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Be Resolution-Free this Upcoming New Year

December 24, 2013

Most of us associate the beginning of a new year as a new beginning; a chance to set goals and accomplish them. Some fitness experts, however, are advocating staying away from fitness and health related resolutions this year.

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The reason for this advice? Thinking of fitness and health as something to push off until the beginning of the year, and setting a goal that is difficult to obtain is waiting too long, setting yourself up for failure, and thinking about these aspects of your life in the wrong manner.

  • Waiting too long.

Being physically active, and treating your body well with the proper nutrition and care are important. So important that these activities should not be pushed off until the beginning of the new year. If you know that you need to make changes in your nutrition and fitness regimen, then start it now, not tomorrow. Putting off changes involved with your health, even for a day, is a bad idea. Particularly since “tomorrow,” as in, the day after today, often turns into the day after tomorrow, the day after that, a week from now, a month from now; well, we might as well wait until next New Year’s so we can have a year of healthy.

As Caity Weaver would say: Thatz Not Okay.

Another problem with pushing off health and fitness related goals for awhile, is that it can sometimes result in overindulgence in a problem habit to “compensate” for the healthiness that is about to begin. Bingeing on donuts because you’re soon going to force yourself to eat vegetables, however, is not a good idea. Particularly since, as was previously mentioned, the healthiness you’re compensating for might not even happen.

Do you want to make healthy changes in your life? That’s great! Start now.

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  • Setting yourself up to fail.

Most of us think of New Year’s resolutions as large, lofty aspirations. The person who does not know how to swim, and is always confined to the kiddie pool, announces that she is going to swim the English Channel. When these lofty aspirations are achieved, that’s awesome! But most of us don’t operate well with goals like these.

The larger the goal, the easier it is not to achieve that goal. The easier it is to fail, the easier it is to give up.

Don’t give up. When setting resolutions/goals for yourself, start with small, easily achievable goals, and work your way up to the things that you want but are very difficult for you right now.

If you never exercise, going to the gym every day is going to be a difficult habit to immediately begin. Start with going to the gym twice a week. Once you’ve regularly begun twice-weekly attendance, add walks around your neighborhood after dinner. Once you’re walking nearly every day after dinner, add another day or two to the gym.

Slowly creating good habits makes it more likely you will continue to practice those habits.

Set yourself up to win.

Be a winner!

Be a winner!

  • Thinking about fitness and health in the wrong way.

As was mentioned previously, health and fitness are important. In addition, proper eating and fitness are ongoing. Thinking of fitness and health as a goal that can be “achieved” is faulty thinking. Once you have incurred healthy eating habits, you need to keep working at it; the same theory goes for fitness.

Healthy eating and exercise are something you should always be working to improve and keep interesting.

Don't think of health as a goal to be achieved; think of it as a way of living.

Don’t think of health as a goal to be achieved; think of it as a way of living.

A big problem with New Year’s Resolutions is that, while people begin the year with great intentions, it is still okay, possibly even expected, that most of us will fail to continue those resolutions throughout the year.  But when those resolutions are related to your health? Waiting until January 1 is too long; start now. Start with small, achievable goals, and work your way up to the goals that seem large right now. And don’t think of your health as something that can be achieved, before moving on to something else. Your health should always be important to you.

What do you think about New Year’s Resolutions? Please share in the comments below!

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