As you come to the realization that 2010 is in the past, and that you need to refer to events that happened last week as “last year," you start building up hopes and plans for the new year that awaits, plans that–most of the time–include some of your unfinished resolutions from last year and plans that you feel energized to accomplish, yet you know deep inside that you might not be able to.
One of the most important plans people consider as a new year's resolution is improving their wellness and fitness. And while you can’t wave a magic wand and make these resolution come true, there are some easy tricks you can use to make it easier for you to fulfill your promises to your self.
On average only about 20 percent of us keep our New Year's resolutions. Unfortunately, some of the biggest failures are found in fitness resolutions. But don't let the statistics get you down. By following the tips below you'll be better equipped to fall into the successful 20 percent category.
1. Sit with yourself and start putting your game plan together. You need to have a long-term plan that will help you reach the finish line. Picking your goals is the most important step in this process. Choose an attainable goal. Striving to look like a male-model is not realistic for most of us, but promising to include daily physical activity in our lives is very reachable.
2. Avoid choosing a resolution that you've been unsuccessful at achieving year after year as this will only set you up for failure, frustration and disappointment. A middle ground between re-promising yourself an old goal is to alter it a bit. For example, try to promise yourself to eat healthier instead of promising yourself to tackle a tough diet.
3. On your free time, and while you’re pretending that you’re finishing an important report, write a comprehensive plan. All successful businesses start with a business plan that describes their mission, including motivations for the project and methods of accomplishment. Consider your fitness plan as important as a business plan.
4. While you’re at it, don’t pick a big end goal; try to break your plan down to make it less intimidating. Set yourself several smaller goals to achieve throughout the year that will help you reach the ultimate goal. Even if you aren’t able to reach your final goal by the end of the year, you will have many smaller–still significant–achievements along the way.
5. Give it time. Most experts agree it takes about 21 days to create a habit and six months for it to actually become a part of your daily life.
6. Rewarding yourself is a great system to help you stick to your plans. But don’t give yourself a food-related reward; no cheese cake for you here. Maybe a professional massage?!
7. Make contingency plans and don't assume sticking to your plan will be smooth sailing. Plan on hitting bumps along the resolution road and be prepared with specific ways to overcome them.
8. Limit your number of promises. You'll spread yourself too thin trying to make multiple changes in your life. This will just lead to failure in all your resolutions.
9. Keep a journal. A journal helps you recognize your positive steps and makes it harder to go back to the same old habits.
10. Finally, don't go at it alone! 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 feel that seeking help is a way of copping out. Especially when it comes to fitness, research studies have shown that assistance from a fitness professional greatly improves individual success rates.