When the ball dropped and 2015 rolled into 2016, that champagne probably had you making some hardcore resolutions and taking a blood oath to stick with them—no more carbs! Run 10 miles a day! Be in the best shape of my life! Then a week or two passes and the office orders pizza for lunch…and it’s really cold outside…and you’ve got a cold… Before you realize it, all those resolutions have been cast aside like a leftover pizza crust. So how can you get yourself back on track and stand a chance at keeping your resolutions? Try these tips to combat common excuses and stay committed to your healthiest year yet.
The resolution: “I want to be healthy.”
The excuse: “I don’t know where to start.”
The fix: You pledged to “be healthy” in 2016 but never really got around to figuring out what that actually means. Without specifics, there’s nothing for you to follow through on and your resolution is pretty meaningless. So decide what being healthy really means to you and make an action plan from there. Are you in the dark about your health from a medical standpoint? Take charge and schedule your yearly visits with your primary care physician, OB/GYN, optometrist and dentist. Want to lose weight? Research diet and exercise plans to find one that speaks to you and then write out your weekly grocery list and workouts. Dreaming of being fit enough to run a marathon? Download a training plan and seek out advice from an experienced running buddy.
The resolution: “I’m going to hit the gym every single day.”
The excuse: “I don’t have time.”
The fix: If a lofty goal like this one sounds too good to be true…it probably is. While it would be amazing to fit in that many workouts every week, life is often too hectic to make it happen. Reevaluate your goal and decide what’s really fueling it. If you just want to exercise more in general, cut yourself a little slack and commit to 2-3 days during the week and 1-2 days on the weekend. If you need the daily stress relief of exercise, be flexible with your schedule and you’ll be surprised where you’ll find the time to fit in a workout. Before work, during your lunch hour, while you walk the dog, after the kids are in bed—go through your schedule day by day and find the best time for that day’s workout, keeping in mind that it may be at dramatically different times every day and that even little bits of exercise spread throughout the day can add up. Keep a packed gym bag in the office or your car so you’re ready to work out if a hole opens up in your schedule. And don’t deprive yourself of an off day—they’re key to any healthy fitness routine.
The resolution: “I’m only going to eat lean proteins and vegetables.”
The excuse: “This is way too hard.”
The fix: You vowed that you were going to go Paleo, or Dukan, or whatever diet you think will have you lean and mean in no time. But after a week of salads and steamed veggies, you’ll be craving every starchy, sugary, carb-y treat under the sun. Though you may have the best of intentions, unless you have an iron will too, any kind of strict diet will be difficult to maintain long-term. Decide what aspect of the diet you find appealing and take smaller steps from there. If you’re trying to eat more produce, add one fruit or vegetable to every meal. Or to slash overall calories, cut back on simple carbs and alcohol and ditch dessert during the week. Little changes will make a diet less overwhelming while still having the impact you’re looking for.