How many of the New Year's resolutions you made last year actually came to fruition? If you're like most people, you got off to a great start in January, stumbled a little in February, completely lost your way by March and started thinking about "next year" in April.
One of the reasons resolutions are not achieved is the fact that we often make really bad ones. We're either too ambitious, not ambitious enough or, most often, way to vague.
Here are four health-related resolutions you should not make for 2013, and four suggestions for replacement resolutions:
Don't say "I resolve to lose weight."
OK, if you're overweight, losing weight is a great idea. But how much weight? By when? Where do you want to lose it?
Clarifying your resolution will help you visualize a path toward achieving it and help keep you on track.
So, instead of resolving to lose weight, try something like: "I resolve to lose ____ pounds by ____ and lower my pants size by ___ inches by _____." You fill in the blanks. Make the goals challenging but doable.
Don't say "I resolve to eat better."
Again, it sounds like a good resolution but lacks specifics. How are you going to eat better? What kinds of things are you going to eat? What foods are you going to avoid?
A more specific resolution might look something like: "I resolve to eat at least three servings of vegetables a day, cut my saturated fat consumption by 25 percent and reduce my desserts to once a week." Or: "I resolve to keep my calorie count to ____ per day." Research a healthy calorie count for you and fill in the blank.
Don't say "I resolve to drink less alcohol."
Does that mean you're going to have five beers a night instead of six? Get specific and make it a resolution worth doing.
Try this: "I resolve to drink no more _____ times per week and have no more than _____ beers (or glasses of wine) per sitting."
Don't say "I resolve to get in better shape."
You can't much more ambiguous than that. What's your definition of "get in better shape?"
There are a lot of ways you could go with this one: "I resolve to lower my body fat percentage by ____ percentage points by _____." "I resolve to lower my blood pressure to _____ and my cholesterol to ____." "I resolve lower my resting heart rate to _____." "I resolve to workout ____ times per week for a at least ___ minutes."
Resolutions can be the first step you take toward better health a fitness … toward a better you. But if your resolutions are vague and unchallenging, your achievements will be unrewarding.
Frank Shelton is a certified fitness trainer and the owner of The Village Gym. He can be reached at 376-3060 or firstname.lastname@example.org.