The New Year is seen as one of the best times to make large lifestyle changes. Starting a new workout plan, eating healthier, or even just being more mindful of how you treat your body are very popular resolutions. But everyone also knows that resolutions don’t always make it out of January. There’s never a wrong time to make a lifestyle change, and New Year’s isn’t always the perfect time to make your change. But, a new year can become the motivation you need to take the step and make the change.
CHANGE DOESN’T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT
Contrary to popular belief, it’s almost impossible to notice permanent change overnight. It takes 21 days to make an action a habit, and even once it becomes a habit, it is incredibly easy to fall out of a habit. Making a work out part of your daily routine is something that takes discipline, time, and dedication. But, if you keep your view forward and think of the final outcome, you will be able to work your way towards long term success.
WRITE IT ALL DOWN
One way to make a large lifestyle change is to keep yourself honest. One super helpful way to do that is to record everything you do. If you’re a list person, write down what you need to accomplish and cross it off when you’re done. Especially when it comes to eating right, it’s important to keep track of what goes into your body. That handful of candy may seem harmless, but it adds up when you have some everyday. Looking back at what you ate over the day can help you see where easy changes can be made. I recommend the app ‘MyFitnessPal” or just writing down what you’re eating in a small notebook.
CHOOSE ONE LARGE GOAL, BUT RECOGNIZE YOU WILL TAKE SMALL STEPS TO GET THERE
Saying “I want to lose 50 pounds this year” is a large goal. It will take diligence each and every day to get there. It is easy to lose sight of your end goal when all you have is just that. Make small goals each week or even each day, such as “I will go to the gym 4 times this week” or “I will avoid fast food this week”. Writing down and following these goals will make the work towards your large goal seem easier, and allow you to focus on what is right in front of you.
FEED OFF OF YOUR SUCCESS, BUT DON’T GET TOO USED TO IT
At times, when you start to lose weight, it flies off. When you have extra pounds to lose, it can be easy to lose a pound or more a week. Use this success to drive yourself towards your end goal. But, you cannot rely on it to always be that easy. As your body acclimates to your new lifestyle, it will become harder to lose weight.
Sometimes it is hard to vocalize your goals. It is a great idea to find someone who you know will believe in and support you, and allow them to hold you accountable. Who you tell is a personal choice, and an important choice. Pick someone you know will motivate you and keep you honest, but will not bring you down while doing so. Allowing someone else to help you on your journey is a great way to find motivation as well as to keep yourself in check.
ABOVE ALL, BE ABLE TO FORGIVE YOURSELF
Your success is in your own hands. And sometimes you may not be able to keep up with it. There will be days, weeks, even months that life doesn’t allow you to make the changes you are trying so hard to make. Do not let this get you down. Forgive yourself, and move on. If you spend time beating yourself up for eating poorly over a holiday or not working out when work is too crazy, you could fall into a rut and lose sight of your overall goal. Take some time to reset your goal if needed, and set a small goal to get yourself back on track.
The YWCA hosts 8 aquatics classes a week, has a fitness center and gym, and also has open and lap swimming times. Our facilities are open to members, and classes are available at a low cost for both members and nonmembers. If you’re looking to make a positive life change, and make some great friends out of it, come check us out! We would love to give you a tour!