Don’t Be a “Resolutioner” – Be a Lifer!

So, you’ve made the decision to get fit this year. You’ve told everyone about your resolution, bought some new workout gear, and you’re ready to go.

Or are you?

This is a good question to ponder as you go about starting your new routine. It’s easy to get excited, but for many, that enthusiasm  wears off as time goes on, and what was once your goal for 2014 is now your “eh, maybe next year.”

What can you do to make sure your commitment to get fit turns into a lifestyle, rather than just a passing phase? Here are a few tips to try on for size:

Make a plan. Know your schedule, know your body, and know what you want to accomplish. I’ll never be an early-morning, before work workout person – but I have the discipline to still get to the gym every night. Find the time and place that works for you. It can be a gym, a studio, or that old treadmill in your basement or DVD in your living room, whatever you know you’ll enjoy doing.

Hire a trainer. Or nutritionist. Or both. Depending on your goals, you may need to bring in the expert. Most people (myself included) don’t realize how much they don’t know until they hire a professional. I went to the gym for six years before I hired a trainer … and in six months I saw more results than I did in those six years going it alone.

Share your goal … and stick to it. Peer pressure doesn’t stop in high school. If you really want to change your life this year, don’t your food-pusher family talk you into a doughnut, or your social circle force you to skip a workout. It’s your life, and you decide what you make of it.

Have FUN! Remember when you were a kid and you used to run around the backyard? It was fun, right? It was also exercise. So whatever you choose to do, make it fun, and you’ll be more likely to stick with it.  Find a class, a running group, or a workout partner to look forward to seeing when it’s exercise time.

Diets don’t work. Sporadic exercise doesn’t work. What does? Keeping with your commitment, and embracing a healthy lifestyle. I’m not saying treats are forever off the table (I’ll admit to my own killer sweet tooth), or that you have to live in the gym – but like so many other areas of our lives, it’s a matter of maintaining balance. You get out what you put in. It will not be easy. Some days you may hurt. Some days that cake may not stop screaming your name. You will fall down. But you have to get back up. Hope to still be seeing you around the gym in March!

Tips to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

It’s that time again … New Year’s Resolutions. Gyms are about to be packed to the breaking point. Healthy eating will be more of a focus than it is throughtout the rest of the year. Everyone is going to be a better version of themselves in the coming year. Which brings me to this illustration:

Self-Care-Infographic-MSWatUSC1

So, those statistics aside, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Resolutions may be the “it” thing to do, but I don’t believe in them; I personally haven’t made a resolution in years, simply because I feel that if I want to make a change in my life, it should be whenever the desire to change is strong enough … not because the calenar tells me to.

That said … as you set out on your goals for the new year, if commitment to a healthy lifestyle is one of your resolutions, take a good look at two words: “commitment” and “lifestyle.” Because these two words are the ones that will help you to be successful not only in January, but well into the months and years to come. You have to want it, and you have to live it.

Happy 2013!

Interested in finding out more about the USC School of Social Work? You can access their website here.