One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions for 2012 will, no doubt, be around physical activity. This is inspired by the increasing problem of obesity and the concerns of health issues. However, setting resolutions are not always helpful. It might be wiser to set goals with short steps to help you achieve them. Resolutions tend to be rigid and sometimes unachievable.
The New Year’s resolution: ‘I will go to the gym 4 times a week’ will fail as soon as time does not allow for the 4 gym sessions or as soon as you decide the gym is boring or you find you’re so tired you can’t face going to the gym. Goals such as: ‘I will get into the exercise habit’ allows you to try an exercise and if you don’t get on with it change it to another exercise until you find something you enjoy. By following this method you can keep site of the goal even if the route to it proves too difficult. Going from no exercise to doing exercise 4 times a week is a dramatic change and one that many would find hard to stick with. With the small steps you could introduce one session a week for a couple of weeks then increase it to two sessions as your fitness improves. This makes goals more realistic and achievable. It is also important to make the goals a bit challenging – goals that are too easy will also be hard to maintain.
Once you have chosen your goals write them down. Tell your family and friends; put them in your diary so you see them each day. Keep focussed and reward yourself for sticking to the plan. But remember change takes time. Once you start to feel fitter you will find that this progress itself becomes the reward. And enjoy the feeling of getting fitter in 2012.