Are your 2015 resolutions simple, slow, and satisfying?
By David Martin, President and CEO of VeinInnovations
Welcome to 2015, everyone! The optimism of a New Year and new beginnings cheers us through the cold month of January. Resolutions are made (and abandoned) this month. Gym memberships most of us don’t use surge as we promise ourselves to spend the next year more fit than before.
Want to get healthy in 2015? Make a fitness resolution that will stick. And the best health resolution is…
Simple, slow and satisfying.
I know that sounds like a slogan from a whiskey commercial. But let’s tease it out.
“I will go to the gym before work every day” is not a good resolution. Sure, it’s an okay goal to have. But if you aren’t already in the habit of hitting the gym regularly, you’re setting yourself up to fail.
Shoot for simple, realistic goals. “I will go for walks around the park twice a week” is doable. Take the dog, take your husband, take a friend. Maybe your walking companion will become someone you start going to the gym with.
Expansive resolutions fail by February. “I will lose 20 pounds by spring” is a hefty goal.
Before I discuss “slow” resolutions, let me address weight-based resolutions. Weight fluctuates daily; it’s not a great indicator of health. You might start a workout regimen and gain weight if you put on muscle. If your focus is always on the scale, you’ll miss the awesome milestone of increased strength while you fret over a number.
Focus on wellness over weight. If hopping on the scale every day makes you feel better and keeps you motivated, do it. But if the number gets you down, ignore it. Work on wellness: measure your accomplishments in a faster mile, increased reps or lifting capacity, a lower heart rate or simply feeling better.
Go slow. Turn “I will lose 20 pounds by spring” into “I will be able to do 10/25/30 pushups in a row by the end of the month.” Set small goals and give yourself ample time to achieve them.
You’re more likely to have lasting success if you take on the challenges bit by bit.
“I will cut out all bread and sugar from my diet” is a negative resolution. We’re more likely to keep positive resolutions where we add something good to our lives than we are to keep negative ones where we deny ourselves something. (You can read more about the psychology of this phenomenon here.)
On another level, will you be satisfied by cutting all the sugar out of your diet? Be honest. The answer is no. You’re setting yourself up for failure! If you’ve got a sweet tooth in need of shrinking, try this instead: “I will have fruit for dessert on weeknights,” or “I will keep whole grain breakfast options, like rolled oats, in my pantry.”
If any of your resolutions fill you with dread, ditch them. Instead, fill 2015 with positive goals! Make resolutions that are good for you and enjoyable.
Happy New Year, everyone!