Monday 29 December 2014

New Year's Resolution Link-Up

   New Year's Resolutions, as I mentioned before, can be hard to stick to, whatever they might be. To really stick to them, especially if you know right away they're going to be a challenge for you because they're out of the norm, you have to give yourself achievable goals - but why you must also realise that it's all right to modify them a month or so later if it turns out that you can either do better, or in contrast that the goal simply wasn't realistic. Losing 20lbs a month, for example, isn't a realistic goal. Losing 5lbs a month, however, is. Just as dropping four dress sizes might be your end goal, but may well not be achievable in a single year. And you have to realise that that's fine. Just because you cannot reach your end goal in a single year doesn't make it impossible, and making the same resolution three years in a row isn't a failing, either, especially when that resolution was to work towards a much larger goal. Keep your sights on what you want and be patient but dedicated.

   The best resolutions to make are those that will do you good, either physically, mentally, emotionally, or all three. Drink less, stop smoking, work out, find a job that will make you happier even if it means working part-time instead of full-time, write the book you've been putting off. Achieve or work towards the things that really matter to you to make sure you enjoy your life, no matter what others might think of them. Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. Few people make a dent in the world, after all - you can either take that to mean that if you want to make a dent, you can, or to mean that you don't have to try to and you can do something you've always aspired to instead.

   I word my resolutions very carefully so that there's no way I can fail without actually trying to, even if my true goal is actually quite a challenge, and this year my resolution is the same as last year: 'change my workout every month'. As long as I do just that and stick with each different workout for 4-5 weeks, I can't technically fail, and by sticking to it I will achieve my ultimate goal of gaining the body I want, but without the disappointment of having not lost 'enough' by the end of the year because I made an unrealistic goal, which would be typical of me. By simply changing my workout every month, I can keep myself enthusiastic about my exercise and change them just as I start to get bored of them (which is usually after 4 weeks), I can avoid plateaus and consistently lose weight because I'm changing things up enough to keep challenging my body rather than letting it adjust too much to a workout, and I can learn more and more about the body and its musculature thereby allowing me to choose more effective workouts every month and gain better results. So by making such a simple resolution I've made it easier to achieve my true goals, and I've given myself simple monthly milestones - to actually complete the workout I set myself.
   I also find that by blogging about my resolution I have, in a way, publicly committed to it, and by doing that I find it far harder to back out of, even if no one actually paid attention to that blog post. By blogging my progress, as well - in this case by introducing the new workout at the start of every month, then writing a 2-week and then 4-week update as well as a review at the end if it was a class- or DVD-based workout - I can potentially provide worthwhile content for people with a similar resolution, or for people looking to get fit themselves later on.

   Make the public commitment. Blog about your resolution, state clearly what it is you want to do, but allow yourself a month to adjust it. If at the end of January you do decide to adjust it, don't deviate from your end goal. You picked your end goal because it matters to you enough to make it 2015's resolution, but do allow yourself to adjust it in a way to make it more managable, like mine. Perhaps you might find that by being less direct, as I have, your true goal will be easier to achieve in the long-run.
   Once you've blogged about your resolution, add it to the link-up below. It's open until January 29th, and there is one simple rule to the link-up: instead of writing your name in the link-up tool, write your resolution, and in the link section provide a link specifically to your committing blog post. Others may find your resolution similar to theirs and decide to adjust their wording to the wording you've used, while others who are still undecided may decide to follow in your footsteps because you were brave enough to make a deeper resolution. Some people may even have made the same resolution a few years ago and can offer tips to help you get there.


Need help sticking to your resolution?
   I've written a blog post talking about what can help you stick to your resolutions, and while it is more weight-loss-focused, there are a lot of neutral tips that everyone can benefit from regardless of their resolution.
   I've also published a blog series called Road to Workout which talks about the very basics of getting started with weight loss, using information I've learned from experience and research, and are all things I wish I'd known from the beginning so I could have avoided certain mistakes and made quicker progress.
   Last but not least, you can also view all the workouts I did through 2014 (intro, 2-week and 4-week posts) and see if there's anything in there you'd like to try to get you started, and, if not, there are a few fitness DVD and kit reviews on the 'Fitness' page, along with links for all of the above as well as one-off articles regarding diets, 'weight-loss' products that don't work, and more.


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