I am a firm believe in New Year’s Resolutions. They don’t have to be earth shattering or important to anyone but you, but the New Year is a great time to look back on the previous year and identify one or two things you would like to change.
Over the year’s I have had varying degrees of success with my resolutions. Some have led to life changes. Some have not been accomplished. Following are some of the outcomes over the past few years:
- Take three Pilates classes-now I am a Pilates instructor
- Do a one-armed pushup-hasn’t happened yet
- Take more risks-I took a few, then forgot about it
- Do a chin up-didn’t happen
- Take six Yoga classes in 2013-I took seven!
Looking back at my list, there are a few things that most of the success have in common: they include specific, modest goals—usually to do something three times. Three times is not enough to create a habit, but committing to doing something new three times forces us to give it a real try. Most of the resolutions I did not accomplish are vague or are all or nothing. These goals are much harder to accomplish.
Resolutions need to be SMART: Specific, Measureable, Accountable, Realistic and Time based. A goal we can identify, keep track of and tell other people about. Saying “I want to lose weight” in 2014 is not specific. Saying I want to lose a pound a month every month of the year is. Saying “I want to do a one armed push up” is not time based—adding ten extra pushups to each workout is.
One of the most overlooked components to a successful resolution is accountability. It helps to say a resolution out loud to people who will ask you about it throughout the year, not just in January. This is where working out with other people can be especially effective. Tell your classmates or your instructor or trainer about your resolution. It doesn’t have to be fitness based. The people you work out with are the people who will help you to keep on track (and remember your resolution!) throughout the year. In my classes, I encourage people to say resolutions out loud. Then, throughout the year, I ask how those resolutions are going. Usually around July 4, I’ll ask participants to try to remember their resolutions. I also keep a list of everyone’s resolutions on my phone so I can help people remember them. Over the last few years I’ve heard the following resolutions: drink eight cups of water a day, de-clutter a room a month, try a new class, climb Stone Mountain the number of times equal to her age, two spin classes a week, be fully committed during two songs in every spin class, work on upper body strength, and work on core strength.
I love that Randy asks the whole class to share our resolutions with one another and then remembers them and checks in periodically throughout the year. I have learned so much from hearing the goals that my classmates have set and have greater success with my own since we exchange ideas, offer support, and hold one another accountable. It’s great knowing I am not alone on this journey! ~ Laura Reece
Here are my resolutions for 2014. Remember, resolutions don’t have to change the world. They just need to be SMART. In 2014, I will go to one challenging Yoga class a month (that’s a total of 12). And, I will push extra hard in one class a month. Neither of these will be comfortable for me, but I know that I will benefit from them in the long run. So if you see me at the club in April or November, ask me how those Yoga classes are going.
Randy teaches Cardio Burn, Strength and Pilates Tuesday mornings starting at 9:15am. She is also a personal trainer and is available weekday mornings.