It’s December and we all keep the same theme for resolution: health and fitness, right? And if you’re like most people, chances are this is not going to be the year that you stick to those resolutions. According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, of the 62 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions, 71 percent of them will not follow through. In fact, only 8 percent of the resolution makers will achieve their goals by the end of any given year. So why do so many people fail to succeed?
MAKE A PLAN
It is no surprise that the number one resolution is to lose weight. We can all stand to be a little healthier. Whether it is eating healthier or working out, the key is to have a plan. Without a plan we are much more likely to fail since we tend to fall back into the same habits we are trying to break.
It’s much easier to return to our typical routine of takeout pizza or an evening of TV than it is to make a nutritious meal, attend a fitness class or take a walk in your neighborhood. Eventually, that plan becomes your new habit, thus converting your sedentary lifestyle to an active one.
SET REALISTIC GOALS
For your plan to succeed, your goals must be tangible and realistic. Rather than planning to lose weight in 2016, plan to lose five pounds over a specific period of time. If you don’t set realistic, measureable goals to which you hold yourself accountable, you will not be able to maintain the dedication and determination needed for success. In fact, I recommend that you set short-term achievable goals rather than long-term goals that require superhuman dedication to achieve. Build upon your short-term successes and you will be setting yourself up for tremendous long-term benefits.
Setbacks are to be expected. We all get sick or overeat on a holiday. The key is to get right back on track and keep moving forward toward your goals. Success is determined by consistency, not by quick bursts of determination. You can also hire a Certified Personal Trainer to help you set your goals, program a regimen to reach your goals, and keep you motivated during the sticking points.
The New Year is only weeks away. Be sure to make 2016 the year you make a fitness resolution and actually stick to it. Dust off your workout gear, set realistic, measurable goals, and begin your path to better health and well-being.
Kevin Branco is a personal trainer and the owner of Main Street Gym in Hellertown. He is a 2004 graduate of Saucon Valley High School–where he lettered in football, track and field and basketball–and a 2008 graduate of Kutztown University, where he was a PSAC scholar-athlete and was awarded four varsity letters. Kevin has been recognized with The Morning Call’s Best of the Valley-Personal Trainer award (2014). He was recently inducted into the Lehigh Valley Sports Hall of Fame.