Each year millions decide to change their lives, exercise more and make better food choices. Unfortunately most of those quit as work, school, kids and other demands become overwhelming just weeks into their New Years Resolutions. Last month I wrote about choosing a Personal Trainer as one way of turning resolutions into results. This month I would like to share a few tips on how you can help yourself and STICK TO IT when fighting the urge to give up!
- Set yourself up for success by gaining a positive attitude towards exercising and other healthy lifestyle choices. Exercising is about stress relief and improving the way we look and feel!
- Be realistic when setting goals. That pertains to the time that you can and are willing to commit to change, as well as the time frame in which you want to accomplish those changes. Set short-term, mid-term and long-term goals. That way you won’t have to wait for success too long! Measure initial success by the way you feel rather than by a number on your scale!
- Once you have set your goals schedule the work-outs just like any other appointment and commit to them.
- Record your work-outs to see how you progress over time. Seeing how far you have come can be a positive reinforcement and provides a visual feedback of your commitment.
- Reward yourself each time after reaching another stage on your way to the finish line! Chose healthy and positive rewards such as spa treatments, massages or a new exercise outfit.
- Keep your work-outs interesting by varying the contents. Try different cardio classes at your gym in addition to walking, jogging or cycling.
- Talk to friends, colleagues and neighbors and find out if somebody is interested in joining you as a work-out buddy. Exercising is for many of us more fun if done with a partner. A work-out partner is also a great motivational help when you are feeling overwhelmed or tired.
- Learn about healthy eating and lifestyle habits using educational materials available online, at your gym or check with a trainer and dietitian.
- Forgive yourself. Taking a break once in a while, even for a couple of weeks is no reason to assume failure. All of us take the exits on the road to success from time to time. Just get back to the onramp and continue the journey!
- Reconsider the option of a Personal Trainer as a short term motivator or long term travel companion!
I hope these tips will help you to accomplish what you set out to do! And wish you once again a healthy and successful year!
Hartmut Broring – M.S. Exercise Therapy