7 Tips for Making a Resolution That Sticks

(Published Jan 2, 2015)

So you’ve made yourself a promise. You told your friends and family, this is the year! You’re going to cut back on sweets, eat more vegetables and work out every day! That mini marathon you just signed up for is just a warm-up for the Tough Mudder, Spartan series race and the USAT Ironman championships in Hawaii you plan to qualify in your age group!

You’re in good company. A lot of us make promises that are more than just stretch goals, possibly in the category of unrealistic. So how do you make a resolution that you can actually keep? Here are some tips to keep on track this year and make your resolution a revolution!

  • Crawl before you walk. Depending on your current level of physical activity, you might need to start slowly. The more sedentary you have been, the slower you should take things. You need to allow your body time to adapt to these changes as well as getting used to a new routine. Even more active individuals that jumpstart a new routine put themselves at risk for any number of injuries.
  • Don’t set the same goals that you have failed previous years. Chances are you won’t succeed with those goals this year either. Did you choose something too vague, something you really didn’t enjoy? Try to be creative but realistic at the same time.
  • Be specific with you goals. Just to “lose weight” or “exercise more” are too generic. Better goals are “reduce the number of sugared drinks per week to 5” or “take the stairs at work,” “walk 15 min each evening when you get home.”
  • Reflect on your goals daily. Keep track of how often you are meeting your goals. One of the ways to see results can be on pen and paper, in your calendar or via any number of apps for a smartphone. Each mini accomplishment is one step closer to your goal.
  • Get social support. See if your goals align with close friends or family members. Keep each other accountable via social media, texting and phone calls to rise to the challenge and share in the enjoyment of success!
  • Don’t fret over slow change. There are a myriad of factors that contribute to weight gain/loss and overall wellbeing. But if you do notice some small changes, make sure to note their importance! Lost 10 lbs? That’s significant! Next time you are at the fitness center, grab a pair of 5lb dumbbells and walk for 5 min with them. That’s what your body used to carry!
  • Don’t fall into quick fixes. The internet is a wonderful source of information, but it’s also a pitfall of misinformation. There is a reason to consult a doctor when we get to feeling severely ill. Likewise, it’s best to consult professionals for diet and exercise changes.

Feeling up to the challenge yet? 2015 has already begun but the goals made today are just stepping stones for the rest of our lives. Best of luck in health!

Todd Landwehr JCC Indy Senior Vice President of Health and Fitness Services