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Plan for the worst this New Year

HPRC Fitness Arena: Mind Body
To accomplish your New Year’s Resolutions, don’t just think positive. Instead, picture the specific obstacles you will overcome.

To accomplish your New Year’s resolutions, really think about the obstacles you’ll face to make those changes happen. Resolutions often come with optimism, but then they tend to fade and become forgotten. Notice how many people are at the gym for the first few weeks of January, then later stop coming. One reason resolutions don’t work out is that people underestimate how hard it will be to maintain the changes. Believing that changes will be easy can initially fuel your motivation, but it also makes following through less likely.

If you want to experience the satisfaction of following through this year, consider the obstacles now. This way, you can picture what you need to do to overcome your obstacles and experience success.

Here’s an example: You want to get more fit. You could enthusiastically decide, “This is the year!” and join the masses of people who are no longer in the gym in February because you found out later that you “don’t have the time.” Or you can set SMART goals aimed at realities you deal with. This means envisioning the steps needed to overcome your obstacles, such as:

  • I am working out 5 days per week!
  • I know it’s a challenge after my kids are out of school, so I’ll ask my boss if I can arrive at work earlier so I can squeeze in a mid-day 45-minute workout later.
  • On days when I can’t make it to work early, I’ll do some work from home in the evening after the kids are in bed.
  • When worse comes to worst, I will jump rope and do push-ups and sit-ups after the kids’ bed time.
  • When I have to, I’ll arrange play dates on weekends to get my workout in
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