As I was trying to stay motivated on the treadmill yesterday at my local health club, I looked around the room at other patrons who surely, much like myself, are gearing up for another year resolved to better health, more energy and slimmer bodies.
Why do you think it’s so difficult to keep our New Year’s resolutions? I think that for me, the difficulty lies in semantics: Resolutions are promises that we make to ourselves (a little like wishful thinking) as opposed to committing to a radical lifestyle change.
I agree, radical is, well, a radical word, but in my life, in order to change, I have needed a pervasive modification in lifestyle. I think that’s how I’ve been able to stick to the same healthy routine over the last several years as I’ve been I speed-walking through my neighborhood come rain or shine (about 15 miles per week – more in the summer and less in the winter). And in order to stay with this commitment, I had to radically change the way I see exercise. First and foremost, I don’t ever call it exercise (that would psyche me down), but I rather see my daily treks as a vital necessity – like eating and sleeping; good for the body and the mind!
With the beginning of a new year, I too resolve to up my health-quotient to include more sleep, less wine, increased flexibility (as in yoga) and decreased intake of fatty foods. But in order to succeed I know that I need to do more than wishful thinking – I need to change my lifestyle to accommodate for these goals.
So how am I preparing to achieve my lofty goals? I have a plan! During the week, I will watch the evening news in bed (as opposed to the family room) and lights out by 10:30 p.m. Luckily, my husband is on board with this new lifestyle change. I will not keep wine on hand as it is too easy to enjoy a glass on a perfectly ordinary Tuesday night when the kids are tucked into their beds. I am signed up for a Gentle Yoga class on Friday mornings (with a friend who I don’t want to bail on) and, as a family, we are committing to eat dinner at home more frequently (as opposed to restaurants) to be in control of what food to eat and how we want it prepared.
But I know this won’t be an easy road so stay tuned, the year is still in its infancy. And come spring, I may want to have a glass of wine on a perfectly ordinary Tuesday night after a great steak dinner while watching The Late Late Show on television.