Tips to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions
By Jessica Herrington
It’s January… and you know what that means. It means you dig out that old gym bag from the back of your closet; it means you dust off those running shoes and rescue your bike from being used as a clothes hanger; it means you Google “healthy eating” and you resolve to plan out a nutritious meal plan for each week; it means you stock up on fruits, vegetables, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and a stack of fitness magazines. And although you start off your quest for a “new” you with as much vigour as an Olympic sprinter, towards the end of the month that effort often starts to dissipate. So how can you maintain that enthusiasm and ensure you reach your goals? Make a resolution to stick to your resolution by following these five simple guidelines:
1. Be specific
It’s easy to say you want to start eating healthier or you want to lose some weight, but being vague makes it easy to stray from your goals by giving you too much leeway. You’ll find yourself justifying eating that plate of nachos because it had tomatoes in it or because you took the stairs instead of the elevator. Try being specific about what you want to achieve, such as saying you want to incorporate vegetables in every meal or you want to be able to run at a steady pace for 30 minutes straight.
2. Be realistic
One surefire way to fall short of your goals is to make them unattainable. Are you really going to give up eating all your favourite foods? Are you really going to lose 20 pounds in a month? Be honest with yourself when setting your goals, otherwise you’ll end up feeling discouraged, deprived, and resentful.
3. Track your progress
This will help keep your goals in sight and keep your motivation up. Try not to focus so much on the ultimate goal, but rather on the little achievements you make along the way. For example, rather than focusing on being able to do 20 reps in total or being able to lift 50 pounds, focus on powering through five more reps than before or on lifting 10 more pounds.
4. Set deadlines
Deadlines create a sense of urgency and help to ensure that your goals remain a priority. Consult a trainer when it comes to setting a timeframe for things like losing a specific amount of weight or for being able to run a marathon. They can evaluate your fitness level and help you plan your goals accordingly.
So you pigged out on a bag of chips, skipped breakfast, or slept in instead of working out. No big deal! As long as it doesn’t become a regular occurrence, don’t get too angry with yourself. Let yourself indulge guilt-free once in a while, and don’t obsess over the occasional slip. It’s important not to feel deprived.
Here is a list of places in the in the Danforth area to help you reach your health and wellness goals in the New Year:
Riverdale Fitness: 835 Danforth Avenue, (416) 406-1944
Extreme Fitness: 635 Danforth Avenue, 1-800-637-9045
Curves for Women: 1359 Woodbine Avenue, (416) 467-7557
Frog’s Gym: 909 Pape Avenue, (416) 778-4332
The Big Carrot Natural Food Market: 348 Danforth Avenue, (416) 466-2129
Nature’s Health Food: 3003 Danforth Avenue, (416) 686-3959