So, on January 1, you promised yourself that would follow a healthier diet and get to the gym more often. How has that been going? Now that we’ve settled into the new year, have you kept up with your resolutions?
Whether you need a little motivation to keep going or a push to get back to it, these Main Line health and wellness experts are sharing their tips for sticking to those resolutions.
Trainer and former Best of the Main Line and Western Suburbs winner Maria Rossi encourages her clients to write down a long-term goal, even if it seems unattainable in the moment. “In most cases, that is the North Star,” she explains. “It is the big dream that acts as a compass to set our path. And that path will be full of smaller, intermediate and achievable goals.” Acknowledging what needs to be done to stick to that ultimate resolution is key. Celebrate those small successes, and you’ll find that the goal that seemed out of reach might not be too far off after all.
If your resolution is related to improving the way others see you in some way, you’re not in it for the right reasons. “When people set goals that are based on pleasing other people, that goal’s days are numbered,” says King of Prussia trainer Antonio Davis. “Focus on accomplishing something that makes you feel good and healthy.”
As a certified personal trainer and instructor at CycleBar Exton, Abbie Primus believes in writing out your weekly schedule ahead of time. “When you write it down, you are more likely to make it happen and plan your health as a priority,” she says. Block off your calendar for tasks like preparing a nutritious meal or getting to a workout class, and treat that time like a work meeting that you can’t cancel.
“We start the year enthusiastically and full of motivation,” says Rossi. “But when that motivation is gone (as it probably will go), the only way to stick to our plan is with discipline.” Rossi’s advice is to visualize the person you want to become. If you’d like to be an individual who eats healthy foods and exercises daily, tell yourself that’s who you see yourself as. “Even if it’s not quite the case now, this method engages the brain to create a clear vision of how we would like to see and feel about ourselves in the near future.”
Making a lifestyle change requires some time, whether that be time to prepare healthy meals or get to the gym. “If you don’t carve out the time, you will not make it happen,” warns Radnor-based registered dietician and nutritionist Emily Murray. “Think about ways to multitask. Do some work on the treadmill. Try Instacart or other online food delivery systems to help with shopping.”
Main Line Today 2022 Power Woman Dr. Janine Darby of Lifestyle Changes encourages you to give yourself grace in keeping to your resolutions. “Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite things,” she says. “But be mindful of your portions and the frequency of your unhealthy choice.” Trying to cut out some of your favorite, less healthy foods altogether and go “cold turkey” may make you feel resentful towards your goal, rather than inspired.
Your friends are often among the list of your biggest supporters, so who better to help you stick to your resolution? Sharing your goals with your friends and including them in your journey helps hold you accountable but also makes the process more enjoyable. “Group fitness classes always motivate me the most because it’s a chance to make new friends and hang out with the ones you’re not able to see as often as you’d like,” says Primus.
Having a motto or a set of words that you live by can do wonders in helping you maintain your desired lifestyle. “I like working on a personal phrase or motto and hang it where I can see it as soon as I wake up,” say Rossi. One of her goals is to become a professional bodybuilder, so she hung the words, “I’m a pro bodybuilder. I train like a pro bodybuilder. I eat like a pro bodybuilder,” in her closet. “These phrases are the compass for my actions,” she explains.
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