Five tips to keep your New Year’s Resolution

More than half of Americans will set a New Year’s Resolution in the coming days, if we haven’t already.
Unfortunately, statistics also show that less than 20 percent of people will be able to keep those resolutions. Some studies have found as low as 5 percent of people keep them.
Here are five tips to help improve the odds of keeping your vow, and in turn bettering yourself in 2010. At the end of this blog, I’ll share my resolution.

1. Set an attainable resolution – A guy telling himself he wants to get washboard abs if you have a size 40 waist, or a woman saying she wants to get a figure like a super model is an unattainable goal for most. Instead, set something realistic, like vowing to lose a reasonable amount of weight or that you’ll exercise three to four times a week. Be open to adjusting your resolution some if it’s not quite working out – that’s a lot better than quitting altogether.
And don’t set resolutions that you’ve made in the past and always seem to fail – unless of course you really believe this is the year.
If you are trying to take on a really major resolution that‘s failed in the past, like quitting smoking or drinking, then this time seek professional assistance. If you’ve failed repeatedly in weight loss or other fitness goals, then maybe working with a dietician or trainer will help get you over the hump.

2. Stick with it at least two weeks – Most resolutions are lost before January is even a few weeks old. The most crucial time to keeping a resolution is the first two weeks, so be tough on yourself the first two weeks even if it’s really hard. If you can get through those two weeks you’re obviously still not home free, but it will be a lot easier.

3. Write it down – Create a gameplan to keep your resolution. Write down ideas on how you’ll be able to follow through and you can write down some of the hurdles you expect will present themselves. If you’ve set fitness goals, keeping a daily workout log will be a huge help.

4. Get a little help – Ask family and/or friends to help you. Maybe that will mean one of them will become a workout super-buddy. If you’ve set a goal to be a more positive person, then you can ask someone close to you to gently remind you when you’re not (ie: you start being a “Negative Nellie” again).

5. Reward yourself – Setting a big resolution is not easy, so if you’re able to keep it then reward yourself at various steps along the way. Tell yourself if after two months you’re still on track, you’ll buy an outfit or new workout clothes. Tell yourself early on if you can get through the whole year keeping that resolution, you’ll do something really special – like take a vacation somewhere warm to show off that newly chiseled physique.

My resolution: Keep a detailed workout log. I usually do pretty good on getting to the gym to work out and stay active overall, but feel keeping records will help me do even better.
Oh yeah, I also plan to eat better and work with my wife to cook most meals at home.

On Thursday, I’ll offer some extra tips on how to keep your fitness resolutions.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@athomefitness.com

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