Human Interest

Sticking To It

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As we are now well into the second month of the new year, 2018, many of us have settled into some of our new year resolutions. The most popular one that many people opt to choose is the “New Year, New You” resolution. Articles pop up in magazines and all over the internet with this title, and we all get motivated and convinced that we can make this huge change in the new year as well. We run out and join a gym or re-new an old membership, and pick up a new diet plan or begin omitting things that we feel are not going to help us become the “New You”. Many people have made life-changing decisions to adjust their diets to a more plant-based, vegan, or meatless diet after watching popular documents in the last year such as “What the Health” by filmmaker Kip Anderson. With all of these changes put in place, how does one maintain them throughout the next ten months of this year? Here are a few suggestions that may help you stay on track and stick to it throughout the entire year.

  1.    PERIODICALLY CHANGE UP YOUR WORKOUTS OR TRY SOMETHING NEW. If you generally just go to a gym and do a little cardio or weight lifting, sign up for one of the classes offered instead once or twice a week or month. Many gyms offer various classes such as Zumba, Spinning, or Interval Training Group Fitness classes. If you are an avid runner or cyclist, try something different with less impact like a Flow Yoga, Hot Yoga, or Pilates Mat or Reformer class. These type of workouts have less cardio, but they are still very effective and contain a combination of strength-training, flexibility, and core-strengthening exercises. Workout apps and videos on YouTube also offer a wide variety of exercise styles and challenges that you can do anywhere. A diverse spectrum of workouts may keep you motivated from week-to-week or month-to-month, and before you know it you’ll see that “new you”.
  2.    MAKE GRADUAL CHANGES TO YOUR DIET. I am definitely one to make drastic changes in my diet opting to have a month without meat or cutting sweets periodically, because I believe that controlling what you eat is really a challenge that you have with your mind not your mouth. For someone who has just made a resolution and is not used to mastering how to maintain their weight, it may be hard to cut something out cold turkey. Make these changes gradual. If you are going to go meatless, cut carbs, or try a gluten-free approach, then try starting for a week or two. Get your mind and your body used to it first by sort of easing your way into the change or new routine. I suggest this in hopes that hopefully by midway through the year you have convinced yourself to stick to the new regiment and therefore you are that much closer to achieving the “New You”. Maybe you just decide to cut a few calories first and sub in a smoothie full of good fiber instead of eating breakfast or lunch. It’s good that you are starting somewhere, but it doesn’t have to be a drastic change to get results. Starting gradually may help you maintain your resolution throughout the rest of the year. You can always build up to a completely healthier new diet.
  3.    FIND FUN WAYS TO ADD ACTIVITY INTO YOUR DAY. Not everyone is a gym person or workout person. It’s okay! Some people just don’t enjoy it, but there are plenty of ways to still be active and break a good sweat. Call a friend, neighbor, or relative, or grab a coworker on your lunch break and go for a walk. Include stairs and hills in your stroll. Walk to music or the hottest playlist in your phone. Skiing is a great activity during the winter. Activities such as swimming and roller skating are still fun and are great ways to burn calories. If you’ve already made the resolution to become a “New You”, then you should be ready to find a little time here and there to work at it. Squeeze a little cardiovascular activity in with the one you love at the end of the day. That also counts as a fun activity that helps get your heart rate up and it burns calories.
  4.    RECRUIT A WORKOUT BUDDY OR SOMEONE WHO YOU RELY ON FOR SUPPORT. Keeping a resolution for the entire year can be tedious if you attempt to achieve it alone. There will be times when you feel unmotivated or as if you’re just not seeing results quick enough. Find someone who will help you stay motivated and support you when you feel like you want to give up. This person may be willing to actually workout with you or may just be there for encouragement so you don’t feel alone on your journey to a “New You”. We can’t always control what life throws at us and don’t know how it will affect our well-being, but having someone supporting you may help you handle life’s unexpected challenges.
  5.    BE PATIENT. Becoming a “New You” requires a little patience on your part. We are in a world of instant gratification where there are options to just go out and pay for the appearance of the perfect you, but if you’ve invested in really working on yourself then give yourself time to see the change. Don’t be in a rush! It’s a new year resolution but there are twelve months in a year. Set goals and check your progress over time. Maybe you are pleased with how your body feels once you’ve adapted the new changes or how your clothes begin to fit differently. Maybe you can see a change when you look in the mirror or when you step on the scale. All of these great results will take a little time to occur. Be patient, have faith in yourself, and try to stay committed and you will get there.

I’m rooting for you and know that you are capable of sticking to your resolution and you can achieve that “New You”. But, if for some reason you can’t maintain it, you can always take the advice of my middle child, who is just 10 years old, and make a new one. She makes it seem so simple. If you can’t maintain your new year’s resolution, then just make another one. Best of luck!

Maya Bullock is an advocate of living a healthy lifestyle and supports all things that promote health, wellness and fitness. She has a B.S. in Kinesiology with a focus on Movement Science and a Dance Minor. She currently resides in Maryland with her husband and three amazing daughters.

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