Have you ever noticed that whenever a new year rolls around, there are non-stop television, radio, and internet ads for gym memberships? Or that your physical and email mailboxes are filled with “exciting limited offers” on expensive trend diets and meal plans? The fact is companies try to capitalize on people’s New Year resolutions of diet and exercise during the early months of a new year. To avoid the traps and quick ends to resolutions that we often suffer, consider a more maintainable approach such as this:
Choose goals that are sustainable
Treat your healthier life as a marathon and not a sprint. You are unlikely to find long-term success if you haven’t regularly exercised in years, then set a sudden goal of working out 5 hours every single day. Instead, create a plan to stay active by thinking of physical activities or sports that you enjoy, and making a regular habit of participation. Examples may be a running group, a weekly CrossFit group, or even a recreational adult kickball team.
Talk with a nutritionist
We’re all guilty of going to extremes when it comes to dieting. From trying the latest fad diet to the drastic step of starving ourselves, the end results are often short-lived. And worse, there are very serious health risks if you starve yourself or deprive yourself of necessary nutrients. A nutritionist can help educate you on food and your body, and developing healthy eating patterns and food choices.
Choose goals that are affordable
There is no sense in trying to improve one aspect of your life in exchange for the risk of financial ruin. As committed as your are at the beginning of the year to being more fit, be mindful not to over-commit your money. For example, beware of expensive long-term contracts for memberships or personal training packages that you stop using but continue to pay for. Or worse, fancy workout equipment that you have to finance, but end up unused. Free trials to gyms, workout groups, and studios are your friend.