5 Keys to Sticking with Your New Year's Resolution

5 Keys to Sticking with Your New Year's Resolution

5 Keys to Sticking with Your New Year''s Resolution

By Carlos Alberto Rivas, MS, CSCS

Starting an exercise routine when you''ve never worked out regularly before is a challenge. When working out is a regular part of your life, it is certainly easier to stay fit and stick with your exercise routine. However, stick-to-itiveness is always a challenge even for the die-hard fitness participant.

The top reason most people have a hard time sticking to a program is that they focus on short term results rather than approaching exercise as a lifetime commitment. Studies show that most people become inactive by the time they reach 30 years of age. So by the time you hit your 50 th birthday, you have been inactive for about 20 years. This may explain why getting back into shape is so hard. Remember you didn''t get here overnight so don''t expect to get in shape within a few weeks or months.

The second reason is physiological. After the age of 20, if you have not been active on most days of the week, you''ll start to lose 7-10 pounds of muscle per decade. This means that you metabolic rate will decrease about 5 percent every decade after the age of 20 if you do not exercise. Strength training is vital to maintaining your optimal metabolic rate.

Finally, many exercise programs simply do not offer sufficient physical and mental challenges to keep people interested. Take into account hectic schedules, family responsibilities, work deadlines, etc., it is not surprising that many fitness routines get derailed. Regardless of your motivation, these are the top techniques that will help you maintain your enthusiasm even when the going gets tough.

  1. Commitment: You have to understand that working out and staying in good health is a lifetime event. Commitment is the enemy of resistance, for it is the serious promise to press on, to get up, no matter how many times you are knocked down. If you want to get anywhere worthwhile, you must be committed.
  2. Set goals: Set specific short term goals that lead to your long term goal. For example try losing one pound of fat per week instead of thinking about losing 15 or 20 pounds without a timetable. Try to walk every day before you try to run every day if you are starting or getting back into a routine. Incorporate weight training 2-3 times per week and stick with it for 3 months before you think about sticking with a weight training program for one year.
  3. Make it a priority: If you''ve been to busy to workout, the odds are that you are not making your workout a priority. You have to plan, know what workout you are doing, where you are working out, and when you are working out to be successful. Start by writing your workouts in your calendar.
  4. Become positive: The average person tends to be in a negative state of mind. You always think about failure first, therefore, you become consumed with the fear of failure which prevents you from committing, which in turn prevents you from succeeding. Remember, if you think you can, you can.
  5. Hire a trainer: If you do not know what you are doing; you do not know where to start with your weight training program; you do not know which exercises are good for you and which can have an adverse effect on you; you do not know how to use the equipment much less use proper from; you cannot break through a fitness plateau; you need to hire a qualified personal trainer. Make sure that your trainer has the right credentials, i.e. they have a bachelor''s degree, a top certification (ACSM, NSCA, NASM), and have references from former or current clients.

The Bottom Line

Some people want everything to be perfect before they''re willing to commit themselves to anything. But commitment always precedes achievement. It''s one thing to talk about commitment. It''s another to do something about it. That is why the only real measure of commitment is action. When you start to make your health a priority and you actually take action, you will start to get the results you want.

Carlos Alberto Rivas, MS, CSCS is the Fitness/ Personal Training Director of the Baptist East/MilestoneWellness Center. Carlos has a master''s degree in Exercise Physiology and has over 10,000 hours of Personal Training Experience. Carlos is also a member of the Kentuckiana HealthFitness Magazine''s Editorial Advisory Board. Carlos can be reached by phone at 502-896-3900 ext.142.

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