Turn Resolutions Into Healthy Habits

Photo Taken by Beverly Crowl during the 2013 Delaware Hospice 5K.
File Photo Taken by Beverly Crowl during the 2013 Delaware Hospice 5K.

Bobbi Pavlak, Extreme Total Fitness

As we continue into the New Year it seems like everyone is an avid exerciser and knows how to become healthy. Unfortunately, the enthusiasm fades quickly and many people revert back to their old unhealthy habits. New Year’s resolutions should be nothing more than a starting point; you must develop a habit. In my opinion, one big reason resolutions are not successful is that there is a clear plan missing. Losing a few pounds, getting toned or becoming healthy is not positive enough to make changes.
Create a plan with clear steps that can be put into action. Being specific makes resolutions real. Set specific actions you will take each week in order to achieve your goal.

Make it measurable “Getting healthy” needs to be put into a measure for your progress. It could be your weight, your percentage of body fat, the ability to complete a certain number of reps of an exercise, (10 pushups, 20 squats, 30 minutes on the efx….), 8-10 servings of fresh vegetables a day or 8 glasses of water daily.

Make it attainable Your goals should be within a range that can be reached. A great goal is something you can reasonably attain with commitment and consistency. A goal too difficult can be overwhelming and not inspiring.

Be realistic If you set a goal to cut out alcohol completely but love going out all the time, this may not be a realistic goal. Maybe 2 drinks a week, not on the same night, might be a more realistic goal. If you have not been exercising and you set your goal to be at the gym 7 days per week, that would not be a realistic goal.

Identify your reason WHY An emotional reason to reach your goal will give you motivation to change your habits. Changing our bodies for the better can be difficult. Developing a reason is critical for success. Writing down your goals will force your mind to focus on them, which encourages action. Even writing down your goal in present tense, for example, “I am achieving my goal of completing 50 pushups, 50 crunches, and 50 squats by May 1st.” It will help you toward your goal.

Remain flexible Life has a way of throwing unexpected things at us. Flexibility is required to complete anything. Sometimes the goal itself will even change.
Last but not least would be to take action. Get to the gym, clean out your kitchen of junk food and develop a ritual or habit. Use email reminders, text alerts on your phone or make an appointment in your calendar for yourself to attend the gym or class. A trainer in the beginning can assist with accountability.

Think “Year Round” Nothing gets accomplished in one day. Resolutions are set in one day, but accomplished with a hundred tiny steps that occur throughout the year. Acknowledge theses incremental successes as they come.