New Year’s resolutions. Some people hold them as sacred promises, while others use them to try to motivate themselves to get on a healthier path. Whatever the reason, New Years is fast approaching, and fitness is one of the top resolutions people make. Could it be all the calories consumed during the month of December?
If improving your fitness is on your priority list; success means planning to make it happen. Think about your reason for wanting to make your change, is it weight loss, weight gain, overall health improvements? Decide if your reason is enough to support your dedication. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, is it because you wanted to do it for a resolution, or you feel it’s necessary, or because your doctor told you that you needed to make some healthy lifestyle changes? Creating goals for longer-term needs will be more successful than those for short-term reasons.
Once you figure out your real motivation, it can improve your desire to keep up with your fitness program and even if you backslide, you’re more likely to get yourself back on track.
So, when you think about it, are you willing to put in the work for it? Ask yourself why you are doing it. Your reason will help determine if you’ll be successful or not.
Before you begin, it’s important to check with a fitness professional or your doctor about what type of fitness program you are capable of handling at your current health and fitness levels. You also need to ask yourself some questions.
Can I cope with one more change?
If you’ve just experienced a significant change in your life such as a divorce or end of a relationship, job change, extra pressure at work, or a new baby, consider postponing additional changes. Too much change at once can create high stress. If you think that these changes may help you better cope with your situation, then, by all means, do them. For example, I was going through a high-stress time last year and exercising helped me better manage my stress.
Can I be realistic?
One of the reasons that people don’t meet or keep their fitness goals is because they’re unattainable. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, a reasonable goal for most is 5-10 percent of your current weight, according to the Mayo Clinic. Your doctor can help you decide the daily goal that is appropriate for you based on your weight and health. If you set an unrealistic goal, you’ll probably end up disappointed with your results or even give up.
Am I willing to make the time?
For your program to be effective, you must get a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity every day or 2.5 hours a week. If you can’t fit in the gym every day, at least try walking or biking to work, or instead of watching a movie do something physical with friends. Are you willing to make the time and possibly give up some of the things you do daily to change your fitness programs?
Do I have support?
A supportive network of family and friends can help you enormously. Do you expect people to cheer you on, push you when you lapse or just leave you alone? Talk about your plans with others and let them know what kind of support you need. Tell them when they seem to be trying to derail your efforts, even unintentionally.
Making fitness changes that you would like to be permanent often requires a life change. Your motivation and answers to these questions can help you decide if it’s the right time to start and to help you determine your success rate.