By Joli Guenther, MSSW, NASM
We’re nearly a month into 2012. Have your New Year’s resolutions fallen by the wayside? There’s still time to pick back up where you left off. Including your Horizon Fitness exercise equipment as part of your New Year's fitness resolution is a great way to jump start or reinvigorate your at-home workouts. Beginning your New Year with good intentions puts you in good company, but if you want your New Year's resolutions to stick, you need to spend a little time using them to frame this year's goals. Follow these tips to make 2012 a year in which you accomplish not only your fitness aspirations, but all of your resolutions.
Get Specific: Rather than resolving to "be healthy," "use your treadmill (or elliptical or recumbent bike) more," or "lose weight," use your resolutions to define monthly progress in the area you focus on this year. If you want to lose weight, decide on an approach and a realistic amount to lose each month. Then, hold yourself accountable by scheduling your fitness and nutrition plan in your weekly calendar and creating monthly appointments to reassess and plan for the coming month. Creating specificity, accountability and a time frame for your resolutions makes it far more likely that you'll see positive progress by this time next year.
Overcome Obstacles: To be especially effective in meeting your goals, include some time exploring your motivation and potential obstacles. If you've tried to make this change in your life in the past, what has gotten in the way? If over-scheduling or family demands are keeping you away from your elliptical, can you enlist the support of a friend or family member to carve out some time for yourself? Also, spend some time taking an honest look at what you'll be giving up in order to meet your goals and develop a list of ways to overcome these losses.
Let Go of Perfection: Lastly, give yourself room for error. If you haven't been working out at all, expecting to jump onto your treadmill every day just may not be realistic. If you miss a day, forgive yourself and move on. Or better yet, build room for a few recovery days into your plan at the start. Don't let your expectations of perfection derail your healthy progress.
Here is some additional advice on making realistic resolutions. One tip from the article is to "Make sure that your goals are specific enough for you to recognize success and that they are realistic for your schedule, needs, and abilities.” For example, "People set really vague general goals that are hard to keep," said Melissa Jones, licensed psychologist. "But there a few things people can do to set goals that are more likely to be achieved."
For more suggestions on making your New Year's Resolutions a reality, view this collection of resources at SparkPeople.
Weigh In: How are you doing at meeting your New Year's Resolutions? What strategies are helping you to stick to your goals this year?