Check in with your New Year's Resolution

January 9, 2008 6:01:48 PM PST
Now that the first few months of 2004 have slipped away, it's a good time to make sure your resolution to stay physically active has not slipped away as well. Resolutions have a tendency to be too lofty, making it difficult be successful. Regardless of your progress to date, try to focus on small intermediate goals such as the following: 1. Take Small Steps. Re-word vague resolutions like "I will exercise more" to something more concrete, like "I will go for a walk at lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays and work out in the gym Mondays and Fridays."

2. Be Creative. Find ways to exercise while accomplishing other goals, such as walking to do errands that are close to your home or office. To be active and spend more time with your family, try walking with family members. If your goal is to make new friends, try taking classes where you will meet other people who share your same exercise interests.

3. Be Realistic. Re-examine your workout times to make sure it is convenient. If you are not a morning person, do not plan to work out early in the morning or you'll just be setting yourself up for failure. Make sure your goals are reasonable so that you can reach them one by one without feeling overwhelmed.

4. Anticipate Roadblocks. Things like weather and illness can prevent you from sticking to your plan, so be prepared with alternate plans for these situations. All is not lost if you miss a day or two because of unavoidable situations. The trick is to get back on track as quickly as possible.

5. Build a Support System. Get the support of your family, friends, co-workers, and YMCA members and staff. Successful long-time exercisers say that have a personal network of supporters helps them stick with it.

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