Keeping up with your New Year’s Resolution

Yes, many of you have forgotten about New Year’s Resolutions by now. It is February, after all. We are more than a month into the new year and many of us have forgotten we even made New Year resolutions just a short time ago. When someone asks, you probably say something like, “Well, I think I was considering it, but I don’t think I ever committed.” But really, somewhere in the back of your mind, you do remember that you were thinking about committing to doing something. There was that thing, that thing you wanted to change, and it would be good for you to re-consider it some point — and then do it.

We have had a month to push aside all the hype about thinking about our future looks like in 2014. Now we’re back to living our day-to-day. Nothing much seems to have changed. But 2014 could still be your year. It could be a year of change. It is a year of change. Of course it’s your year. Every year is your year, if you make it that way.

Research says that it is important to feel connected to your future if you are going to keep your resolutions. It says that people who feel close to, and familiar with their future selves are more likely to invest in their well-being. But what does that actually mean if you really don’t want to get up in the morning to go to the gym, or bypass another piece of cake? Being a goal-setting kind of person myself, I am always interested in who keeps their resolutions and why.

So I sat down with Carrie Fields and Amber Adams, personal trainers at Taos Pilates Studio, and asked them what they see what their studio. They have an influx of people committing to being healthier in the new year, and how do they support them in way beyond the first four weeks to reach their goals to change? Here’s what they had to say:

LT:  People usually start falling off their resolution bandwagon about this time. What is your advice to them?

Carrie: It is important to examine the old habits you keep. They could be food, drink, a relationship, Facebook. Ask yourself what is eating your time, weakening your self-esteem, or driving you to behave in old habit mode. This is the new you! Continuing a commitment to a New Years Resolution requires creating new habits. It is easy to fall prey to old habits. They are habitual after all. Creating a new habit sounds easy enough in words, but it actually means breaking old habits to form new ones.

Amber:  Visualize what makes you happy to help keep you motivated. Finding a type of exercise that you can connect with makes sense in your body. If exercise feels like torture, you are probably not going to stay committed.  Try different activities to find what you like doing. Different types of exercise and activities can come into play during different time in your life. Try out different things until you find something that feels good. That helps you stay motivated. Don’t torture yourself by committing to something that feels bad. Try doing a few different activities at once to give yourself variety.

LT: There is some science on willpower that says that people need to create resolutions that are deeply meaningful to them and they will be more likely to keep them. What do you think about this in terms of being healthy?

Carrie: Being healthy and making daily healthy choices depends on a person’s ability to answer the question “Why.” Why am I not worth it? What is the deep why that cheated you out of planning ahead for healthy meals or lacking the sleep needed to take care of oneself? So, what is the thorn in your paw that keeps you whining? Take that thorn out already!

Amber: A resolution is about willpower, and having the mind set to make the right choices for you. Sometimes those choices can be very hard. We’re not at all perfect. So do what you can. Try to remember the choices that elevated your mood or made you feel in control of the situation. Reflect back on those feelings and one might find confidence to make better choices in the future.

LT: What do you notice about your clients who enjoy their training sessions the most? Is there a secret to enjoying exercising?

Carrie: Act how you want to feel. I have observed that people who stick with their exercise are those who find something they enjoy doing. We are so lucky to live in a beautiful place where there are lots of activities outside and many that are free. At the same time, Taos offers the variety sophisticated fitness programs like you might find in a city. Search for what is fun, and don’t give up until you find it.

Amber: I know from my own personal experience that finding something that I enjoy doing is critical, and vital in the commitment level that the enjoyment brings. Whatever your goal or purpose may be, finding physical activities are so important to health and mental clarity.

LT: How do you get to the place of recognizing the goal and the process are equally important? Does this help someone keep their resolution?  

Carrie: Do what you like and have no expectations. Finding and committing to new practices that nourish yourself while leading toward your goal, are key. Take care of you, so you can listen to your loved ones and the symphony of life around you. We are selfish, so we can be selfless. “When it is over, I want to say: All my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.” — Mary Oliver

Amber: All it takes is getting started, that’s the hardest part. Obtaining the body, mind connection is what makes the process become easier and reaching the goal possible.

 Photos by Deanna Nelson of Poetic Images