Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Posted by PicasaThis picture was taken in June, 2003, 7 1/2 years ago. This is my friend Baz, we had a party to celebrate David earning his Master's degree. He thought that my hair would look good on him, so we draped it over his head for the photo.

And here I am now!

My point is that I think I look amazingly close to what I looked like way back when....Actually, I think I am aging backward.

I have been devoted to a lifestyle of hard exercise, clean eating and health for quite some time now, and it didn't start with a New Year's Resolution.

Most resolutions are health related, lose weight, get in shape, stop eating candy, stop drinking alcohol, etc.

Over half the people who make a resolution will have abandoned it by February.

I don't believe in New Year's Resolutions, never have.

It is the type of person I am, I think if something is important to you, and you are serious, you take action now, not in a week, not in a in a few days, not in some specified date in the future.

There was a time I smoked, yes me. 16 years, two packs a day. I decided to quit one day so I did. June 27, 1991. Not January 1, but the day I decided I needed to make a change. I have never had a cigarette since.

I am opinionated, stubborn, tough and I get what I want, no matter how hard I have to work for it. My husband likes to say that one of my favorite sayings is:

"It's my way or the highway"

I think he is being a little hard on me, but he must know, he has lived with me for 31 years. (No, this is not a typo, it has been 31 years...)

I know that probably 99% of the people reading this have made a New Year's Resolution, and I am not trying to discourage you at all, I am trying to make you think.

I believe that I have learned a great deal about goals and goal setting. It is imperative to stick to your goals when competing; to succeed, you cannot deviate. Your lack of adherence will show in your physique, every time.

I think one of the most difficult resolutions will be totally giving up something, anything.  You may want to consider just partaking of this "thing" less, you may find that you are better able to stick to it. Don't set yourself up to fail.

If you are one of the "resolution makers", consider some things to help make you more successful.


Step 1: Set a Goal

  • Whether or not you keep your resolution all depends on what your resolution is. You don't need to aim low, but the rules of time, space and physical reality should come into play. Don't expect to scale Everest by May if you haven't been off the couch in a decade.
  1. Make One Resolution: Dr. Richard Wiseman of Hertfordshire University recommends that you make only one resolution. Your chances of success increase if you focus your attention on one issue at a time.
  2. Choose a Goal That's Important to You: Without a strong, internal motivation, your resolution is meaningless. Choose a goal that you truly want for yourself not one dictated by family, friends or society.
  3. Be Realistic: Don't set yourself up to fail by setting an unrealistic goal. You're not going to earn a black belt in a year if you haven't been physically active since the Nixon administration, but you can start attending martial arts classes on a regular basis.
  4. Be Specific: Being specific about your goals is, in part, tied to being realistic. Break down a larger goal like "losing weight" into manageable, specific baby steps. Losing 1-2 pounds a week until you reach a goal weight set by a doctor is a healthier and more achievable goal than committing to losing 50 pounds without any kind of plan in place.
  5. Avoid Previous Resolutions: Dr. Wiseman recommends not using resolutions you've made and failed to stick with in the past. If you want to fall back on an old resolution, come at it at a different angle. If you resolved and failed to "lose 50 pounds," commit to starting a regular fitness regimen or eating more healthfully instead.
  6. Don't Wait Until the Last Minute: A study conducted by the University of Washington found that most resolutions lead to failure when the they were made at the last minute. Your resolution requires a sober-headed plan, not one fueled by the emotion of the New Year.
  7. Don't Use Absolutes: Another finding of the study conducted by the University of Washington was that resolutions fail when they are framed as, "I will never do X again." Absolutes aren't helpful; they are recipes for failure and disappointment. It's better to make a commitment to a smoking cessation program with practical steps then it is to say, "I will never smoke again."

There are more steps to this process, visit the website for the complete list.

Happy New Year, I wish you will power and happiness. See you in the gym!
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