SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Dec. 29, 2003 – It’s almost New Year’s Eve. What better way to mark the occasion than by making bold promises to yourself? Because it’s a major transitional time, New Year’s provides a convenient occasion to take stock of your life. Millions of people make resolutions, but how do you keep them? The American Council on Exercise (ACE) offers the following twelve tips to help you stick to your New Year resolutions. The January/February 2004 issue of ACE Fitness Matters features a full article on this topic.
- Set resolutions that are realistic and based on your personal history. Learn from your failures. If you want to exercise five days a week and you haven’t done it in the past, vow to work out twice a week.
- Set interim goals. You can’t lose 100 pounds or get a Ph.D. overnight. Lose two to three pounds a week, and work toward your doctorate a few credits at a time.
- Evaluate whether or not you have the skills to attain the goal of your resolution. If you want to start a strength-training program but have never lifted a weight or been inside a gym, there’s a good chance you’ll get intimidated or confused, or over train and possibly injure yourself. A wiser way to start would be to read a book or surf the Web for information on weight training, or work with a personal trainer until you get acclimated.
- Write down both your resolution and your plan. Use clear and concise language. A well laid out plan will help to ensure success.
- Keep track of your progress periodically. Try once a week.
- Use positive language. The way you talk to yourself really affects your ability to attain your goals. Try to develop a “can-do” attitude.
- Lose the excuses. Don’t say: “It’s too late for me to go back to school.” Instead, affirm: “There’s no age limit to getting a degree” and “Once I get that degree, I’ll be able to get a better job.”
- Get support. Reach out to your family, friends or a group of people who share the same goal and who can encourage you if your resolve weakens.
- Develop coping strategies. Learn how to deal with problems that come up.
- Celebrate your “successes” and rebound from your “failures.” Take credit for success when you achieve a resolution. If you fail don’t blame yourself, just see how you can do better the next time.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting active, healthy lifestyles and their positive effects on the mind, body and spirit. ACE pledges to enable all segments of society to enjoy the benefits of physical activity and to protect the public against unqualified fitness professionals and unsafe or ineffective fitness products, programs and trends. ACE accomplishes this mission by setting certification and continuing education standards for fitness instructors and through ongoing public education regarding scientifically sound health and fitness practices. For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800) 825-3636 or log onto the ACE Web site at www.acefitness.org.