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Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year Resolutions

It is interesting that people continue to make resolutions that will not be kept. Perhaps we HOPE for change, rather than do the WORK to bring change. I get it; change is hard. Here is something to help.

It takes just 30-45 days to develop a new habit. I tried it this past year. I decided it was time to start an exercise program. I have known for many years that this was necessary, but I just never got around to it. This was the year. So, in June, I started going to the gym every other day. Religiously. It helped to have a trainer for 12 sessions (a bonus for joining the gym, so cost nothing extra). I was accountable to someone. I had appointments and a loving but no excuses trainer to answer to. The sessions were taken over a 6-week period. By the end of that time, I was on my own, and the only one I would be accountable to was myself.

I began to feel I "needed" to go to the gym - rather than I "had to" go. Yes, this new habit, and the shape my body was in, were my rewards. I had a break from my usual routine for 2 weeks, when I had minor surgery. It was hard to get back, but I knew if I persisted, I would do it - and I have.

So, decide what you need to change and stick with it for 4-6 weeks. Make the change manageable so you will be successful. Don't change anything drastically. Take baby steps. If it is smoking you want to quit, smoke one less cigarettes from days 1-5, then 2 less for the next 5 days, etc.

If it's food you need to control, change one small thing about how you eat. Break up your meals into 2 and eat twice as often. Your metabolism will be primed to work harder and burn more calories, before you even take one step to exercise! Eat more slowly. Eat on smaller plates. Leave over some food (cleaning your plate won't help starving people anywhere, as your mother told you). Never skip breakfast. Your body has gone without food for 10 or more hours and begins to conserve fat and calories for survival. It doesn't differentiate between not needing food to survive and needing it. Your metabolism shuts down. Eating as soon as you get up is exactly what you need to crank up the metabolic engine.

Substitute something pleasurable for every thing you give up - and give up only one thing at a time, over a period of time, for best results in your efforts.

Get a friend to be your coach or co-conspirator. It helps to have someone to account to.

What will you change this year, and how will you do it differently this time so you will be successful?

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