It’s officially a new year – something that many people get excited about! It almost seems like we can start all over, finally become that wonderful, productive, healthy, happy person we've always wanted to be. The trouble is, the enthusiasm to make changes, especially with exercise and diet, tends to fade once we realize we can't change everything overnight. If you want to make lasting changes, there are three things you can do to make your resolutions work all year long: Adjust your attitude, change your lifestyle and come up with a plan for success.
If you have the wrong attitude about fitness, you're already setting yourself up for failure. Most people look at exercise as:
• Punishment for bad eating
• An obligation
• Time consuming
• Impossible to sustain over a long period of time
If any of these sound familiar, how long do you think you'll stick with your program? Nobody wants to do something painful, boring or obligatory. Before you throw yourself into weight loss, evaluate your attitudes about exercise and figure out whether these attitudes are true or just lies you've been telling yourself for years. Then, try a different perspective and look at exercise as:
• A break from a stressful workday
• A way to boost energy and mood
• The only time you'll have to yourself all day
• A chance to get totally physical and let your mind rest
• A chance to reward your body for working so hard
• A way to improve your quality of life immediately
And here are some more key points about exercise that you must understand:
1. Willpower won't work. Willpower is for short-term success. Long-term success requires planning, discipline and finding ways to motivate yourself every day.
2. Motivation will not magically happen. What motivates you will change from day to day. You have to recommit to your goals each day, tweak them to fit changes in your lifestyle and attitude and find new ways to motivate yourself over the course of your life.
3. You will not always want to exercise and eat healthy. Even the most committed exerciser doesn't always want to do it. Know that you will have to work on it every day and that it’s not an ‘all or nothing’ attitude.
4. Diets don't work. Stop wasting your time following someone else's plan for you. Make your own plan based on realistic changes - if you can't follow your chosen diet for the rest of your life, you're wasting precious time.
Your next step is to adjust your lifestyle so you have the best chance of success.