Traditionally, the arrival of a new year has been a time to look back at the past, and more importantly, to the future. And every year on January 1st, hundreds of millions of vows are pledged to make positive changes such as:
-I will lose 20 pounds this year.
-I will no longer eat fast food.
-I will work out every day.
-I will stop smoking.
While our intentions may be good, research shows that within six months the majority of us will have returned back to our less-than-healthy habits.
So why do we have such problems making and sustaining positive changes in our lives? Often it boils down to one or two common mistakes we make with those resolutions – we set unrealistic goals and we adopt an all-or-nothing attitude. In short, we set ourselves up for failure.
The good news, though, is that you can make and maintain healthy changes in your life. And you can do it by adopting a new, two word motto: just try.
How many times have you told your kids to ‘just try’ something they didn’t think they could do?
-Don’t know how to tie your shoes? Just try it.
-Don’t know how to ride a bike? Just try it.
-Don’t know how to write your name? Just try it.
I recently met a woman who had made a commitment to start taking better care of herself. She had never been to a gym before, could barely make it up a set of stairs without gasping for breath, had never attempted to eat well and didn’t know how to cook healthy meals. She felt overwhelmed and intimidated and didn’t know where to start. The advice she was given, which made all the difference in the world to her, was that simple, two word motto. Just try.
-Try incorporating weight training into your normally cardio-heavy workout routine.
-Try alternating between jogging a block and walking a block when you walk the dog.
-Try a new group fitness class, even though you don’t know ‘the moves’.
-Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Just try. And when all else fails, try again. Follow the simple advice you normally give to your kids and, odds are, you’ll end up surprising yourself by what you can accomplish.
Dalplex, Dalhousie University’s main fitness and recreation facility, has been proudly serving the community for over 30 years, offering a wide variety of fitness, wellness and recreation programs and classes for adults, children, youth and seniors. Visit their website or follow them on facebook.