Don Beaver, Anza Fitness Director
Statistics indicate that millions of us make annual New Year’s resolutions, but 23% of us will quit in the first week and 36% by the first month! Many people quit on the second Friday of the month, often referred to as “Quitters’ Day.” Could it be weekend festivities are just too difficult to ignore? Further, adults older than 55 are three times less likely to have resolutions as compared to younger adults. Are we just complacent with our present circumstances?
The top three resolutions, regardless of gender, are health related: “Exercise more” is first, followed by “eat healthier.” “Lose weight” is in third place. Frankly, all three of these can be interwoven to form one primary desire—create a healthier you!
Why is it that our commitment to our resolutions fails? The No. 1 reason is “a loss of motivation,” followed by we’re just “too busy.” In the end, only 9% of us will be successful in achieving our resolution(s).
So, how do we address this annual paradox?!
1. Make sure that you are ready to commit to your goals. Jan. 1 does not necessarily have to be your starting point. Begin your timeline when you are properly aligned and balanced with respect to your personal schedule, mental preparation, and ability to genuinely focus on your goal(s).
2. Start with smaller, achievable, and realistic short-term goals. For instance, instead of resolving to change your entire diet, begin with addressing your breakfast routine or late evening snacking habits.
3. Set specific, measurable, and challenging long-term goals, such as losing a specific number of pounds, qualifying for a more challenging group exercise class, or maybe attaining a body-positive image for a reunion or cruise.
4. Consider working with an “accountability partner.” Not one of us is motivated every day. Having a family member or friend as a partner with a similar goal(s) is a great way to help one another make that workout when you might otherwise skip it, or order that salad when that burger-n-fries is “calling your name.” The social aspect of group exercise classes is another outstanding example of “partnering.”
5. Improve your sleeping schedule. Consistent waking and bedtimes, along with plenty of quality sleep, will often serve to energize you and, in turn, assist you with your overall goal success.
6. Consider engaging a professional trainer. The Anza is blessed to offer two extremely highly qualified and certified personal trainers, Dr. Laura and Steve McMurtry, for your consideration as your “personal coach” for not only exercise but also dietary advice.
Most importantly, enjoy the journey. There will be “slip-ups,” “plateaus,” and frustrations at times. Recognize them and embrace them. Improvement can and will occur if you remain committed to your resolution(s) while recognizing your incremental movement along the path to a healthier you!
Happy New Year from the Anza Athletic Center!