Recently there was an article at Cracked.com (For Mature Audiences. The language and topics tend to be racy) that discussed the common reasons for failure in New Year's Resolutions. Did yours fail last year? See how many of these resemble you...
Mistake: Setting Vague Goals
I think everyone I've seen on Facebook has done this one year or another. Things like "eat healthier" or "lose weight" or "start exercising more" are in this list. I'm going to look at "start exercising more." What is "more" to you? Are you not exercising at all right now? Do you count taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work exercise? Are you going to exercise 10mins once a month? (That's "more" if you're not doing anything at all right now) 20mins a week? 30mins a day?
Remedy: Set a Concrete Goal
Using the above "goal" as a reference, a better goal would be "I resolve to exercise 10mins a day, 3 days a week." Now you have a time goal and a day goal.
Mistake: Trapping Others in Your Resolution
I'm guilty of this one. The goal of "eat healthier" carries into this one if you have a family because you know you're going to purge the house of all the JUNK. If you vow to never drink soda again (a great goal by the way) your family should be in on the decision so they don't come home with a 6-pack of Coke and torture you by drinking it in front of you.
Remedy: Make the Decision Together.
You're more likely to keep one of these resolutions if you make the decision as a family. Does everyone want to travel? Great! Make a list and choose a few places. Does everyone need to get healthy? It's time to get honest about the pitfalls in your diet and exercise and change TOGETHER.
Mistake: Not Doing Homework First
How much weight is healthy to lose in a week? Answer: 1-2lbs. Seriously. If you're obese you will probably lose more initially but it will taper off. You can't expect to pull "Biggest Loser" numbers here in the real world. And you shouldn't get discouraged when you don't!
Remedy: Do Your Research
Set a goal like "Lose 4lbs each month" and you're set. That's a healthy loss (1lb a week) and you'll still have lost over 50lbs by the end of the year. If you have more weight to lose you can double it and lose 100 POUNDS by Dec 31, 2012. Yep, I'm totally serious.
Mistake: Going All Out
I'm all for being gung-ho and excited. But if you start a marathon running at top speed you won't make it very far. If you jump up on January 1st and decide you're going to start running that's fine...but if you're not in peak physical condition you may need to start with intervals. You've heard me talk about P90X on this blog before. I love the program. But I'll be the first one to tell you that it is NOT a beginner program. Yes, you can modify, but it's not the best program for someone just starting to exercise. What happens to a lot of people is they start a new INTENSE exercise program and find that they can't keep up. Maybe they don't have time to workout an hour each day, maybe they wake up sore too often and give up, or maybe they just don't like whatever workout they think they're "supposed" to do. (I hear this about running...)
Remedy: Baby Steps!
Is your goal to exercise? Start with 10mins a day a few days a week. When that gets easy you can up it to more days or more time. Want to eat healthy? Try a new recipe with a new veggie. If you make small changes you can be a new person by the end of the year!
Mistake: Failing to Know Yourself
One of the mistakes that *I* made with P90X is under this heading. I thought "I'll do it at night after the kids go to bed." Yeah, that lasted 3 weeks. Several nights I didn't get into bed until 11pm (Hey, that's late for me) because the baby wouldn't sleep and I still had an hour long workout to do. When I tried to do it during the day I had kids running off with my weights. (Or, in one case, dropping them on me...) It just wasn't for me.
Remedy: Plan Better
This year I'm beginning the year with Slim in 6. It's a 6 week program with intense 30min workouts. THAT I can do!
So what are your resolutions? Remember: "He who fails to plan is planning to fail" ~ Winston Churchill