Like most people do on New Year's Day, I sat down to write my list of goals and resolutions (one of them was to work on this blog). Even as a fitness fanatic, many of my goals centered around getting healthier, eating cleaner, or working out harder. Not surprisingly the #1 resolution in 2012 was to lose weight. In 2013, it will probably be the same. As a fitness instructor, I notice this revived commitment to getting in shape every January, when fitness classes are packed and there are no empty treadmills to use. But I also notice in 6 to 8 weeks, the "Resoluters" have already lost their comitment to exercise. Only about 20% of people keep their New Year's resolutions. The fitness related resolutions seem to be the hardest to keep. Here are some tips on staying committed and sticking to those resolutions.
1. Choose an Obtainable goal-- Start small. Baby Steps. Set achievable goals that can be easily tracked. Don't kid yourself about what is realistic. Saying you are going to quit cold-turkey having your 3 cups of coffee a day might be setting yourself up for failure, but saying you are going to cut back on the amount of caffeine you consume might be more doable.
2. Create a plan of action--Decide when you'll workout each week and write it down. Put it on your schedule or calendar. Life get's busy, it's easy to say "I ran out of time today." Just remember that someone who is busier than you is probably at the gym getting in a workout, while you are making excuses for why you aren't.
3. Enlist Friends--Don't go it alone. When you join forces and workout with a friend or partner, you are more likely to stay commited. You have someone who you are accountable to, so you are much more likely to stick with it. Plus it's fun. Many of my best friendships developed from walking, running or hitting the gym together.
4. Reward Yourself--Once you've stuck to your guns and finished what you accomplished, reward yourself. Come on, you've earned it. Extrinsic rewards can be highly motivating, pretty soon the pride and confidence you feel from reaching your goal will be satisfying enough.
5. Don't beat yourself up--Hey, we're human. Chances are your going to eat somthing you shouldn't have, relapse into your coffee habit, or miss a workout or two. Be patient. Focus on making a lifestyle change and work at it everyday. You WILL have setbacks, but be patient and don't quit.