Every New Year, it never fails: people get a new spark of enthusiasm for embarking on a healthy course for the year. Gym memberships soar, health oriented websites surge in traffic, diet programs and pills are gobbled up like no tomorrow, and personal trainers don’t have enough hours in the day to see the new clients who’ve signed up for sessions.
Unfortunately, the enthusiasm rampant in the beginning of January wanes after a few weeks and before you know it, gyms have membership cancellations, websites see drops in traffic, McDonald’s gets back their customers, and personal trainers have a more manageable number of clients. This trend is as predictable as the ball dropping in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
Just because the majority of resolution makers give up, however, doesn’t mean that you need to become a resolution dropout as well. Here are a few ways to ensure that your attempts to make positive change in 2012 are successful:
- Don’t Bite Off More than You can Chew: Try making smaller changes each week instead of making all your change at once. It is human nature to want to do everything at the same time, but success is often found in a more patient, methodical approach. Don’t try to over commit yourself too early. Ease into your resolution so that you don’t get overwhelmed or discouraged.
- Stay Motivated with Activities You Love: Pretending to love running when you don’t, is not going to encourage you to exercise. Instead, partake in activities and sports that you actually enjoy. If you love skiing, make an effort to do it more. If you enjoy aerobics classes, sign up for a month’s worth.
- Play with Your Food: Similar to exercise, force-feeding yourself rice-cakes when you think they taste like cardboard isn’t going to make you love healthier cuisine. Instead, make a game of it. Experiment with different types of health foods to find the ones you like. There are tons of healthful and nutritious foods, so please your personal palate with what you are most likely to eat and enjoy.
- The Buddy System: Take on your resolution with a friend or family member. Teaming up with another person can help to keep you motivated so that you are more likely to stay committed to the change you want to make. Further, by teaming up with another individual, you’ll feel responsible for their success as well.
- Be True to Yourself: If you choose to buy a membership at a gym or embark on new foods or hire a personal trainer or wellness coach, be sure they are a match to you and your personality. Working out in an environment that you don’t like or getting help from a coach that you don’t respect is not going to keep you coming back for more.
New Year’s resolutions are a great way to make positive, healthy change in your life. You owe it to yourself to stick with it! And you can!
About the Author: Brett Blumenthal is best-selling author of 52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You (January 2012) and Get Real and STOP Dieting! (December 2010). Blumenthal is CEO of Be Healthy, Inc., which is holding Be Healthy Boston (www.behealthyboston.com) – an urban wellness retreat at the Westin Boston Waterfront – this January 28th and 29.th