Everyone talks about New Year’s resolutions, mostly poking fun at how soon they will be broken. Many use this theme as a reason not to bother – “I’ll just break them in a week anyway”.
Of course you will break them and so will I, but New Year’s resolutions should not be about the absolutes. It’s all about changing patterns even if it the effort is sporadic. So when you break one of those resolutions, you just let it go and begin again. Over time, the resolutions will become habits.
So here are a few suggestions for this year:
- Buy a water distiller. Clean water is the easiest, cheapest, and most important step you can take to support your health. A small distiller is relatively inexpensive (about $120). Over the past few years they have become more efficient, making a gallon in about three hours. Generally, 1-2 gallons per day is enough for our household. Buy a five-gallon glass dispenser to hold some reserve. I keep ours full during hurricane season. Amazon.com has several to chose from. Most come with a full one-year warranty. You can expect to get 2-3 years of good service from a unit. Set a goal to drink a half gallon each day.
- Start an exercise program. I highly recommend “Couch to 5K”. This program takes you from walking to a walk-run and peaks with you participating in a 5K (3.2 mile) race. You can download an app for your smart phone or but the book, but many community centers offer classes for a minimal fee. You get coaching and teammates to help you through the rough spots.
- If you are already exercising, add a new activity. Experiment with some classes at the gym. Many serious cyclists dismiss cycling classes, until they take one and then they’re hooked. If you are a runner or walker, try swimming or biking. I got my wife a paddleboard for Christmas. Just carrying it down the beach is a workout, but she loves her new activity – costal cruising on a board.
- Try some baby steps to improve your diet. I recommend five vegetable servings, three protein servings, and two fruits per day. Maybe set a goal that you are going to eat two vegetables and one fruit every day. As you increase the healthy foods in your diet, the junk will begin to fall away. Just do a little better than you have been.
- Plan an exercise based vacation. I love self guided cycling tours but there are unlimited options – hike a portion of the Appalachian Trial or one of hundreds of similar trails through out the country. Go on a ski vacation or a tennis vacation. Set training goals to be ready for the event. Your anticipation will increase as the date approaches and the training progresses.
This year one or my goals is to be consistent with weight training. I really don’t enjoy lifting weights but I love the effects. I feel the difference in my body each and every workout. This year I’m pairing it with spin classes. I’m very diligent in attending two classes per week. If I go a little early to lift weights that overcomes the biggest obstacle – getting there.
The Bottom Line:
There’s an ad on television for a home exercise machine that only takes 14 minutes a day. They claim that the biggest deterrent to exercise is finding the time. I disagree, it’s making the time. Make your plans for 2016.