It’s that time of the year again: the ever-optimistic New Year’s Resolution time. While I don’t advocate resolutions, many people believe the New Year is the perfect time to get started, get fit, get back on the horse.
Many of us start out strong with our workout routines, but it doesn’t take long for our day-to-day lives to intrude. Meetings go late so we miss our kick-boxing class. The kids have parent-teacher night and there’s no way we can get to yoga. We catch a cold, we slip on our diet, we lose an eyelash or break a nail…the excuses start to build up and before you know it, *POOF*, our resolutions go up in flames.
If you are making a fitness resolution this year, here are some tips to help you bag those excuses and stick to the plan. You’re strong, you’re determined, YOU CAN DO THIS! Here’s how:
Commit to 30 days
Don’t look at this change as a lifetime change, stretching out in a long slog in front of you. Start small! Commit, and I mean REALLY commit, to 30 days of your new routine. And don’t get crazy! Make doable changes: commit to going to the gym 1/2 hour, 3 days a week. Commit to cutting down on some of the fat in your diet. Commit to eating more fruits and vegetables, more chicken and fish, and cutting down on sugar. Commit to cutting back on that diet soda. And commit to doing these things for 30 days, and ONLY 30 days. And for 30 days, don’t let ANYTHING get in your way.
Find your “Why?”
What are the reasons you want to achieve your fitness goal? To look better? To feel more energetic? To get more healthy? To get more dates? To prove to yourself or someone else that oh yes, you CAN!? Dig deep and figure out the reasons why you’re doing this. Write your reasons down and stick the list in your wallet or purse. Then, when you’re faced with temptation, whip out your list and ask yourself: would you rather eat that jelly donut, or would you rather achieve this goal? Are your reasons strong enough to overcome that craving for Dorito chips or ice cream? At least for 30 days? If you want to achieve this goal, you absolutely can achieve this goal, unequivocally, no question. But you have to want it. So figure out why you want it, and figure out *if* you want it…then you’ll figure out how to get there.
Strategize Your Way to Fitness
Make a list of possible obstacles you’ll face for getting your workout in or sticking to your diet, and devise strategies in advance to get around them. For example, if you know you have a crunch time coming at work, schedule early morning workouts. If you know you’ll be working late nights and you’re not a morning person, go for a run at lunchtime. If there’s just no way to get to the gym on one of your planned days, do a mini-workout at home with some dumbbells and a stability ball while you’re watching TV, then make up for a lost workout the following morning or on a weekend day. If you know you start getting the munchies at a certain time of day and the snack machine is going to be calling your name, bring your own healthy snacks with you from home. Having a healthy snack or two at hand wherever you go will keep temptation at bay.
Be creative with your contingency planning and have an arsenal of alternatives at your disposal, in advance. Get determined. Get down and dirty. Focus and keep your eyes on the prize. After all, it’s only 30 days.
Workout time is *your* time. Working out and being fit relieves stress and sharpens your mind, giving you an extra edge at the office, at home, at everything you do. It’s crucial that you *make time* in your busy schedule for your workouts during those 30 days. Don’t pencil it in: plan it, book it, strategize it, and DO IT!
If you miss a planned workout or temporarily fall off the diet wagon, DON’T GIVE UP! And don’t wait for the next day to start again…start over NOW! Being fit doesn’t mean spending hours and hours at a time at the gym and giving up fun food forever. It just takes a *consistent* effort over time. Get back on schedule and back on track RIGHT AWAY. And remember: it’s only 30 days. 30 DAYS! You can do anything for 30 days! Yes you can!
Consult a professional
If you find yourself simply unable to get your motivation on, consider purchasing a personal training package.
Your trainer will work with you to devise a program that is the most time-efficient, effective, and safe way to reach your goals.
Your trainer will motivate you, hold you accountable, and help you recognize and celebrate your successes.
Hiring a professional is simply another strategy to achieving your goal. It’s well worth the price and can give you that extra push to get you started and get you through.
Remember: it’s just 30 days. 30 DAYS! You can do ANYTHING for 30 days.
So GET ON IT! Plan it, book it, strategize it, DO IT! You’ll feel so much better for it. And check back in with me after 30 days or anytime in between to let me know how you’re doing. Get on out there and GO!
This article can also be found as a guest post on the Jim-Fit blog.