New Year’s resolution solution

And speaking of routine, it is also time for many individuals to develop New Year’s resolutions that usually have some sort of fitness or weight loss component to them. I have been in the fitness business for 20 years and have heard many “exercise more and lose weight” resolutions while conversing with clients and members.

Although many resolutions are sound in theory, it is generally believed that, on the average, approximately 90 percent of all New Year’s resolutions result in failure.

Why is it that so many of these well-intentioned personal promises end up in the “fitness resolution landfill” or “recycle center”? Why do so many individuals subject themselves to this traditional end-of-the-year tradition that probably creates more anxiety and guilt than positive results?

Maybe it’s time to reconsider resolutions and see if there is a better option or plan that may help you attain your fitness goals in 2010.

I suggest that you take another perspective on New Year resolutions and “take the wellness road less travelled” to help you become a wellness success story. Let’s go against the grain and explore some non-resolution options for 2010.

Plan A

Do not use the “r” word (resolution) in your conversations. I believe that this word inherently or subliminally suggests a good chance for failure or a lack of success. It’s almost become the norm or an accepted behavior to list a bunch of New Year’s resolutions and then fail. Why set yourself up for failure?

Alternative plan

Establish short-term and long-term goals for yourself that are realistic and achievable. Goal setting is a better choice of words and has a more positive connotation than the “r” word.

Part of the problem with many resolutions is that they are unrealistic and unachievable. Unfortunately, one failed attempt usually leads to another and another so you get a downward spiral effect that draws folks away from positive accomplishments. Make your goals realistic, challenging, measurable and attainable.

Your short-term goals can be established to incorporate daily goals and even weekly ones. Examples would be drinking 6-8 glasses of water per day or weighing in on a specific day of the week to record weight loss.
Another short-term goal might be to get your body fat or blood pressure measured before the middle of January. Simply getting into the habit of recording your physical activity and/or food intake on a daily basis would be a practical short-term goal.

If you have a pedometer, you could establish a daily goal to walk 5,000 steps per day. Or you could establish a 1-2 pound weight loss/week as a short-term goal with the long-term goal of losing a certain amount within six months and one year. 
Remember that short-term goals support and are part of meeting your long-term goals.

Plan B

“No man is an island.” Finding a workout partner or a close friend can greatly increase your chances for success in goal achievements. Establishing a pact with a spouse, close friend or co-worker will make the road a lot smoother for you. Of course, this only works when both parties are fully committed to working together to achieve success. Don’t diminish the power of a workout partner.

If you don’t have a workout partner, try to find someone who can help you with your fitness goals. Another option would be to attend some group exercise classes as there is strength in numbers!

Plan C

Remember that you are not perfect and you may experience a few hurdles and roadblocks in your journey. Give yourself some room for errors and events that may cause you a few minor setbacks. Don’t give up because you had a minor setback.

It is unhealthy and unproductive to exhibit the “I blew it” mentality that many New Year resolution advocates succumb to.

Traditional New Year’s resolutions seem to suggest that if you mess up one time, you become a failure and have to toss that resolution out the window. A wiser plan is establish several goals that can be measured and achieved. Find some support from a friend and keep track of your accomplishments throughout the year. 

You can do anything that you set your mind to do.