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New Beginnings

I love new beginnings.  A new year, a birthday, a new month, a new week, and a new day provide the ability to start over.  On the other hand, I don’t like New Years resolutions.  They are so limiting.  If you haven’t kept up with them the first few weeks of the year you give up and say, “I’ll try again next year.” 

Why?  According to Pauline Wallin, clinical psychologist, “One reason is that we become discouraged when results don't come quickly enough, or when we find that we are not necessarily happier because of them.”

Here are some ways to help you stay on track and accomplish the exercise goals that sounded so good in December. 

      1.  Set reasonable goals.  Can you really spend 1 hour every day at the gym or is 2-3 times a week a more attainable goal.  Is losing 4 lbs a week sustainable or is½-2 lbs more reasonable?  My long term goal is__________________________________________.  Be specific.

      2.  Plan your attack with a daily journal.  This week I will do Cardio _____ times for _____minutes, Exercise _____times for _____minutes.  Drink ____glasses of water each day.  Make your plan each week taking into account schedule. 

      3.  Monitor your progress.  Take measurements or keep a log of where you started whether it is of your weight or strength or size.  We often forget where we started. Keeping a journal is a way to record your progress in the past month.  You can then assess what you have done and decide what you need to change to reach your goals.

      4.  Make a list of reasons to stick to your goals.  When your resolve fails you will have your reasons right in front of you to help you stay on track

      5.  Make it fun.  We are more likely to continue an activity if it is fun.  Change it up.  Bring your ipod.  Exercise with a friend.  Try a new activity or sport.

      6.  Reward yourself for sticking to your program.  Treat yourself to something you enjoy.

      7.  Don’t beat yourself up.  What we call failure is just an opportunity to learn.  Don’t make such a big deal about a slip up.  It only causes guilt and we usually stop because we are trying to avoid guilt.

 Stick to it.  If you run out steam remember, every day is a new beginning!