Health & Wellness, Home Life December 17, 2018

New Year's Resolutions: Make 2019 Your Fittest Year Yet

Amanda S., Editor

As 2018 draws to a close, it's time to start making those 2019 New Year's resolutions! There is just something about the promise of a new year that gets people motivated to improve their lives. From small self-care promises to physical, emotional and professional overhauls, what lifestyle changes will make your list?
One common New Year's resolution that seems to make its way onto everyone's list is improving one's health and well-being. This could be to lose weight, pay more attention to eating habits, get more sleep or reduce stress levels.

Steps to Help You Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

1: Write them down. Writing down your resolutions helps you to envision yourself living your goal. Whether they're about your physical fitness or your emotional and mental wellness, seeing them written down keeps you focused.
2: Use the SMART goal system. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. Use these keywords to create a plan that works for you. If you rarely exercise or you struggle to find time to work out, scheduling hours of exercise daily won't make sense for you. Start slowly, like taking a 15-minute walk on your lunch hour or getting up earlier for a 20-minute yoga routine. Don't underestimate the power of baby steps.
3: Take action steps. For every resolution, list some concrete action steps that you will help you create momentum. For example, if you love to swim and want to incorporate it into a fitness routine, resolve to call your local indoor pool for their free swim schedule or if you want to manage stress better, look around for community meditation or spiritual groups.
4: Reward yourself. Forming new habits takes time and patience. Results don't come immediately. This is one of the pitfalls when it comes to New Year's resolutions. When we get discouraged, we let those resolutions slip. This is why celebrating small victories is vital. Maybe you didn't get to your 10-pound weight loss goal yet, but you did go to every one of your scheduled fitness classes this week. The important thing is to choose healthy rewards that contribute to your wellness, such as tickets to a local show or a new book, and stay away from ones that will set you back.

Enlist Help

Some people can keep themselves driven without much, if any, outside support. That said, some people benefit from having a trusted fitness buddy to help keep them on track. If you need someone next to you encouraging you to stay on the elliptical for just five more minutes or to forgo dessert, ask a friend to be there for you. Promise to call him or her if you're feeling unmotivated and ask that friend to pump you up when you're feeling overwhelmed or lazy.

Find Fitness In Your Own Backyard

People tend to turn to the Internet to find fitness tips and resources and that can be a good place to start. Although, they often forget the resources available in their own neighborhoods. Your community can offer a wide variety of programs, including ones tailored to youths and seniors. From fitness groups (e.g., community walking/jogging groups, swimming at the community pool) to nutrition and wellness resources, contact your local community center to see what kind of information it can provide to help you make those 2019 New Year's resolutions stick!
For more information on Health & Wellness products available to purchase for your community, browse the Quickseries® library of guides, including Healthy Living: Today and for Life and Wellness and Fitness: A Pocket Guide for Success.
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