January 18th, 2016

Setting a Resolution You Can Keep

We’re a few weeks into the new year, a time when many people begin to struggle with resolutions they’ve set. How are you doing?

As you might imagine, during my many years as a fitness professional I’ve heard numerous resolutions related to health and fitness. The typical ‘New Year’s resolution’ tends to be short lived and can actually set you up for failure with gigantic goals resolved to be met within tiny timeframes. It all sounds like a great idea at the time, but massive goals can be unrealistic and demotivating when you don’t see results soon enough. Shortly thereafter, you fall off the wagon and it’s back to square one setting the same goal again. How frustrating!

This yo-yo, start and stop approach to exercise and nutrition can be very detrimental both mentally and physically. Mentally, you lose motivation to get your workouts in and choose healthy meals, and so you give up because the end results seem too daunting and too far away. The physical effect on your metabolism is also unfavourable, slowing it down to reduce the amount of calories you need on a daily basis, making it harder to maintain or reduce your weight and body fat levels.

I get it, January is a fresh start! Time for positive life changes that will set you up for success for years to come. So what would be a better resolution to make on January 1 (or today!) to make changes that will be sustainable and achievable?

How about setting a New Year’s intention instead of a resolution? An intention to strive for more consistency with our health and fitness efforts. We don’t often give ourselves the latitude to set a daily intention to make positive choices and decisions toward healthier living, opting instead for the big goal/hard fast resolutions focused on a far away end result.

When considering the lifestyle changes you’d like to make, ask yourself the big question first “Is this a lifestyle change that I am going to stick with indefinitely?” If the answer is no, adjust the demand of that change to something more realistic until you are ready. Life changes should match your intentions to live a healthier life. Take small steps, week by week and month by month. While the end result may be down the road a bit, it will take your body and mind some time to adapt to the changes. By giving yourself anintention instead of a resolution, you may find you actually enjoy the journey more!

Consistency is the key to success. Small, positive steps repeated over time can create permanent lifestyle habits! Good luck!

- Gareth Nock
Gareth Nock currently teaches group fitness classes and coaches small group training at GoodLife Fitness, based in Toronto. Visit Gareth’s website here