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5 Keys for a Lasting Resolution

21 Dec 2011

Now that the year is almost over, it’s the time to start thinking about resolutions for the new one!

Health clubs love this time of year–it’s when many well-intentioned consumers join a gym club to take a step towards improved fitness

But once March (or even February) hits, many fall off the bandwagon and resolutions become just a memory.

Here are some keys to help you stay on board and focused on your resolutions.

1. Aim high.
What do you really want to accomplish this year? I bet it’s beyond just going to the gym or getting in a workout few days a week.

According to the recently published IHRSA Trend Report, two out of five American consumers use a health club to achieve personal goals.

Slowly fading are the days when you exercise just to reach a number on the scale.

So what’s your real reason for exercising? Do you want to complete your first obstacle race? Or maybe you’re aiming to start with a 5k.

Or maybe you want to be in the best shape of your life, enjoying a long, relaxing getaway in a warm, sunny destination.

Aim high and start with the end in mind.   


2. Set goals and an action plan.
Once you know what you want to achieve this year, set up milestones. Develop an action plan with these goals in mind.

If you have your sights on a 5k, aim to run 10 consecutive minutes. Build from there until you can endure the full 3.1 miles. I’ve said it before, but I highly recommend the Couch-to-5k plan.

If you want to complete your first obstacle race, build up to running the distance of your race of choice. Are you aiming for a 4-mile course like the Ruckus or a 10-mile trek like the Spartan Beast?

Plan 2-3 times a week to run for endurance and another 2-3 days of other training such as intervals or strength training. Be sure to work in a recovery week after a month or so of hard training.

Hoping for a relaxing vacation? Your milestones could follow a few steps: buying the tickets, learning how to cook healthy meals, and engaging in moderate-vigorous exercise 3-5 days a week.


3. Schedule time to reach your goals.
Get out your calendar and make appointments with yourself!

The Couch-to-5k program calls for three weekly 30-minute running sessions. Set aside the time in your calender.

Training for an obstacle race can take a commitment of several hour-long sessions per week. Make time for it.

There are many workshops and books with tutorials and instructions on how to cook and eat healthy.

Take time for a search and either attend a class or read a book. Set up 3-5 weekly appointments with yourself at the gym or commit to a group exercise class that meets a few days a week.

Determine how much time you’ll need to meet your goals, and be reasonable with your expectations.


4. Be accountable.
Once you’ve made appointments with yourself, be sure keep them. Honor the time you’ve set aside to reach your goals.

And reward yourself along the way for sticking to it.

Buy yourself a new pair of running shoes to finish up your program, a durable pair of gloves for your obstacle race, or a new set of clothes for your vacation.

If accountability is challenging for you alone, consider getting an exercise buddy or hiring a coach or personal trainer.


5. Have fun!
Bottom line: even though you’re doing this for the long-term benefits of good health, you’re also setting your sights on something you want to achieve.

Enjoy the ride and share your story.


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2 thoughts on “5 Keys for a Lasting Resolution

  1. I heartily agree on having something to work towards. A couple years ago I pulled a group together to hike around Mt. Hood. We had from January to September to train and get into shape for 50 miles and a 4,000ft elevation window in 3 days. Everyone got to work and trained like crazy. This year It’s more personal, but my goals are set.

    Make this year your GREATEST!

  2. That 50-mile hike is a huge accomplishment. Here’s to a great year!

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