Join a gym, walk farther, visit friends more often, or lose 20 pounds. For some, these are examples of successful resolutions made for the New Year. For most people, it is a monthly charge for a gym membership never used, a bottle of wine never opened, or a disappointed sigh as the pounds do not melt away.
Gymtimidation is real, and it can be a little confounding when there are gym goers who might go a bit too far. You know the ones, they wear a weight vest on the step machine and grunt heroically every time they pick something and put it down. Gyms are confusing places, often having machines that require an instruction manual and a Master’s degree in Following Directions.
After all, it takes a lot of willpower to follow through with a weight management or exercise program. So let’s look at a few steps that can move you forward, without pushing you backward.
Quality, not Quantity
Good New Year’s Resolutions can be broken up into smaller pieces and integrated into a lifestyle so as to create personal rewards and joy. If the goal is to lose 20 pounds, break it down into smaller amounts. The goal could be to lose 2 pounds 10 times over a year. 2 pounds seems a lot more doable, and the reward for completing a portion will create motivation to move forward!
Next, how can a resolution and the smaller goals be turned into fun? Maybe you enjoy taking walks on the beach, and taking the dog for a walk. Take a long walk on the beach with the dog, better yet, bring a ball or a Frisbee. Jog lightly on the sand with good ol’ Fido, and toss the Frisbee a bit.
Or, if there is a particular sport that you enjoy, join a social athletic league. Turn the practices and games into a reason to work out and to stay in shape.
Turn some workouts into fun or money! Go to a trampoline park and bounce a couple calories off. Try your hand at F1 mini cart racing, the coordination needed for it is more rigorous than most people think. Get a part time job that involves flexibility and manual labor; serving tables and walking dogs are examples of jobs that pay and always give a workout.
Build resolutions like a ladder, go up one step at a time. Maybe a resolution could be to Feel Better Than Last Year. This is a resolution that improves the quality of life, and can include a bunch of behavioral changes that can lead to you feeling better!
Behaviors to make yourself feel better are different than ones involving weight loss. It might be that the resolution includes behavior changes such as going to the gym, eating healthier, getting 8 hours of sleep, and using free time to enjoy wonderful friendships.
Quality of life resolutions can be more cerebral goals. Perhaps you want to learn something or get better at a skill. Taking a dance class is a great way to stay in shape, and learn something new! Your brain and body will thank you for the new skill. Not only will you be strengthening your muscles, but you’ll be strengthening that brain, as well.
There are a lot of creative ways to make resolutions and stick to them. The most important part of it is to believe in yourself. You can do it!