Avoid a New Year’s resolution and choose a balanced approach instead

“I’m totally going to get into shape in two thousand and blank!”

“This year I’m going to lose 15 pounds!”

“I am going to finally see a six pack stomach. This is my year!”

Any of these New Year’s resolutions sound familiar? I bet you shouted them also, which is why I put exclamation points on each. January is an interesting time in the gym I use at my work. It goes from a spacious 3 room fitness facility to a crowded, cramped place filled with you New Year’s resolution folks.

Guess what? Yep, you’ll be gone by April at the latest. Every year I get a group join our program, but they disappear in less than 3 months. By the way, if you make 6 months the likelihood your fitness program becomes a habit is increased dramatically. These are the people who are with me year after year.

However, instead of setting the goal of changing your life dramatically in hopes you make the ever-blissful 6 month mark, I have a better idea. It is called a balanced approach. Common sense should tell you this is not a fad, but a great plan that works in all facets of life. Balance work and family. Balance hobbies and work. Balance money and time. Balance confidence and humility. You get the point. Balanced approaches tend to be the healthiest. So I have a few tips to help you see this in a practical sense.

tip #1:  Change a few ingredients in some of your meals.  For example, replace the sour cream on taco night with some cooked peppers and onions. Or pick a healthier bread option for your lunchtime sandwiches. No drastic fad diets, just change a few ingredients. Later in the year if you are content, then change a few more. The key here is to keep the foods enjoyable by making only minor changes.

tip #2:  If you are not exercising, begin slowly and shoot for 2 times a week for maybe a half hour. A Functional Fitness program like Kemme Fitness is a balanced program (yes I’m totally biased here). If you are completely out of shape, but aren’t too heavy for a Physioball (AKA Swiss or stability ball) then try K-Basic (free 12 week Functional Fitness program).  If you are too heavy for the ball, try swimming and concentrating on your diet until you lose enough weight to start K-Basic.

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tip #3:  If you have been exercising, but want to increase intensity, check out K-Kit or the more advanced K-Challenge to jump start your year. I consider these balanced programs because they only require 4 days a week, 30 to 45 minutes each day.

tip #4:  Set easy to reach goals, such as actually forging out 4 days a week to exercise, or to lose 5 pounds. Do not set drastic goals, which take high committment over the course of many months. You are only setting yourself up for disappointment.

And remember, start things slow and be smart so you don’t injure yourself and destroy your plans in the first week. Think small, think about easy goals, and think about balance.

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