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How to make New Year’s Resolutions Stick

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The New Year is upon us.  Many people see this as a time for a fresh start, as a time to do things differently than the year before.  Whatever happened the year before is done and gone and this is the fresh page of a new chapter.  Some people see resolutions as bad, but why?  Humans are always changing, always evolving.  It’s ok to recognize faults or things we aren’t happy with and try to work on them to improve how we feel about ourselves.

It has also been said that over 80% of people will not stick to their New Year’s plan by February.  FEBRUARY!  That’s one month off to a great start and then nothing. Nada.  These people start out the year well- with the right intentions and probably the right mindset, but old habits die hard.  Life happens.  And the New Year’s resolutions are gone.  I’ve even heard that some people have the same resolution every year, or close to.

You probably know those people- maybe they are you?  Maybe the resolution is to workout more.  A gym membership is bought (usually for a cheap price), swearing to those around you this will be different… there are often a lot of visits in the first week or two, but the visits consist of walking in-maybe doing some cardio-maybe doing some weights, knowing the difference between the “regulars” and those there for their resolutions.  Maybe it’s even a little intimidating.  The results aren’t there that you would have hoped for.  Excuses start to take creep in.  And now there’s this gym membership being paid for, but not being used.

Let’s make 2019 different.  Create a plan now to make 2019 the year that you stick to your New Year’s Plan.  Maybe it’s eating healthier, working out more, more self-care, deeper dive into your spirituality, more time unplugged.  Whatever the resolution, there are definitely steps that can be taken to lead to continual success instead of starting strong, crashing and burning.

Let’s be one of 20%. It’s not hard, but it will require work (if it was easy, there wouldn’t be an 80% failure rate, right?)

  • WRITE OUT THE GOAL.  I know this is nothing new, but seriously- write it out.  If your goal is to be unplugged- then write down how often you are going to allow yourself screen time each day.  If you want to lose weight- write down how much and by when and how are you going to do it.  (it is safe to lose 1-2lbs a week).  Maybe you have a big goal- and if you do, then break it down into small goals (more on that later).  Write them down where you can see them every day (even post its on your bathroom mirror).
  • START SMALL.  Small steps that you can work on regularly integrating into your life will result in higher success rates than starting out doing too much, too fast.  Doing too much, too fast will cause disruption in the life you are used it.  It will shock your body and will result in easier burn out.  Depending upon what your resolution is, it can also result in injury as your body isn’t prepared to withstand the quick changes you are throwing at it and it just can’t keep up.  Start with a couple days a week and after you are successful with that for a couple weeks, then up it to 3 days a week.  Then 4, etc.
  • SMALL GOALS WITH REGULAR CHECKINS.  Let’s say your goal is to run a marathon in 2019.  Or maybe you’re not a runner at all, but your goal is to run a 5K.  If you’ve never ran a 5K or a marathon before, don’t start out the gate expecting that’s going to happen right away.  For the 5K- start with an easy run training program like FIT4MOM’s 5K training.  Make the goal that you are going to run a mile without walking by a certain date.  When that happens- celebrate. Then make it 2 miles.  Celebrate.  For the marathon- find a marathon later in the year.  Sign up for a 5K first, then a 10K, then maybe even a half marathon before you tackle the marathon.  And again- celebrate the success.  Run the 5K and celebrate.
  • CELEBRATIONS.  This needs to be it’s own step.  Most of the population has a higher extrinsic motivation than intrinsic motivation.  That means, we feel more success and accomplishment with external factors than internal.  Rewards vs. the sense of “feeling better” or “feeling accomplished”.   As a workout plan gains success and longevity, that is when intrinsic motivation usually will take over.  Until then, set up small celebrations for success.  Ideas for celebrations include a meal at a favorite restaurant, some new workout gear, a coffee date with a friend (and have that friend help with your accountability…more on that next), time by yourself, taking time to watch your favorite show or movie.  Maybe even make yourself a sticker chart, and after “x” amount of stickers (sticking to your goal) then have a celebration.  Have the sticker chart visible and the act of placing a sticker on the chart is sometimes celebration enough because it gives a sense of accomplishment.  Add your written goal (see above) to your sticker chart.
  • ACCOUNTABILITY.  Find a friend, spouse, coworker, group, or coach that wants you to be successful, maybe even shares your goals, and use them as your accountability partner.  (or a combination of a couple of those) Maybe you need a coach that is being paid to hold you accountable.  Maybe a small group that is going to be expecting you to show up?  Maybe it’s just a friend that shares your goals and you are going to hold each other accountable.  Humans generally want to make other humans happy (not always the case).  But they want to make other humans happy that they respect.  If you respect someone and you know they are watching out for you, chances are you going to do what you need to do to make them happy.  Your success is their happiness.  (Check out the “Accountability” Blog for more).

5 steps to success.  Be the 20% this year.  Don’t let your goals, your resolutions go to the wayside and have them appear on our 2020 resolution list.  This year can be different.  This year will be different.  This year is the year of YOU- you have your resolution because you want things to be different, whether they are big or small.  And there is nothing wrong with that.

Cheers to 2019- let’s do this.

 

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Winter Break (20 min) Workout

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The kids are home for break and the struggle is real.

Maybe not yet, but it will be.

You know you should workout- you may want to workout- but finding the time is just too hard.  Maybe you usually go to the gym or go workout, but with the kids being home (and all those germs in the gym daycare- ugh!), you decide to just wait until break is over to pick it back up.

Here’s the thing- working out doesn’t have to be “long”, nor does it require a lot of equipment.  Sometimes, just moving a little bit is enough to make you feel better and get the endorphins going.  You will thank yourself for a quick 20 minute exercise… and your kids may even thank you, as well!

Better yet- have them do this workout WITH you.  Lay down a beach towel next to you- get them some water and GO! If they don’t want to workout, turn on some dance party music and they can dance around you while you burn those calories! It may not be the best workout you’ve ever had because, let’s be honest, you may get interrupted every few minutes, but do what you can do.  It’s better than doing nothing!

  1. 00:00-1:00  Jumping Jacks- nothing crazy!  Just get that heart rate going!  You can do jumping jacks, scissor jacks or side-step out jacks (watch that pelvic floor!)
  1. 1:00-3:00 Walking Lunges- Walk… and lunge!  Find a space to get in 4-5 lunges and go back and forth.  Engage the core and keep shoulders down and back, chest held high!

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  1. 3:00-4:00 Push Ups- Push ups are SO great because they work arms, core, legs— everything!  Quality over Quantity.  Start with wall push ups.  Step a foot away from the wall- straight spine-slowly lower yourself toward the wall and slowly push yourself away.  If you can do that successfully, then move to push ups with your knees on the ground, focusing on a straight spine.  If you can do that, then go for the toes!  Goal is arms to 90 degrees!
  1. 4:00-5:00 Heel Drops- Lay on a mat with your spine pressed to the ground.  Feet off the ground, hips, knees and ankles at 90 degrees.  Slowly lower one leg at a time to the ground and bring it back up while keeping your spine in contact with the ground.

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  1. 5:00-6:00 Jump Rope- It’s ok if you don’t have a jump rope!  Just pretend!  And the beautiful thing is that you can’t mess up.  If jumping is too much (for the pelvic floor), peddle your feet or run in place!

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  1. 6:00-8:00 Squats!  So great for women! Feet at shoulder width apart or a little wider.  Keep your knees tracking over your second toe.  Push the booty back first (like you’re about to hover over a port-a-potty seat) and drop the booty, and then bringing it back up, squeezing the booty!

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  1. 8:00-9:00 Tricep Dips- On all 4s with belly to the ceiling.  Fingers facing ankles.  Bend your elbows, straighten your elbows.  Keep your hips out of the action!
  1. 9:00-10:00 Bird Dogs- On all 4’s belly down.  Extend one leg straight back while extending the opposite arm out in front of you.  Slowly return to your starting position and repeat on the other side.  Try to stay steady, like you are balancing a vase on your back.

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REPEAT! (you could even repeat 2 more times if your kiddos are letting you and you want to get a 30 minute total body workout in!)

Take a few minutes to stretch and BREATHE at the end and then go ahead about the rest of your day!!

At Home Workouts

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The “Why” behind the Workout

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If we have no body, we have nothing to serve with…

Those words echoed in my head today sitting in the church.  I was surrounded by rows of people. All the chairs were full.  I looked around.  Were they hearing what he was saying?  It was one of those moments I wanted to leap from my chair- hands raised up with a triumphant “YES!”

Yes!  Our pastor today was seriously telling everyone to take care of the body we have so that we may serve better.  aka: Workout.  Eat to Fuel.  Listen to your soul.  Rest.  It was my world of health and fitness combining with my spiritual life with a sudden BAM! And it was beautiful.  And then he said something else… physical wellness and spiritual wellness should not be two separate entities… but they should support one another and be one in the same.  What? So in working out, eating right, being “well”, my spiritual life can also grow.  Lightbulb.

The crazy thing is, it’s not just my spiritual life, but my whole life that benefits.  Take a second to reflect.  What’s your purpose?  Really- what do you do every day?  What do you wake up to do? What gets you going? Career? School?  Wiping noses and kissing boo-boos?  Teaching and shaping young minds?  Is that your purpose?  How are you living that out?

My purpose right now?  To help moms be the healthiest version of themselves so they can show up every day to this thing called motherhood and rock it.  They can keep up with their kids.  They can play the games.  They can do all the things because they are able to.  They can feel like they aren’t alone and that they have a village that loves and supports them.  My more important purpose is to keep my own family happy, healthy, and safe.  And I can do that because I am able.

Am I tired?  Everyday.  Does my brain ever stop worrying or overthinking everything?  Nope.  Do I usually think I’m royally screwing something up?  Yup.  But can I mentally and physically give what I need to my kids, Jeremy, and those around me? Heck yes.  Because I take time to care for me.  Physically and spiritually.  (and again, please note, no where did I say it was easy.  But I can do it).

So now the question is- are you taking care of yourself in the way that supports you being able to live out your purpose? I was asked that today sitting in my chair about 20 rows back from the stage.  Not asked individually, but asked as a collective whole.  I was able to answer yes.  And I wonder if other people in the room were able to answer the same.  I’m not saying that to be prideful or boastful.  It’s taken me a long time to get to where I am.  And I’m not perfect, yet.  But I’m getting there.

So the thing is- I don’t workout or try to “eat right” because I want to be the skinniest or the strongest (though that would be a nice bonus, I won’t lie).  I workout so that I can live a functional and fulfilling life.  I workout so that I can sprint across the house and bound up steps when I hear one of the babies crying for me.  I workout so that I can run across the grass and jump over a bike to keep a kid from running in the street.  I workout so when my 4 year old tells me he wants to ride a bike without training wheels, I can run alongside of him to catch him if he falls.  I workout so I can separate a Royal Rumble happening in my living room when there’s just one of me and two … or five of them.  I workout so I can have quiet alone time.  (yeah, you read that right- I run without music or noise so that my brain can rest and my body can work- it makes for some great clarity on many issues and decisions.  and it’s quiet).  Some people workout to be with other people- I workout to be by myself.  I workout to be happy.  (working out creates endorphins- endorphins make you happy- yada yada.  But it’s true).  I workout so that I’m not out of breath doing day to day tasks.  I workout so that when I’m a grandparent- I still will be able to do all these things.  Do I still take naps?  Sometimes.  I call it self-care.  Some days I need a 20 (or 60) min power nap to get through the day with the crazy trio.  Some days I can keep going.  It’s all about listening and knowing when to stop and when to go.  Working out doesn’t have to be because you want to look great.  Who cares?  Working out should happen so that you can show up to whatever life throws at you being the best version of you.

So now I ask you.  How are you taking care of what you were given?

A friend posted tonight that she challenges everyone to live out the last 90 days of 2018 with the same motivation and determination as the first 90 days of 2018.  I love that.  What were your goals?  Have they changed?  Are they the same?  Do you still have that motivation.  I would love to challenge all of you do to the same- make the last 90 days just as good as the first 90.