January 17, 2011

Keep Those Resolutions!

Are your New Year’s fitness resolutions flagging already?  You are not alone; it takes at least twenty-one days to six weeks for a new behavior to become a habit. In the meantime, here are some tips to keep you going:

Enlist a friend: Make fitness social and it will be more enjoyable.
  If your friend is dragging you down do not let that be your excuse, find someone else or go it alone.

Re-evaluate your goals: “Lose weight” or “start exercising” are not specific enough.  Make sure your goals are specific and realistic; they will be easier to meet.  For example “get to the gym three times a week”, or “lose one pound a week” are both specific AND realistic.

Find something enjoyable:  If you dread going on the treadmill every morning it is unlikely you will continue.  Try the ellicptical, an aerobics class or join a tennis league.  Almost any activity will make a positive impact on your health.   Finding something you like to do will make it much easier to stick with it.

Write down your resolutions and tell people about them:  It is much harder to relapse when you have told everyone you know.

Do not let a setback throw you:  If you miss the gym one day, it does not mean you have to give up.

Set up an e-mail reminder service:  A variety of free services and apps can send you reminders. Studies have shown this to be an effective tool to help motivation.

Tell yourself you will just do 10 minutes.  Chances are once you start you will feel good enough to keep going.

Focus on the internal:  It is easy to be caught up with how you look, but if you focus on how you feel (fewer aches and pains and more energy are immediate benefits), you will find it easy to stay motivated and actually reach your goals.

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