The vast majority of people who declare changes at the beginning of the year are most concerned with their health. Over the past few years, I've incorporated healthy habits in my life. Today, I'm fairly certain I'm in the best shape of my life. My health changes were necessary: my metabolism was dead on the side of the road, I had a desire to eat whatever food wasn't good for me, and I worked office jobs that require no physical activity. Although I was always active, there was no consistency in my health habits. I'm not sure I'd classify my changes as resolutions, but I definitely see the value of trying to shift behavior. And a new calendar makes it easier to start something new. Sure, there are tons of heath and psychological experts that offer advice about this but I think I'm going to take a crack it.
The key for me to both get back in and stay in shape is accepting the idea of steady transformation. This is why most people fail in their health efforts: they set an audacious goal without definitive steps and realistic timelines. When they decide there's no way they can achieve it, they quit in disgust. Ironically, failure is why resolutions can be harmful. We remember our mistakes more than our successes and it takes awhile to recover from this dark place. Getting in shape is a lifestyle shift and, when it's accepted as such, it's easier to work toward it..
To finally reach where I wanted to be took years. And I'm not even sure I knew where I was headed. Ultimately, it takes patience. So if you're trying to make this the year where it all changes, don't limit it to this year. Commit yourself to long term goals. If you don't reach your health goals by March or May, it's all good. Tortoise and hare fable applies here: slow and steady, friends.
I'll spend a few posts explaining my approach. In introducing this, I'll leave you with the basic principle that helped me get in shape.
Good health comes down to managing two things: calories out and calories in.