This is the week that gyms, diet plans, fitness DVDs start offering deals to appeal to the New Year's Resolution set with promises of a "new you in the new year." Unfortunately, most fitness-related resolutions are an afterthought by February and a distant memory by the time Spring comes along.
Too many resolutions are destined to fail because they are too broad (I want to get in better shape), too far-reaching (I 've never lifted a weight but this year I want to be in contention for a spot on the US Weightlifting Team), or focus on a result rather than on changes that are actionable (I want to lose 45 pounds).
- Resolve to add one additional workout day or physical activity to your schedule. Last year I resolved to start swimming three days a week in addition to my regular workout program. If you are not currently exercising at all, your resolution should be to add two 30-minute activity sessions to your week. Once you have done that for six weeks, you can safely say you have a new, healthy habit. If you are already active or an avid gymgoer, perhaps you can resolve to try a one new class at your gym every week. If you stumble upon something you want to do once a week, go with it. If this means you add a walk or a game of pick up basketball to your program, they all work. Choose a resolution that works for you and is realistic within the realities of your life. If you are having fun, sampling different things, you don't have to land on any one thing. The point in this resolution is to avoid plateaus, burn extra calories and keep your fitness program fun and interesting.
- Resolve to always have veggies in the house. We all need to eat our vegetables; they are low caloric, nutrient dense, an incredible source of fiber and make you feel full. It's not enough to resolve to eat more vegetables or vaguely pledge to change your diet, you need to make sure you always have vegetables on hand and readily available. I buy mine pre-sliced because I know I need to make my vegetable consumption as easy as humanly possible or I'll find a reason not to eat them.
- Resolve to bring your water bottle with you everywhere. When it comes to the wonderful things you've heard about water, believe the hype. No matter what your goal is, water will help you get there. Again, it is not enough to resolve to drink more water, you have to resolve to do something actionable that will guarantee that it will happen.
Good luck everyone and Happy New Year!