How many times have we made New Year’s resolutions enthusiastically and resolutely but only to have them fade away by Feb. 1? I bet your answer is “Too many to count!”
Let’s change things up by following these five tips:
1. Start small
Let’s say one of your New Year’s resolutions includes running a marathon for the first time ever. You start off like gangbusters but by Feb. 1 you’ve given up because you’re still struggling to jog one block in your neighborhood.
The answer is: KEEP TRYING! Find a running coach for guidance and training modification. Work with a nutritionist to help you choose the right foods for your body and brain. Post motivational quotes such as “I can do this” on your bathroom mirror, refrigerator, and smart phone wallpaper. Get a friend (or make new ones) to join you and help keep you on the right track.
2. Be realistic
I love this saying: “If running a marathon were easy, then everyone would do it.”
If you’ve been a couch potato or a desk jockey for decades, then it’s going to take some time to get your body moving again, incorporating workouts into your schedule, and getting used to eating more veggies and less junk food.
Remember this: It’s okay NOT to be perfect! That’s something I have to remind myself all the time.
3. Be patient
We live in age of instant gratification. Dine-in restaurants offer pronto lunch menus. Express lines in grocery stores. Thirty-minutes or less oil changes. I confess to getting antsy in a Starbucks drive-thru!
Our bodies need time to adjust to our new exercise program. Bones have to strengthen in order to withstand the impact of walking or jogging. Lungs are scrambling to take in more air and then get oxygen into the blood stream. Muscles are getting stronger. The list goes on.
Try this: Appreciate your body and say thank you to it. It’s been my experience that whenever I show appreciation for my body, I do better in a workout, I finish a race stronger, and overall I’m much happier.
4. Interruptions happen
Your work schedule changes. Grandma moves in. Kids go off to college. Appointments and schedules get rearranged. Life happens.
So you miss a couple planned workouts because “life happens.” That’s okay. Your training plan is just that – a plan. Pick up where you left off (adjust the intensity as necessary). It’s pretty easy to do some sit ups, leg lifts or other quick exercises anytime of day.
5. Focus on the fun
If you view all your workouts (from easy ones such as walking to the mailbox to hard ones such as running 10 miles) as enjoyable, then you’ll feel greater satisfaction and achievement. Every workout is “me time” when you can be yourself, unwind from responsibilities and demands, and enjoy the moment.
Whenever I let workouts be fun, I’m a lot happier. Just as my husband!