It is mid-January, and for many of us that means that our best intentioned New Year’s Resolutions are already a thing of the past!
The most common resolution is to “get fit,” or to “lose weight.” The problem is most people set goals of intense dieting, serious exercise, or other major lifestyle changes, that are just impossible to stick with.
But, it is not too late to make some fitness resolutions that you actually can keep.
Get Moving – You do not have to become a “gym rat,” or run marathons to burn calories. Find something that “moves you,” and as the saying goes, “just do it.” If you’re not sure where to start with this, think about the kinds of movements that were fun for you (maybe as a kid or in high school) before you started moving explicitly for exercise. Maybe that means picking up an intramural sport like kickball or basketball, of maybe it means throwing solo dance parties in your living room every evening!
Love Your Body – The experts say to stop being so hard on yourself and learn to love your body, no matter what it looks like! That can be very hard to do in a society that is so hung up on body image – so, if you can’t get to “love,” at least, try for body neutrality—you don’t need to love your body, but you should aim to treat it with respect and compassion.
Practice Mindfulness – Mindfulness is a way to get in better touch with the way your body really feels. Fitness trainer Ilya Parker, says, “You can do this by taking three deep breaths and paying attention to what sensations you feel from head to toe. Do you notice any aches, tightness, or tingling? This allows you to drop down in your body, regain a connection to it and listen to the messages it’s giving you.”
Lose the “Food Guilt” – The experts say that food isn’t something you should ever feel guilty about. In fact, food guilt can actually make you obsess over the very foods you’re feeling bad about eating. So stop beating yourself up for the occasional donut or handful of Doritos.
Forget the Idea of the “Perfect Diet” – Despite what you may have heard or think that you know, there is no such thing as “the perfect way to eat.” Sure, there are general suggestions of what is “good” to eat, and what is “bad,” – but the ideal diet for one person, certainly may not be the same for another. We are all different, and have different bodies and different nutritional needs.
Reward Even the Little Accomplishments – Give yourself a medal. Don’t wait to call yourself a winner until you’ve pounded through the last mile of your big dream marathon or lost every unwanted ounce. Health changes are often incremental. Encourage yourself to keep at it by pausing to acknowledge success as you tick off small and big steps en route to a goal.