We’ve entered the last week of 2010 and with it looms… New Year’s Resolutions! Most resolutions revolve around some kind of personal improvement. Most resolutions fail or don’t even get past the planning stage. Full disclosure here: I’ve had my share of failed resolutions…mostly in the area of cooking, so I won’t attempt any culinary advice, but I do have some pointers for improving health and feeling better in general.
Pre-program your resolutions for success by making them sustainable, realistic and accountable. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and then give up if your goals aren’t realistic. Most adults multi-task to various levels; work duties, home responsibilities, community involvement and, often, ferrying around children to afterschool activities. With this kind of schedule resolving to run along the trail 3x/week or use the elliptical at the gym-which is 45 minutes away won’t be sustainable. An exercise program needs to be easily accessible. With exceptionally busy schedules you may need to break up your workout over the day. Starting with a short run in the morning before work-the family dog would love this; taking a brisk walk outdoors during lunch; and doing double duty-during the afterschool activity finish off with another run.
Juggling all the demands to include some physical exercise for yourself will keep you on track (no pun intended) AND relieve stress. Be realistic with your resolutions. Say, for instance, you’d like to become more fit and want to run. Rather than having a resolution to run in the New York City Marathon choose a local 5 or 10K for your first organized run. The NYC marathon may still be something you can do—especially with 11 months to prepare, but breaking up an endpoint goal into smaller serial goals boosts your confidence and keeps you motivated. Everyone performs better when there’s some accountability. Partner up with a friend, sign up with a running club or enlist a trainer-have someone checking on you. Besides helping to get you through those times when the weather’s not so great or there’s work waiting or whatever excuse you can come up with it’s just a lot more fun!
Including a regular exercise program that you can sustain, is realistic for you at that time/place and has some accountability can be found in yoga. Yoga can be done at home, in a studio or gym. There are many different styles of yoga-one for everyone and every body. Committing to a yoga class covers accountability, but even if your yoga practice is done at home alone yoga has a way of dropping your facades and allowing for clear discernment. Yes, you might have to remind yourself of your commitment to your practice early on, but sooner than you’d think you, start to notice how much better you feel-in all aspects of life and your practice becomes a self-sustaining, reality-checking account of you. Change up Rethink Resolutions to reTHINK reSOLUTIONS and set 2011 onto a path of success.
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