It’s that time of year! New Year’s Resolutions. A fresh start. A time to plan the new year and make goals. If you’re new to the blog, check out these two posts:
Here are some common New Year’s Resolutions and better alternatives:
The Fast/Juice Cleanse
I see “detox diets” all over the blog world, magazines and social media in January. I know several people that do this every January. If it works for them, kudos. Of course the people I know doing the detox cleanses are already pretty fit. I understand the desire to detox after the holiday bingeing! But it’s not always safe.
First, it’s not healthy to suddenly stop eating for a period of time. It can mess up metabolism and cause more issues than it fixes. Second, it would be quite a shock to go from eating 3000+ calories a day to 500. I envision nausea, headaches, stomachaches, and a whole mess of other issues. It’s a fad diet and fad diets aren’t long-term solutions.
My suggestion is to analyze your current diet and make small changes to improve your diet. Find ways to eat more fruits and vegetables. Skip dessert for awhile. Stop drinking beer. There are a million HEALTHIER ways to “detox” and start eating a healthier diet. Read this post I wrote on Why All or Nothing Doesn’t Work For Me. Moderation is better than strict denial.
“I’m going to lose weight!”
This is probably the #1 New Year’s Resolution and for good reason. Obesity rates are increasing to astronomical numbers year after year. Losing weight is a noble goal and a healthy goal. Losing 100 pounds prevented me from developing diabetes (I was pre-diabetic), lowered my blood pressure to a normal number, and fixed the joint and back pain I had from carrying around too much weight. These are all good things!
The reason I say don’t make this your goal, is because it’s not specific. My suggestion for anyone wanting to lose weight is to make a goal, break it down into baby-steps and make sure they are ATTAINABLE. Don’t set yourself up for failure before you even start.
A better goal would be “I will try and lose 5 pounds each month this year.” Or “I will try and lose 1 pound a week in January.” When I decided to lose 100 pounds, I made a smaller goal first. 100 pounds was a huge number in my head and overwhelmed me. Instead, I set out to lose 25 pounds. When I reached that goal, I changed it to 50 and so on. Taking it in smaller chunks helped me to be successful!
“I’m going to the gym every day!”
Again, a noble goal but unrealistic. I don’t even go to the gym every day! Rest days are an important part of fitness and too many people skip this part. It leads to plateaus, over-use injuries, burnout and failure. Instead, start small.
I’ve seen it over and over again. Friends on social media posting that their goal is to go to the gym every day! And I see it. People flood my gym in droves. It’s crowded, it’s unpleasant, it’s annoying for the regular gym-goers (especially if the newbies don’t follow gym rules and etiquette) but it doesn’t usually last. Each week that ticks by, the resolutioners start to disappear. Why? Maybe because they set unrealistic goals for themselves.
So start small. Make a goal to do some kind of physical activity 3 days a week to start. On your “non-gym” days, include a walk. It’s not going to get you to your goal if you burn yourself out right from the start. Not only that, not easing in to a workout routine can cause injury. You know what happens if you do 40 squats in one session after not doing any? Yeah, you’ll be crippled. Hello hamstrings! I’ve done it myself! So now you’re crippled and in pain, resenting the gym and hating to workout–which makes it easier to just quit. Don’t set yourself up for failure!
Finally, here are some past posts that I’ve written regarding weight loss, new year’s resolutions and being successful in your goals. Check them out:
How to Start Losing Weight Now
7 Secrets to Making This Year the Best Year Ever
I hope this post has helped some readers. If you’re feeling that spark of inspiration because it’s a new year and a new start, harness that feeling and funnel it into a specific, attainable goal. You can do this!!
Courtney @ Don't Blink. Just Run.
Good post! And a great group of links. I can’t wait until the gym is quieter again. This is the first morning I’ve been back to the gym at my normal time (5 am) and there were twice as many cars there as usual. At FIVE A.M. That’s in the morning. Early. So yeah, I can’t wait for people to possibly figure out it’s not for them and either come later or pick something else to do. I’m all for people getting fitter and healthier, but then there are those people you talked about that don’t have any idea what they’re doing in terms of rules and etiquette and just cause frustration.
Courtney @ Don’t Blink. Just Run. recently posted..Unleashed Review
I feel ya. I work out in the evening so it’s 10X more crowded than it is in the AM. Sometimes it’s so crowded you can’t even move around or even find a machine.
Great post! I agree with skipping these. I never set a resolution, but do try to get back on track with bettering myself after the holiday sloppy eating.
Ditto. I went a little crazy with the holiday eating. Time to reign it in.
I am SOOOO with you on the “all or nothing doesn’t work” Lisa!!! I did get off the healthy track over the holidays, but just got back on, instead of setting goals that I may or may not accomplish. Have a great Monday.
Roz@weightingfor50 recently posted..Peek A Boo Squirrel
Exactly! And then beating ourselves up for not reaching our goals that were unattainable to begin with. Vicious cycle. Small goals are better.
K @ Finding a Skinnier me
I try to set goals not resolutions. Attainable goals that I would like to see accomplished each year. Gives me a good starting point and helps me stay on point all year. But I am one of those people where lists and goals help me move forward, where if I don’t tend to have that organization I don’t tend to get anything done. But I agree with not setting impossible goals, then you just have the guilt of not getting them done. And I love the advice about small steps, making small improvements, not having an all or nothing approach.
K @ Finding a Skinnier me recently posted..Anxiety…
What goals are you working on?
Great post!! Those resolutions you suggested skipping are just setting people up to fail – love the alternatives!
Kim recently posted..I Have a Secret to Share
Thanks for the comment Kim! 🙂
I don’t usually make big New Year’s resolutions, but I did do a food cleanse last January, and it was a great experience. It wasn’t what most people envision a “cleanse” to be as you get to eat real, unprocessed food. This year I am again “cleaning” up my eating a bit, but I’m not doing anything extreme as I am already eating pretty “clean.” I do like your advice to have specific, smaller goals that you think you can attain.
And when it comes to exercise, slowly adding to the activity you are already doing makes sense to me. I used to go to the gym every day and over-exercised. I ended up injured, and I have definitely learned from that!
Andrea@WellnessNotes recently posted..Looking Back and Looking Ahead
I’m with you on cleaning up the diet. I got too lazy in December–my diet lacked vegetables, I ate too much candy and treats and drank often! Too much indulging!