December 10, 2014

Rethinking the New Years Fitness Resolution

Every year, as we get further into December, we start to hear more about setting new year’s resolutions, and the products and programs that can help us make it happen. Typically, gyms overflow in January, but by February and March, numbers drop significantly. We know this, and joke about it, but the appeal of “starting over” is always strong. If you’ve been on the “new year’s resolution” merry-go-round a few times, but really want 2015 to be the year you become more physically active, here are some ideas to do things differently:

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  • Start now. By setting a later start date, we get the dopamine hit of achievement before we even do anything, and then we tend to not really feel motivated to actually start. But if we’re going to start something that is going to be sustainable, it shouldn’t be overwhelming, and it should be something that’s pleasant enough to start today. If you don’t want to start today, you’re probably not going to want to keep doing it by July, so maybe you need to re-look at what you were planning to do and scale it back a bit. Even if you just start small, find one thing you can do TODAY to be more active, and do it. Voila, you’re on your way. And you KNOW you can do it next year.
  • Whatever goals you do set (more about goal setting here), tack on “as often as possible” at the end of them – there is just no way that life is going to go so smoothly that you will be able to follow your plan down to a T without losing out on sleep or other important things. Sometimes life gets in the way. Expect it and be flexible, and you’re more likely to stick it out
  • Try something different. If every year you’ve told yourself you’re going to start running and hated it, maybe this year commit to trying a different activity for a month until you find one you like. Ideas: swimming, dance classes, rockclimbing, paddleboarding, weightlifting, indoor soccer
  • Forget the idea that you’re going to be a different person next year. You’re not. You might grow into a more active person or a person who goes to gym classes, but you’re still going to have the same temperament, the same insecurities, the same personality, and the same basic underlying body shape. As attractive as the idea of being a “BRAND NEW YOU!” can sometimes seem, you already know what you’re New years fitness resolutionworking with. You know what motivates you and what doesn’t. You know what you’re comfortable with and what you’re not. Use that knowledge to find ways of doing things that work for the person you are right now. Treat that person with respect and sensitivity and you may just realise you already have everything you need to make the life that you want
  • Check that whatever you’re wanting to achieve really aligns with your values. It’s easy to think that we want to be able to do impressive things, but is that what we want, or is it the approval from others? If you were going to be the only person on the planet for a year, what activities would you do? Would you love the activity you’ve chosen as much if other people weren’t there to be impressed?
  • If you can afford to, buy yourself some new exercise clothes for Christmas, as an act of faith that you will be getting plenty of use out of them. If you buy stuff you really like, chances are you’ll want to get out there and show them off.
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    Image via

  • Don’t wish the rest of the year away. You get to write the ending of this year in whatever way you choose, so finish out 2014 in a way that you will look back on as supporting everything you set out to do in 2015. Celebrate the good times you had this year, and the good people you have around you. Enjoy the opportunities for rest, and for connection, and for movement, and start living the kind of active lifestyle you want to live next year, this year.

Happy holidays 🙂


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