Let’s face it. January 1st is not just any day. It’s the first day of the new year. I’m not a big resolutioner, but I do love to sit down and review my races, goals and training plans to make sure that I have all my ducks in a line. Bottom line for me is, if there’s something you really want in your life, it’s a great day to make the change happen.
With clients, I like to set a new small goal each month that ultimately leads up to a big goal… much like I do with my own training plans.
Want to run a fall marathon? Schedule some 5, 10k’s and a half marathon throughout the year. Maybe a small race each month. Or take it a step further if you want to make a big change like loosing a significant amount of weight or living a healthier lifestyle: do a 12 month action plan for a new you. Those changes just wouldn’t all happen at once on January 1st.
The other magical thing about a resolution calendar is that 30 days is generally the agreed upon amount to make new habits stick. Once you’ve ingrained a new habit, it’s time to build upon what you already have going.
Don’t make the mistake of scrawling them down on a piece of paper somewhere. I like to buy a brand new calendar that inspires me each year and put my goals down in ink.
I also make sure I know exactly what my goals are, what steps I need to do to accomplish them, and when that needs to happen when I write them in.
Some people like to add an inspiration board above where they use photos or magazine cut outs that inspire them.
You also need to get your family on board NOW… since you are going to be relying on them to see these goals through.
I thought you might like some inspiration with drafting your new you, so here goes.
1. January: bike, walk or run every day at lunch or to or from work. Get moving five days a week. Doesn’t matter how fast. Work out the details on making this happen. If you’re at work that day, you’re doing cardio – buy an umbrella, an iPod, some shoes… whatever helps get you out the door.
2. February: foam roll and stretch. By now you should have a good habit of fitness at least five times a week. Devote at least 30 minutes every day to foam roll and stretch. You can even watch tv or read. You will be amazed at the difference it makes. Don’t know how? Ask at a good sport med shop or buy a book.
3. March: Join that fitness class or group that you’ve always wanted or hire a personal trainer. Put it on your credit card and mark down the start date in pen today to start the first week of March.
4. April: make every dinner at least half vegetables and have at least one leafy green. This is such an easy way to make sure you eat more vegetables, the foundation of any healthy diet.
5. May: drink more water. Buy a water bottle that you just love on May 1st. You can add lemon or lime wedges to liven it up – just stay away from anything processed like drink powders. The point is to drink more water, not ingest more sugar or chemicals.
6. June: get out and play! Now that you’re getting cardio in five times a week, going to a class or trainer and foam rolling daily, it’s time to enjoy that new you! Hiking is always an easy way to get out there. Try a new route every week on Saturday or Sunday and make it a routine (just start easy).
7. July: remake your breakfast. Often touted as the most important meal of the day, it’s is sadly often the most unhealthy. Ditch the cereal for soaked oatmeal, and the whole wheat toast for Silverhills bread (or another type made without flour) or a smoothie. Most people eat the same thing every week day so the change might be hard at first, but it will stick fast!
8. August: cut out processed sugar for the whole month. There is plenty of delicious fruit this time of year – and you might find interesting ways to substitute – or find you don’t need it anymore.
9. September: join another class! Or if you have been working with a trainer, just join one! There are so many wonderfully exciting activities, I am sure you can find a second that lights you up and keeps things fresh.
10. October: do a resistance training challenge like the 100 push-up challenge. What fitness move have you always wanted to rock? Go with that one.
11. November: cut out processed flour. This one is tough but it will give you an arsenal of ways to eat whole grains and you’ll end up loving them for how good they make you feel.
12. December: go play in the snow! Take a snowshoeing class, buy a cross country ski pass or take the family out for snowshoe hikes every weekend.
Just make sure you ink up your calendar with exacts and hold yourself to that plan when each time arrives. Again, make sure that these are things that you really want to see for yourself and keep your eyes on the prize.