by Martha Michael
Boredom. Busyness. Laziness. What is it that makes you – year after year – make a goal to get back to the gym or sign up for boot camp, then drop it by about March?
Books like “Push: 30 Days to Turbocharged Habits, a Bangin’ Body, and the Life You Deserve” by Chalene Johnson suggest you will get such quick results that you have to have a good reason to quit. By contrast, books like “Changing for Good: A Revolutionary Six-Stage Program for Overcoming Bad Habits and Moving Your Life Positively Forward” by James O. Prochaska and John Norcross talk about a relative overhaul that may take time. Which one is it?
“You have to look at fitness more like a job, not a hobby,” claim Lyndan and Vanessa Coleman, owners of Fight For it Now Bootcamp in Santa Clarita. “You commit to a job and a hobby is something you do when you have some extra time. Imagine if you only went to work a couple times a year – what would your results be?”
Because less than half of us who make a New Year’s resolution will still uphold it in half a year, maybe it’s time to revise what we are resolving to do. “One of the reasons so many people fail within 30 days of exercise is because they don’t have a plan,” they added. “Write down your goals, hang them on your refrigerator and tell at least three people. It is too easy to quit when no one knows what you are doing.”
Many studies underscore the positive effect of teaming up with others, such as a boot camp or hiring a trainer. “A great way to stick to exercise is having an accountability partner. Find someone with similar goals and push each to get fit,” said the Colemans. “Choose a time and place four to five times a week and promise each other that you will be there. Commit to each other for 12 months, rain or shine!”
Studies suggest the goals are often unrealistic, such as exercising for two hours a day vs. taking a half-hour walk three times a week. “So many people say they just don’t have time. I believe most people have at least 30 minutes – even if they have to wake up earlier, stay up later or use half of their lunch break. You can get a great effective workout done in 30 minutes.”
Taking the first step (pun intended) is a must. It’s the steps afterwards that may need attention – whether that’s a new action or attitude. The Fight for It Now owners sum up the process: “Stop thinking of reasons why you shouldn’t exercise and think of reasons why you should.”