Making a New Year’s Resolution that Works

WAccording to statisticbrain.com, 45% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions.  The #1 New Year’s Resolution for 2014? Lose Weight.  (Followed by get organized; spend less, save more; enjoy life to the fullest; stay fit and healthy).

No real surprise there. Every January 1st gyms are full of people who want to lose weight.  By the end of February, the crowds are gone.  Again, statistics show that only 8% of people are actually successful in achieving their resolutions. Why? How do you stick to your resolution?

First, experts say you need to make good resolutions. Follow the SMART goals strategy. Make sure you are setting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.  For example, rather than say “this year I want to lose weight.”  Set a resolution that is SMART: This year, I will lose 12 pounds – 1 lb. per month.

Next, come up with a plan of how you will achieve your goal. If you are trying to lose weight, rather than trying to stick to a diet (which never work because most are not sustainable and are too constrictive) come up with a list of foods you will eliminate from your diet.  Here are five that are guaranteed to help you shed pounds if eliminated: soft drinks, white bread, sugar, cheese, and fried foods.  Anyone trying to lose weight knows that what you eat is half the battle (actually more than half) but you still need to incorporate exercise.

If you are new to exercise – start small. Set a goal to walk two miles a day (that’s roughly 30 minutes).  Try a yoga class. Everyday Yoga has classes Monday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 8:30am. Classes are an hour long, open to all levels and are just $5 per class with no registration or membership fees.  Classes are held at the PCT Centre at 115 Clarksville Street (next to That Guys Coffee downtown Paris).

Or join a gym.  Snap Fitness offers 24 hour access without staff, or another choice is Anytime Fitness, also open 24 hours, but fully staffed during the day.  They offer group classes like boot camp, spinning and a combination Pilates/strength training class as well as personal training.  For more information and class times, visit their website at anytimefitness.com.

Scientists say that visualizing success can be a powerful motivator. So focus on what you want to look like daily. The buddy system is another proven way to have a better chance at keeping your resolutions. Sharing your goal with a buddy can not only make it more fun to go workout, but that person can also help keep you accountable.

It’s a new year, make it a good one.

By Jenny Wilson

Jenny Wilson is a certified yoga instructor and owner of Everyday Yoga. She also teaches Pilates and strength training classes at Anytime Fitness.

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