Why New Year Resolutions Rarely Work + 3 Tips to Stick to Yours
Nowadays, we believe that no matter where we are in life we can still start again, and this is true! However, when it comes to New Year Resolutions, we tend to treat every day like a Monday. Days turn into weeks, which turn into months, and before you know it you've gone through an entire year putting off your goals until "tomorrow."
If this sounds like you, don’t worry! For every person who sets a goal for the New Year, only two-thirds of them will stick to it. By the time January rolls around, we realize we’ve come up with every excuse available to avoid getting things done. This is especially true when it comes to taking care of our health, and it could be that we aren’t doing things for the right reasons.
It’s completely natural to want to look our best, but there are plenty of other reasons that go beyond our superficial needs.
1. Your Life Expectancy is Directly Affected by Your Fitness Goals
It's true that our time on this Earth is fleeting, anything can happen at any time, but we do our best not to focus on our personal hourglass. It is somewhat of a scary concept, but we should still consider the idea that taking care of our physical health contributes to how long we'll live.
Men especially begin to see quite a few health scares as they get older, and regular physical activity reduces the chances of acquiring diseases such as colon cancer, diabetes, and heart disease by twenty-five to thirty percent! This alone should be good enough a reason to motivate you to get off the couch and get moving!
You don’t have to be an Olympian, and you’ll probably end up quitting early if you try to go from couch potato to Arnold Schwarzenegger within a seven to fourteen day period. Set a goal to work out three times a week, this gives your body time to acclimate, and you’ll be more likely to stick to a regiment that gives you some wiggle room between work, family, and everything else you’ve got going in that busy schedule.
2. Take Care of Your Joint and Muscular Health
Right now, you’re able to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Someday this may not be the case, especially if you neglect to prevent injuries. However, practicing regular stretching and core exercises like yoga help to protect and encourage good joint health. Some of us are genetically predisposed to develop degenerative diseases, but increasing the strength and flexibility of your muscles also helps to relieve the pressure that is placed on our back and hips as the years go by.
No one wants to reach their sixties and seventies only to need assistance with everything from getting dressed to walking down the staircase. In addition to daily stretching, you must incorporate some kind of resistance training in your day to day life.
After a couple of weeks of lifting, you’re going to be sore; you’ll get used to it eventually, as long as you don’t quit! This is part of the reason regular stretching is paramount, and it helps to reduce the soreness you experience when your muscles are filled with micro-tears and lactic acid. It's tempting to want to give yourself another day to feel better, but that can quickly turn into two days, to a week, and before you know it you aren't exercising anymore.
Even if you hate yoga, take ten to fifteen minutes every single day to dedicate solely to stretching and set up a wellness program with your local chiropractor. If you're always in pain and struggling with tight muscles and overworked joints, you'll lose motivation pretty fast.
3. Keep Track of Your Progress
The truth is, wishing you had someone else’s body isn’t going to get you very far. You aren’t them, and your body may not ever look like theirs no matter how much you bulk up or slim down. Using celebrities and other people as a "goal" is both unrealistic, and once you realize your shape is entirely different from theirs, you're going to become discouraged.
Whether you're running or weight lifting, get a planner and write down where you are, and where you want to be. Maybe it takes you fifteen minutes to run a mile, and you want to be able to run it in nine minutes by the end of the year. Increase your bench press, take a few inches off your waist or add inches to your biceps. Just make sure your goals are measurable, track them frequently.
At some point, you're going to plateau, and you'll want to give up. When this happens, you can look back on where you started, see how far you've come, and how long it took you to get there.
This doesn’t mean you should spend every day in fear of dying or getting older, but when you start getting fit for the right reasons, it’s much easier to stick to the plan. The physical standards for what is considered attractive are forever changing, and we never know what tomorrow will bring. So do your best to conquer your goals in the here and now, even when you don’t feel like it. You’ll thank yourself someday!
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