by Jon A. Kaplan
Have you made a New Year’s resolution yet? If you are like most American promise-makers, you’ll have at least one resolution that’s related to health and fitness. Perhaps a promise to eat healthier, exercise more, and lose those love handles.
Although we can’t offer a magic wand to make those pounds disappear, we’ve collected some tips to help you keep your fitness resolutions.
- Make a plan. All successful businesses start with a business plan that describes their mission and specifics on how they will achieve it. Write out your own detailed, personal plan and you’ll be more likely to succeed.
- Be realistic. Resolving to look like a fitness model is not realistic for the majority of us, but promising to include daily physical activity in our lives is. Keep it real.
- Don’t set yourself up to lose. Don’t pick a resolution that you’ve been unsuccessful with in the past. Doing so will cause frustration and disappointment. If you’re still tempted to make a resolution that you’ve made before, then try altering it. For example, instead of resolving to lose 25 pounds, try promising to eat more salads and go to the gym more.
- Find a support system. Tell friends and family members about your plan so that you have someone to hold you accountable. Get a friend to join you in your mission. Just be sure to set limits so that your support system doesn’t get irritating–or irritated at you. For example, if you resolve to be active every day, don’t make your wife nag you about it.
- Keep things simple. Rather than one BIG end goal involving many different parts, separate a large goal into smaller pieces. Or set a series of incremental goals to achieve throughout the year. Then, even if you aren’t able to reach your final goal, you will have many smaller but still significant achievements along the way.
- Reward yourself. If you’ve stuck with your resolution for 1-2 months, treat yourself to something special. But be careful of your reward type. If you’ve lost 5 pounds, don’t give yourself a piece of cake as a reward. Instead, treat yourself to a something that isn’t food-related, like a massage.
- Get professional assistance. Everyone needs help, and sometimes a friend just isn’t enough. Sometimes you need the help of a trained professional. Don’t think that seeking help is a way of copping out. Especially when it comes to wellness, research studies have shown that assistance from a fitness professional greatly improves people’s success rate.
Jon Kaplan is the founder of BmoreFit.org and Fitness & Wellness Director at Meadow Mill Athletic Club. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.