Got health goals?

It’s that time of year–time to look back, assess how we did this year with our goals, and reset and refocus for next year.

For most people, New Year’s resolutions will include some sort of fitness or health goals. According to Men’s Fitness magazine, 66% of Americans will set a fitness-related resolution this year. Sadly, 73% of those people will give up on their goals within 6 weeks. That’s approximately around Valentine’s Day (I have no reason for mentioning that other than to prove that I can do a little bit of math.)

Anyway, why do we give up so quickly on those goals? I think we would all agree that health and fitness should be a top priority in our lives. And setting a goal to lose weight, exercise more, eat less or eat “better” are certainly goals worth pursuing. So what’s the problem?

I think it is deeper than being motivated and/or disciplined to stick with it. We can all usually motivate and discipline ourselves to do something for a short period of time. But when the novelty wears off, then it becomes harder to maintain the motivation and discipline.

To make it stick, we need to make it a habit. This requires intentionality and discipline. Consistency and commitment. Maybe it’s getting out of bed in the morning and doing some push-ups and squats while we wait for the coffee to brew. Maybe it’s using the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible. Maybe it’s parking at the farthest edge of the parking lot to increase the walking distance to the office and back.

Whatever it is, start small so that you can have some quick, easy wins. With these wins will come the desire and excitement to increase the amount of time or the reps or the difficulty. And before you know it, maybe you’ll have lost 5-10 pounds and feel more energetic. And then your coworkers will be asking you why you always park so far away from the office. Maybe you’ll look at them with a blank look, and you’ll realize that you no longer consciously think about it. And you’ll say to them, “It’s just a habit.”

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