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5 steps nurses can take to keep their New Year’s fitness resolutions

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It’s that time of year. The new year is upon us, so it’s time to make those ever-“permanent” New Year’s resolutions. Something related to health, wellness and fitness always rounds out three, if not five, of the top 10 popular resolution goals.

The long-standing joke is that most of us never actually follow through with any New Year’s resolution, let alone all the fitness-related goals. They just never seem to “stick”; I think I read that more than 30 percent of people fail at their resolutions.

I thought I’d share some surefire tips on how to ensure your fitness-related goals will stick this year.

Make it a S.M.A.R.T. decision

  • Specific: Be as specific as possible. Don’t simply say “I want to lose weight.” Say “I want to lose 10 pounds in the next six months.” The more specific the better. The details matter.
  • Measurable: It can’t be something you guess at. Making it measurable requires you to be accountable for the results.
  • Attainable: While shooting for the moon is admirable, make your goal difficult, but attainable. Don’t expect to move mountains. Start small.
  • Realistic/relevant: This has to do with you as a person and your life. If it doesn’t have value in your life, then why will you stick to it? I won’t resolve to be a better gardener, because I’m just not that interested in gardening.
  • Time-dependent: This is paired with specific. Give it a timetable so you have to be accountable. No timetable means that you won’t adhere to the discipline needed.

No bargaining

  • Stop playing the bargaining game with a goal. “If I go for a run after work, I can eat my entire meal from the vending machine right now.” All that does is rationalize a weak moment, and even make it okay to repeat. Don’t let that happen.

Don’t believe the hype

  • If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. There is no such thing as easy. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it, right?

Don’t compare

  • You are not your friend, you are not your coworker and you are surely not the same as that guy or gal on TV. Don’t expect to get the same results they did just because you do the same thing.

Bad days are okay

  • If you can learn to accept minor setbacks, you will be successful. It’s the setbacks and “falling off the wagon” moments that usually lead to quitting. If you fall down, just get back up.

While none of my suggestions will guarantee success, I can confess from my own experiences these tips have helped me get through some of the toughest goals I have set.

Best of luck this year—make it a great one!

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3 Responses to 5 steps nurses can take to keep their New Year’s fitness resolutions

  1. yoganurse

    What a powerful post Sean. This and you are really SMART. I will share this!

  2. Elizabeth Scala

    Great post. Thanks for pointing out the piece about comparison. So often we want to look like everyone else looks, feel like everyone feels, and have what other people have. Being a unique individual is about standing in your own power. When we are comfortable and happy being ourselves then the goals (and successes) come much easier! Enjoy your health today!

  3. Joyce Fiodembo

    So true. I know there is so much hype out there.
    I think we like to listen to hype because we want to feel that life and things are easy.
    Then when we realize all the hard work needed, we simply jump off the wagon!

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