Can I turn my resolution into a habit?
There have been many studies about what type of effort it takes to develop a habit. Most experts agree that if a person repeats the same action or behavior for 66 days in a row, it will become habitual. However, most are likely to agree that it is rare for a New Year’s resolution to last anywhere close to that number of days. Most of the time, we really do want to change and we look and a New Year offers us a great place to restart. The trouble is that many of us make outlandish resolutions that cannot possibly be long lasting. We meant them when we made them, but after a few days we return to our old ways; our old habits. With some careful planning you can make a resolution that will stick long enough to become a habit and we want to provide you with a few tips to get you started.
Set Realistic Goals
One of the problems with making a resolution is that we are not realistic about our expectations. We end up working out for a day or two but we fail to continue to work it into our rigorous schedules. Just like Yoyo dieting we see a little bit of immediate progress but cannot stick with it so it is soon lost. It is very important to set fitness goals, but it has to be reasonable. Make sure your goals are reachable or you’ll give up before you get a chance to make lasting changes. If your goal is unrealistic or seems too far out of reach, you will not be motivated to continue a fitness program.
Prioritize Your Workouts
Your fitness is essential to your overall health and well being. Think of it like your investment in yourself and schedule yourself an appointment every day. Your workout schedule needs to be written on your calendar right there with other appointments of importance like meeting with your child’s teacher, looking at a house with a real estate agent and finishing a large project for your boss. You are important too and in order to perform your best on your job and in other facets of your life you need to feel your best. Record your workout schedule on the same calendar as all your other important engagements and then keep them. You’ll thank yourself later.
It is a great motivator to see how far you have come. It is certain that you will not lose excess weight overnight or build huge muscle mass in a day; but over time you will begin to notice marked changes. Although it is important to record changes in weight and measurements, you should also keep a record of your workouts. When you see how many miles you have run, the number of workouts completed or how many lifts you’ve completed it will help you realize your success. When you recognize these types of gains it will help motivate you to continue progressing toward your ultimate goals.
Commit to a Month at a Time
Thinking about a year’s worth of workouts can be overwhelming especially for someone who is not accustomed to it. Keep your commitment manageable by only committing to your workout schedule for one month. At the end of the month commit for another. By the time you reach the end of the first month you will be able to see some of the changes that have come about from being active. You will also have begun to create the habit of working out and it will be easier to commit to one more month. Before you know it, you’ll have committed an entire year away. You will have reached your fitness goals and will be ready to make new ones for another new year.