by Bret Smith CPT, B. A., B.S. | Move Strong Studio
They’re herrrre! All the New Year’s promises to eat better, exercise more, lose that holiday bulge, train for that obstacle race and more help set the tone for us to feel better about the damage being done right now.
It never fails as each year we hope to really change our bad habits by representing an intention to do better then and not now. Come March 1 around 90% of the resolutions have been kicked to the curb and sliding right back into the not so healthy routine wins out once again. Just like last year and the year before somehow the idea was much more attractive than the execution of the idea. Now…what to do about it.
First off, let’s look at the size and goal of the intended resolution and break it down into manageable and reachable steps. I tell my clients all the time there is no way you can jump a staircase in one jump unless you have a red cape and big ol’ “S” on your chest. Why not look at what we can reach with just one step at a time? Each step thereafter helps build a solid foundation for the next one to be reached. There may be some steps that have to be broken down into micro steps which is ok and preferable if long term habitual change is desired.
Next make a plan, set accountability and get after it! If your plan is to eat better then make sure you get educated on what that entails. Nowadays it seems everyone has an opinion on what is considered a healthy eating plan. The best plan is the one you will stick with – so do a little research and see which one suits your needs, goals, and lifestyle. You may need to access the help of a certified nutrition coach, dietician or nutritionist to get you started, which is great because even the best of the best require coaching and this will get you off on the right foot. Secondly, you need to make yourself accountable to someone. Groups, friends, coaches all can help and you need to find the right fit that helps make you successful at achieving healthy changes to your lifestyle. Lastly, dive in and go for it! Give it your best attention, effort and compliance. Even if you find the results minimal keep after it and be willing to adjust on the fly. Sometimes the best plans are the ones you need to make on the run.
Now the big one! Drum roll please…The new exercise plan! With all the best intention, desire and hope the idea of exercising all the holiday overindulgences away is usually a plan to fail. Generally this plan starts off with going from little to no workout sessions per week to 3 – 6 per week. Yikes! That is quite a change in a very short period of time with little to no adjustment period. Just like the nutritional changes the need for small more manageable steps builds a strong foundation for long term success. Instead of a 5 times per week plan why not start with 1 really good workout per week for 5 weeks that you know you can stick to? Too easy? Great! Now you are setting a foundation for lasting change. Remember that assessing and adjusting are key components to an ongoing plan and should be built in every few weeks. I do not know about you but I like the idea of sticking to one workout per week for 5 weeks rather than trying to maintain a 5 times per week schedule that is destined to wane and cause more problems in the long run. Remember, this is just an example and everyone’s starting point is different and so will be the tolerances of what each person responds best to.
So I say to you this year make it different. Empty your bucket of old ideas and beliefs and start to fill your bucket with usable knowledge, good ideas and helpful strategies to make The New You in The New Year something to behold and truly be proud of. My best wishes for all of you in 2015!