Sticking to Your Resolutions

Now that we’ve entered another New Year. It’s high time we talk about our resolutions. Before each New Year comes around, many of us evaluate what we would like to change for the coming year. We usually give it a shot for a few weeks or a month, but our changes are so often temporary. It’s a rare thing for our resolutions to become a real transformation that lasts a lifetime.

Many times, the goal is to lose weight, eat healthier, and get more exercise. At first, it is easy to lose a few pounds and eat a little better than you did the month before, but the ease quickly dissipates. Think about it; during the holidays, most people eat like they have supercharged metabolisms, consuming food to the point of pain—I remember my high school basketball coach showing up much heavier than before the holidays. He claimed to have gained 32 pounds. I did not verify it, but the increase was noticeable even for a 16-year-old boy.

As for exercise, athletic clubs love the 1st of the year. Their businesses depend on getting people in and selling them yearly memberships while the “iron is hot”. By March, 90% of the new members have stopped exercising. This doesn’t matter to the clubs, they get paid the same regardless.

Another group of people who love this time of year are television advertisers. I mean, look how many exercise gimmicks are being advertised these days! More Bow Flexes and Total Gyms are sold now than any other time of the year. For the most part, they will soon be nothing but dust collectors that eventually find their way to a garage sale, EBay, or Craigslist.

Why does this happen year after year? The problem is that our human nature can be rather selfish and lazy. Let’s face it; we want what we want. Sure, we can give up the junk food for a while. But stress, peer pressure, and availability will soon break us down. Is there a way to stay on track? YES!!

From my experience as a personal trainer, I believe people who have a strong prayer life have a distinct advantage in keeping their resolutions. In fact, science shows that people who have a good walk with God are healthier in general. Now, this does not mean simply going to church, it means taking the things we’ve learned and actually practicing them in our lives. If we do this, we’ll become less judgmental, stop gossiping about others, and reflect love to those around us. When we numb our minds with poor food selection, the voice of God is not heard like it should be.

A walk with God can hold us accountable for actions that are self-destructive. In a similar way, people can also help motivate us to “stick with it”. For example, personal trainers help people succeed by keeping them on track. Let’s be honest, we can all use that gentle nudge or push in the right direction from time to time. That’s why I became a personal trainer in the first place; it’s what I felt called to do.

You can also use a group of friends to hold yourself accountable. For example, I know a small group of women who walk together every morning. Also, programs such as Weight Watchers benefit many people by helping them to keep on the right path. If you are one who tends to need a little extra help, then I would strongly suggest checking out some type of program. If you do, it might be the last time you have to make this resolution. For those of you who don’t, we may be talking about the same thing again next New Year!

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Dick Nunez FT

Director of the Black Hills Health and Education Center, and professional body builder.

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