- Take small steps
There are A LOT of people that run out of the gates of the new year swearing off all junk food, alcohol, coffee and commit to the gym 3 times a day, setting themselves up for failure from the start. Whatever your weakness is, know that it is not going to change overnight and it is going to be challenging to make permanent changes. Tackle one thing at a time, and be happy if that is your only success for the year. Maybe you need to exercise more, make that your goal for the year. The other stuff will come with time, you can make small changes in your diet or maybe drink less coffee and alcohol, but it is all about making it a lifestyle change, not a short term change. Don’t think you have to go to the gym 2-3 times a day or you will burn out and stop altogether (you’d be surprised how much this happens). It’s great if you join a gym, but not necessary and don’t live there, you just need a class or 30 minutes of cardio/strength a few times a week. Start with something realistic for the long haul.
- Be social
See what the people at your work are doing, or the gym you are joining may have a Facebook group for motivation and accountability. There are a lot of ways to get in touch with people doing the same things as you. Group classes or training are also great for motivation and accountability, plus they go all year ‘round with or without you. The more you do,the easier showing up will be.
- Be Patient
Lifestyle changes do not happen in a month or two or three. They happen over a lifetime so don’t worry if you aren’t hitting your numbers, if you are being consistent, the numbers will change on their own time. Most people are set in their ways, so make this your new way and be proud that you are feeling better or getting stronger, don’t be so worried what the scale tells you. And better yet, don’t get on a scale for a few months, trust how your clothes fit and how you feel.
- Be Flexible
Yoga is great for flexibility, but I am talking about being flexible with your schedule and yourself. There will be days that your “plan” will be ruined by a sick kid or a late work meeting, but do what you can and be proud that you even had a plan. Tomorrow will come and you will get back on track. It may mean taking the stairs at work or cleaning the house while the kid rests, but try to move whenever you can on the days where you cannot get a scheduled workout in.
- Love yourself
Love yourself for who you are becoming and for who you are. There will be days that are a struggle and you will want to shame yourself for not making your goal or your commitment, but let it go and move on. There will be highs and lows. Overall you will continue to float if you ride the waves, no one passes with a perfect grade on this – so be human, be flawed, and try to make a new lifestyle.