Theres something about a new year that gets us thinking that we will be more resolute, more determined, than weve been before.
A new year gives us a new chance at change, and hope for a healthier and happier year.
My challenge to you as we begin this new year is this: Be determined. Be determined to be healthy and fit. Be determined to make better choices, eat better, and exercise more. And be determined enough that when things get tough, and you just dont think you can do it (whatever that it is), believe in yourself and stay strong.
I also challenge you to really think about what a New Years resolution means and how to stick with it.
Here are some tips:
• Set a specific, reasonable goal. Simply saying I want to get in shape this year is not enough. Instead, make your goals something you can track as you go. Whether its be able to walk 2 miles without stopping or finish my first half-marathon or be able to complete an kickboxing class at the gym without hurting, make your goal as specific as possible.
• Write it down. Putting your resolution in writing and making it available for others to see (maybe on the fridge or on your Facebook page) will solidify your goal in your mind. I know when I began writing about my goal of running a marathon, having made my intention public made it harder to give up. When I was sore and tired, I stuck to my training because I knew there were people out there tracking my progress.
• Find a partner or group. Ive written before about how important it is to have friends that can share your fitness journey with you. When you work out with a group or partner, you are forced to become accountable for showing up for every workout.
• Watch your nutrition, not your weight. Dont worry about your weight as much as you do things like your energy level, the way your body feels and how healthy you are. Make wise food choices, but ones that are reasonable. You cant say: Im cutting out all sweets. Why? Because you and I both know thats not realistic. If you cut down your sweets to a once-a-week treat on the weekend, then you have something to look forward to as you get through your week.
• Dont diet! Yes, you need to learn to restrict and improve what you eat. But following a diet just doesnt seem to work. Just like a runner cant go from the couch to a marathon in a few weeks, you cant go from poor eating habits to good ones that quickly, either. Make small changes to how much and what you eat. Get better as you go. And before you know it, you wont need to go on a diet.
Considering joining a team?
If you followed my column last year, you know I joined Team in Training and ran the San Luis Obispo Marathon. Team in Training is a charitable organization in which people train for long-distance events and raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The organization is having an informational meeting Jan. 9 at On the Run in McHenry Village, 1700 McHenry Ave., Suite A13, Modesto.
Reach Jim Silva at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @mission26point2.