Monday, December 31, 2007

Top 10 Ways to Beat the New Year's Resolution Syndrome

As the New Year is quickly approaching, I know that you're eager to make the changes to change your body. I also know that you want to, yet again, make the New Year's Resolutions that hopefully will stick, for 3 weeks, 3 months or perhaps at least 6 months!?

Is something wrong about the New Year's Resolutions you made last year?

Did you make your Resolutions with right attitudes and healthy mindsets?

Were your Resolutions guided by healthy lifestyle and behavior changes?

Did you follow through your Resolutions with a master game plan and course of actions?

Did you adjust and fine-tune your mini goals as you moved along?

Did you find your inner motivation and and external support to keep you on track?

Did you find ways to overcome the challenges or derail quickly as soon as you saw the roadblocks?

Why did your Resolutions fail?

Here are my top 10 tips to beat the New Year's Resolution Syndrome.

Visit my website and my blog often and sign up for my monthly newsletter to keep you motivated, informed and supported all year around.

Investment in youself. Sign up with a wellness coach/trainer for at least 12 weeks and better yet commit to 6 months. Health and fitness is a lifelong commitment. Twelve weeks aren't going to make miracles, but are the "minimum" period of time to get into regular exercise routine, healthy lifestyle and eating habits.

Even just a few sessions with a trainer could be worth the investment to get you in the right direction. For those people who like DIY, I also offer on-line personal training and program design. I'll design a training program for you including two to four workout routines for you to rotate on a weekly basis.

Make multiple resolutions that reinforce each other. When you make a healthy resolution, you'll start to re-think about falling back to those not-so-good habits.

Make multi-week, multi-month and multi-year resolutions. Why makes "annual" resolutions that you can only follow for a month? Have a big picutre. Break it down into smaller, realistic, achievable mini goals. You'll feel better when you accomplish the mini goals. It gives you more confidence and momentum to stay on track towards your bigger goals.

If you're still smoking or eating junk foods regularly, why do all the cardio and strength training? It just doens't make sense. You won't transform to your dream body even if you train 7 days while staying on the unhealthy lifestyle and poor eating habits.

Know what you want. Do you really know what you want? I doubt. Many people want to lose 10, 20, 50 pounds. These are not the right healthy goals. And most people won't get it!

"Know what you want" is the #1 step to build your dream body. Why 10, 20 or 50 pounds, instead of 5 pounds? Where are these extra pounds distributed? Are these fat, muscle or water weight? What type of body shape do you want to be in? You're not so sure, right!?

Dream big but start small. Your old-and-never-worked resolution could be like "I resolve to start exercising 5 to 7 times a week, 30 to 60 minutes each time." If you haven't exercised regularly for the last 3 months, this resolution is bound to fail and you're doomed!

Start with small baby steps. You could start with a combination of walking, aerobic exercise, strength training, and other physical activities for 2 to 3 times for a total accumulation of 2 hours of exercise a week. The key is to be able to get into a regular exercise habit. Gradually increase the duration, variety, intensity and frequency. This is one of the reasons why a coach/trainer can be a really good source of professional guidance and accountability.

Food is your friend, not your foe. Make a good friend with your foods. Every year, or in fact evey day, you'll see new diet books on the market. You lose money but not your weight. Food is the source of energy to fuel your body so that you can function and perform.

In an earlier article, I touched the topic about stress eating, emotional eating, overeating, mindless eating and fat gain. Eating healthy foods is the choice you can make. Replace the poor choices with healthy ones.

Pick two of your weak areas and consciously replace them with healthy choices and stay on them for a month. Similar to exercise, too much too soon is going to backfire. When you can stick to the two healthy choices for a month, then you start to include more healthy choices.

Plan your exercise and plan your meals around it. If you don't plan, then you plan to fail. This is one of the reasons why many people skip exercise and make poor food choices.

One easy way is to book your appointments with your coach/trainer in advance. Then you'll prepare for your day and anticipate the training session. Pencil in your own workouts as if it's a date with yourself and it's the time for yourself. Prepare the meals and healthy snacks to support your training and fuel your body.

It's a good idea to prepare the meals for several servings at a time. Keep healthy snacks and water at home, in your office and in the car. So when you're hungry, strapped for time or on the go, whatever you reach is all good. It's tough to deny the high-sugar high-fat comfort foods in the vending machine or the drive-thru. You willpower doesn't count!

Get a good night sleep. Go to bed a half hour earlier. I know many people are eating late, snacking, drinking alcohols, watching TV shows in the evening to unwind their stress from the day. These poor habits disturbance your sleeping quality. They drain your energy and sabotage your resolutions if you want to lose weight and look good.

If you have followed the first three tips, you shouldn't be here. Your body releases growth hormones while you're sleeping that help you build muscle. Deprivation of sleep also makes you crave for sugary and high fat foods and make you wan to eat more to feel satisfied.

Schedule your downtime. This may be counter intuitive. Aren't we supposed to work out more and longer to lose weight? Yes and no.

Training is like a double-edged sword. Proper, consistent, progressive overloading with balanced nutrition and quality rest and sleep will make you strong, healthy and fit. Overtraining can break you and make you sick, injured with diminishing results. Please re-visit my earlier article on overtraining.

There is a fineline between overloading and overtraining. This is yet another good reason to hire a personal trainer to help you design a customized workout plan and change up your training routine.

It's also a good practice to periodize your training program into microcycle (daily/weekly), mesocycle (2 to 4 months) and macrocycle (6 months, seasonally or annually). The training cycle could coincide with a special event or function. So, you really need to plan the whole picture and break it down into mid-range, near-range and immediate actions.

Watch your enviroment. When you want to lose weight and stay fit and healthy, you need to watch out who you're associated with. You are the product of five of your closest friends.

In my earlier article on the power of friends, I cited a research finding that obesity is epidemic and contagious. Some people call it "sympathetic weight gain" with your friends. On the other hand, thinness could be contagious too. See who has the upper hand over the other.

So stay close to your fit and healthy friends. But don't break up with your overweight freinds as yet. Just be aware and stay conscious in your environments.

Stay away from sources that drain your energy and damage your health. Make friends with like-minded people who are positive, fit, healthy, high-energy and high-performance.

My Last Two Cents

Your New Year's Resolutions should be simple but challenging enough for you to follow through. Pick one or two things in each of the lifestyle, exercise and nutrition areas to work on and improve at a time. When you achieve them, add more gradually. Doing too much too soon is the #1 reason why almost all resolutions fail in the first month.

Remember, your health is wealth and it's invaluable. When you're healthy, you can create more wealth and enjoy your life. I wish all your resolutions and goals achieved by the year end or sooner.

Copyright 2007 by C. Carey Yang.
All rights reserved.

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1 comment:

Jimmy Clark said...

Does anyone recommend a good body fat scale that is accurate? I saw a post on that was comparing body fat scales to calipers and it said they weren't as accurate… is that true?

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