Welcome to 2017! It has come in with a roar in so many sectors and into the lives of many who were not quite prepared for such dramatic changes and shifts in weather, traffic issues, and lots more. One of the constants of the new year is that people often decide on various commitments, changes or resolutions that each person will implement. This is particularly relevant post-holiday because of the not-so-free ride of celebratory parties and events that encourage you to indulge in food, drink and fun times while healthier habits are left in the dust for a relatively short period of time. The time you realize it, is when you find your favorite dress or pair of jeans don’t fit quite so well. Or that the person you see in the mirror looks like they haven’t slept well and maybe that face has an odd pallor. The quick (and not-so-easy) answer to this situation is to restart your fitness regimen. Or if your fitness commitment was left in the dust some time ago, give it another shot.
At this time of year, I am typically posting my thoughts on what changes you can make that range from home organization to adjusting eating habits and tweaking your workouts. This year is a bit different because we have a guest post from Lashaun Dale, fitness expert and yoga pro. Dale is Editor in Chief of http://www.24life.com and Vice-President, Content + Programming at 24 Hour Fitness. Lashaun is offering us her tips on how to create New Year’s resolutions (in fitness and for life-in-general) that you can really achieve.
Why You Need to Rewrite Your New Year’s Resolutions-
and How to Do It!
By Lashaun Dale, Vice President, Content & Programming, 24 Hour Fitness
This business about New Year’s and fitness resolutions is a funny one. It arrives with such dramatic anticipation. Falling on the heels of the most wonderful, yet overly bustling, season of the year; we had little time for rest or renewal, let alone a reflection to look back or within. Yet we move forward charging into the new year with fireworks and hope for that fresh start as a moment to reboot our energies, reshape our bodies, and to change our lives. We may have spent the last six weeks gleefully and guiltlessly throwing all concepts of health out the door with late night parties, end of the year assignments and decadent holiday drinks and desserts, and yet confidently wake up extra early come New Year’s Day and expect to commit to our new austerity at the strike of the clock.
Setting New Year’s resolutions is a peculiar practice that dates back historically across cultures and continents and currently is a practice in the modern world. At least 40% of the U.S. population sets resolutions each year. Goals are set with elaborate rituals, bullet journals, vision boards, and the latest digital apps loaded with bells, and reminders, incentives and inspiration all intended to keep us on track. For some of us, the practice works and produces a successful outcome. About 8% of those who set a new year’s goal or resolution, achieve the goal. The rest of us walk away traumatized with another new story about why we couldn’t keep our promises to ourselves and a deflated sense of self efficacy. Too often, we moralize success or failure, when the start of our year and the happy or unhappy ending of our goals and dreams is a matter of deliberation with desire. How you start will dictate how you end.
Regardless of your past relationship with your fitness resolutions, we can all do better by our goals when approaching them differently–with the right spirit, the right strategy, and a dose of sanity.
SET SPIRITED GOALS
Every great deed or binding agreement is informed with a powerful intention. The attitude or spirit in which you set your goal and how you define it will dictate your outcome. It holds not only the why behind the goal, but also the vision and energy that will carry you forward. It is critical to take the time and define the experience of living in the presence of your goal once achieved. You must go there. Take time and imagine what it feels like, looks like, sounds like, to achieve this new reality. What are you like living that goal? Once you have that realized sensation within yourself, your goal is simple to make. It is just a decision to bring it forward into your life. How do you know if your goal has spirit? You jump into motion without the need for any external motivation.
Tony Robbins once explained it best. “A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken action. No action; you haven’t truly decided.”
SET YOUR STRATEGY
Get strategic about achieving goals. This is not the same thing as discipline, although it may look like it from a distance. Strategy goes beyond smart goals—although being specific, measured, attainable, relevant and time bound is useful—it is not enough. Strategy requires self-inquiry. It is a problem-solving exercise and future casting challenge all wrapped up into one glorious opportunity. Ask the question: “Why don’t I have the goal already, why is this not already true for me?” Answer the question, truthfully, and then get creative about what you need to learn, do, stop doing, and/or change about your day that will produce a different result, and enjoy it along the way. Find the easiest way forward and get started.
Establish what behavioral expert and author of the book Hooked Nir Eyal describes as your MEA, your minimum enjoyable action. It is critical to realize that success at pretty much any fitness, health or life goal comes down to creating productive habits. And as a human, we don’t like to do things we don’t enjoy and we avoid things that we hate. To make a new a habit or behavior into one that you will do almost without thinking or trying, you must make it easier. You must answer the question: “How can I achieve this and have fun trying?” Anticipate what is going to get in your way and crowd it out. Knowing that you love to eat ice cream at night after working out but still want to look great for your wedding, consider how might you deal with this? What can I do that is so easy, at least moderately pleasurable, or at least look or feel like an indulgent treat instead? These are not one size fits all solutions. They are personal and simply require a strategy.
@EPIC Stock Media
SECURE YOUR SANITY
January is a clean slate, and it is up to you what you do to protect the potential of a new year. This means being selective with your resolutions. Choose and commit to one must-make-happen spirited goal, or at the most choose one goal in each of the key domains of your life, e.g. health, career, relationships and spirit, finances. This is a practice touted by some of the most productive, inspiring and happy individuals across history and living today. Single-minded focus, backed by strategy and routines and rituals that support the success of your major goal, is key to your sanity. Skip the long list of goals this year. Keep it simple and succinct. Our lives are already full, and creating anything new requires something else to go away. Set the goal, achieve it and then set another challenge. This is the way of a goal warrior.
Do your goals pass the test:
Is it spirited enough to move you into action?
Do you have faith in the strategy to?
Will you have to pay the price of your sanity to achieve it?
Ask better questions and get better results, and in doing so, the business of new year’s resolutions becomes less funny and far more fun.
Bio of: Lashaun Dale
Editor-in-Chief, 24Life Magazine, Yoga Instructor, Proud Mom
Lashaun Dale loves yoga and fitness and finds magic in movement, music and mobs of people. She holds degrees in International Relations, Philosophy and Applied Anthropology, as well as an MPH from the School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York. A regular contributor to fitness magazines and consumer news programs, she also has two decades of group fitness programming experience, having spent two decades in leadership at Equinox and now serving as VP of Content and Programming at 24 Hour fitness.
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LA-Story.com would like to express our appreciation for this great post from 24 Hour Fitness’ Lashaun Dale! At this time of year, it’s difficult to carve out time for a guest post- and we value your time.
I personally found it insightful and useful! I have used these tips for motivation over the holidays to keep me on track with my fitness and health goals. While my eating was a bit off-track, my fitness workouts stayed in place!
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