The New Year is here which means 2009 is now in our rearview mirror. It’s now time to think of new beginnings, also known as New Year’s resolutions. I have come to find that people fall into one of two categories. You are either a resolution maker or you are not. If you are a resolution maker, chances are losing weight, working out, and/or eating healthier are right up at the very tip top of your resolution list. Other popular occupants of that list are to save more money, be more organized and quit smoking. These are all very good ideas and I’m sure we’d all be better off if we were able to do it all. Since I can’t stand the feel of money burning a hole in my pocket, have piles of paper around the house that I refer to as “files”, and have never smoked, I cannot be of much help with those other resolutions. I am, however, dedicated to a healthy lifestyle for my family, so that’s where I can offer a bit of inspiration, encouragement, and a few good ideas.
What I can encourage to you to do the most is to frame your resolution in the most positive way possible. Strive to live a healthier lifestyle rather than setting a particular number on the scale as a goal. This gentle shift in thinking will have you thinking positively rather than thinking of all the things you have to give up or have to do. The numbers on the scale and on the labels of your clothes will drift downward if you start implementing the things that encompass a healthy lifestyle.
I am now a personal trainer at my gym. This is my new adventure. As this new year begins, so does the annual migration of well meaning, newly inspired folks. They are all headed to the treadmills, group fitness classes and the weight machines. They are dizzy with the possibility of losing 10 pounds the first week of the new year. They often are overzealous in their initial work outs only to be left hobbling and shuffling around the house for 3 days afterwards. This is an example of taking giant steps that only leave people faltering.
Remember that you didn’t gain your extra pounds or girth over night, so whittling them off will take some time as well. The habits you’ve created have taken years to perfect, so altering well-learned habits will take some getting used to. There are no quick fixes to overhauling your life. Don’t go looking for a magic pill, machine, cookie or book to get you and your family on track. Baby steps. Take baby steps and you’ll have more success making changes that will be lasting.
Instead of thinking you’ll never eat anything from a restaurant that has the word Mc, King, or Bell in its name, work on eating at those places less frequently. Shoot for only once a week if you are considered a heavy user (3 or more times/week). Instead of saying you’ll drink only water for the rest of your life, consider drinking only 1 cup of coffee or soda per day. Instead of saying you will work out every day before work when you haven’t seen the inside of the gym for months, try going 3 times a week. Do yourself a favor and get used to small changes first. After you’ve mastered those small changes, you can make more small changes. Tiny steps are worth taking. What good is it if you pledged to make huge changes to your entire life if you can only manage to make them stick for a week? Thinking in absolutes will set yourself up for failure because once that inevitable wobble in your convictions happens, you may very well throw in the proverbial towel. You make just say heck with the whole idea because it is not natural to make drastic changes all at once. You may consider yourself a failure because you couldn’t manage the impossible. Perfection. If you haven’t figured it out from reading my past posts, I will restate to you that I am not a fan of perfection. It’s overrated and impossible for most people. It’s an impossible standard and makes for very cranky, frustrated, uninspired people.
I’m hoping that this new year will bring health and peace among other things to you and your family. I will be posting encouragement, tips and suggestions to help with your healthier lifestyle resolution if that’s what you choose. Pledge to make small changes. One simple change is to subscribe to my blog by clicking on the button that says “don’t miss a post”. Take a moment to plan out your small changes so you have a road map. Read some of my past posts for ideas where to begin. I’ll continue to post suggestions for small changes and tips to make those changes stick.
As I venture into the crowded gym in the next few weeks, I will be thinking of you blog readers. Will you still be coming in March when the impossible goal setters all fall off the wagon? Will you be stepping through your gym’s doors 3 or 4 times a week? Will you be scaling back bit by bit on your unhealthy choices? I believe you will be. Do you believe?
Until next time….Live Well! – Toni Kuhel