New Year’s resolutions. Have you started thinking about what yours will be for 2018? Or do you prefer to choose a word that will guide your activity in the new year?
Whether you’re pro-resolutions or pro-word-for-the-year, most of us begin with the best of intentions, don’t we? We launch into them with the desire to better our lives, and our health in particular.
And then it happens. Somewhere around February or March, everything peters out, and you realize you’re yet again fumbling and not quite making the mark with your resolutions or words. I chose a word for the year about five years ago and struggled after a certain point to keep it going, so… been there, done that. 🙂 I also recall how eerily empty the gym can get by mid-February when all the people with good intentions at the start of the new year find that their “can do” and “will do” are petering out.
So, before that determination to prioritize your health gets relegated to the back burner, let’s talk about how to keep the fire burning and to be more consistent in exercising in the new year.
You need a ritual
It is said that it takes three weeks to make or break a habit. So for the next three weeks, create a routine around the specific types of exercise you intend to practice. Do them at the same time every single day. For example, take a 10-minute walk around your office building every day after lunch. I mean, who doesn’t want to get away from their desk for 10 minutes, right? 🙂 Or, decide to do a 15-minute strength training workout at home as soon as you wake up. It might mean laying out your exercise gear the night before to make sure that there’s one less excuse to get your butt into workout mode in the morning. You can then build upon those rituals, but creating a solid, doable exercise habit will make the ritual stick.
If you focus on a less challenging goal, chances are you’ll be more willing to take more significant steps toward your objective. So, say you decide to do 2 minutes of squats at your desk while you’re on hold on the phone. Or you could decide to do a 10-second wall sit when you’ve accomplished some of the harder items on your to-do list. Guess what? You’ll be more likely to exceed 2 minutes with those squats, and before you know it, a 30-second wall sit will become easy like Sunday morning for you. The key is to start simple and build upon that foundation. That way, you’ll be even more likely to keep increasing your reps or time each day.
Keep coming back
Objects at rest tend to stay at rest, and objects in motion tend to stay in motion. This is the law of kinetic energy. By this
logic, if you keep moving and driving yourself to stay active without missing your exercise time, you will continue to keep at it. Adding repetition to your resolve to get in there daily and build muscle (or increase endurance, get more flexible, energize your body, or increase your heart rate) is a winning combination and a great return on your exercise investment.
Build your exercise habit
As soon as you tell yourself that exercising is as necessary (if not more so!) as your other habits, you’ll find that you can’t afford to miss working out. Your commitment to showing up for your zumba class will pay dividends, not only physically but mentally and emotionally as you grow stronger in your resolve to build the best possible version of you. As your results begin to manifest as more muscle tone, less flab, more energy, and less apathy, you’ll want to build even more on that exercise habit and incorporate more fitness at a higher level. Your body will thank you for it!
Developing a lasting exercise habit is so vital for your health and well-being. If you take the time to nurture this ritual each day, you’ll find that you won’t want to miss your exercise, and the stunning results will keep on coming.
What’s your favorite type of exercise? I’m a huge fan of walking, yoga, and rebounding on a mini trampoline.