. All that enthusiasm and hope fades and there you are exactly where you were before.
One of the most common resolutions people make is about weight and health. This year I’m going to get into shape! This year I’m going to lose 20 lbs! This year I’m going to get into a bikini! In theory, resolutions about health are good ones. Losing weight is generally good for your health. Getting into shape and getting exercise is too. One of the big pitfalls with making a resolution like this one (noble and well meaning as it is) is that it is too general.
So what can you do to make sure you stick to your health or weight related resolution? Be specific. ”Get in shape” is too general. By breaking down a resolution into specific parts you will have greater success and feel less overwhelmed. A resolution might be something like walk 20 minutes, three times a week. Or cut out desserts except for special occasions. If you want to have a weight goal, consider a small goal.
Let’s say you believe you have 20 lbs to lose. Make your resolution to lose 10 and keep it off. Once those 1o are gone, you may find that another 10 seems less daunting. It’s also important to keep in mind that studies have shown that real change “takes at least six months of individualized diet, exercise, and weight-training.” That’s one reason people give up early in the year. Expecting instant results and not getting them, people become discouraged and consider the resolution a failure.
So if you are considering a health or weight related resolution this year, do two things: Be specific and be patient. Here are other ways to encourage yourself and set yourself up for success.
- Tell your friends. Accountability is key. Share your resolutions on Facebook if that’s your thing. Encouragement from friends will give you a boost.
- Track your progress. You can use a simple notebook or there are all kinds of phone apps to track weight and fitness goals.
- Consider a deadline. Maybe you want to take a trip to Hawaii but want to lose 10 lbs first. Or maybe you want to run a 5K in your hometown that is coming up in three months. If you are working towards a date, you may find that the structure gives you more motivation.
Do you have a success story from a previous year? What did you resolve last year and did you stick to it? How did you do it – we’d love to hear about it.