The number one resolution people make in January is to improve health and fitness. And you definitely see it – the gym suddenly gets busier, we see fellow moms meeting up in their running shoes, “gluten-free” is plastered all over the place. But often by March or February the gyms empty out again, and our hopes and dreams are dashed. We give up. And sadly, it happens every year. What can you do differently this year? How can 2014 be the Year of Fitness?
- Set a specific goal If you set your goal to “feel better,” after a couple weeks you will feel better, and then feel justified in throwing in the towel. Instead decide how many pounds you’d like to lose or how many push-ups you’d like to be able to do. And be realistic about this – aim for 5 or 10 pounds instead of 50! Once you reach your smaller goal, you’ll be motivated to keep going.
- Schedule it in Look at your calendar every week and mark down when you’re doing what. If you don’t schedule it, it just won’t happen! Things come up and moms are really busy, so if you want to get in 3 weight training sessions a week, then plan for it every week. And make it a priority.
- Log your activity You want to see if you’re actually doing what you intend to. I suggest a simple table like this one: Exercise Log and checking off the days that you workout or eat well. It has the same effect as list-making – you feel like you’re getting there (and you are!) and that’s motivating!! It’s also great to have a record of what you’ve done when you make progress, so you know what caused it, and can do more of it.
- Give yourself a deadline Set a date to reach your goal and put it in your calendar. If it’s to lose 10 lbs in 3 months, then you know your mini-goal is to lose about 1 lb a week. And you can better track your progress.
- Follow a mostly good diet Don’t over-do it with a strict diet. Pick small, sustainable changes that you can do easily. And aim for a mostly good diet, focusing on protein, vegetables and some fruits and whole grains. Say yes to the occasional, but small, treat! Otherwise you’ll feel deprived, crave all kinds of junk, not to mention being crabby!
- Find a gym buddy Working out with someone with similar goals can keep you on track and will definitely help get you out of bed at 6 am instead of hitting that snooze button! Just make sure your workouts are focused and intense enough to get you both to your goals.
- Allow some setbacks Don’t strive for perfection. You’re a busy mom and things will come up. Just allow for a bad week here or there, and then by all means get back on track as soon as you can! As Zig Ziglar says, “It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you respond to what happens to you that makes all the difference.” That’s why we plan every week to succeed.
And I’m sure if you follow these simple steps, you will succeed in making this year the best one yet! Happy Fit ’14!!