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Your Resolution Solution

By Kelli Calabrese MS, CSCS, ACE

Polls show that the number one New Year's resolution is still to lose weight with exercising more coming in at a close second. The New Year gives people hope that their situations can improve. Itís an opportunity to fulfill all of last year's shortcomings.

Unfortunately most resolutions donít make it past February. But most people don't start out with the right tools or a solid plan. When obstacles begin to arise, the resolutions quickly fall by the wayside.

Creating a new habit takes both information and inspiration. Here are 10 ways to overcome the most common obstacles people face in sticking to their resolutions.

1. Too tired -- Remember that exercise gives you energy. And the more you exercise -- the more energy you will have. Where would you be if you were too tired to work on a relationship or too tired to meet an important deadline? Use visualization to think about how great you will feel when you begin exercising and the endorphins kick you into a natural high. Think about how you'll feel in an hour if you donít exercise compared to if you do.

2. Overwhelmed -- If your resolutions were to lose weight, drink more water, exercise regularly and quit smoking, you will be setting yourself up for failure by trying to change too many things at one time. Start small. For example, start bringing bottled water to work the first week. Head to the gym during week two. When you've mastered several weeks of going to the gym, begin to smoke one less cigarette a day. Every week or so, take your new healthy habit up a notch by increasing the dose to move you closer to your goal. But do so gradually.

3. Past failures -- Just because you haven't been able to stick with exercise before doesn't mean that you can't do it now. Identify what your greatest source of sabotage has been. Identify the triggers that inhibited you from staying on track and come up with a solid plan to overcome those obstacles.

For example, if you continually overslept in the morning and missed your workouts, try turning off the TV and going to bed a half hour earlier. You can catch the highlights as you're on the treadmill in the morning. You can't keep doing the same things and expect different results.

4. Not sure what to do -- Look for a credible fitness and nutrition professional like the ones found at eFitness. There are many myths in diet and exercise. If you want to maximize your efforts, you need to be sure you are following the basic and proven principles. At eFitness, you can get 24/7 live support as well as the support of weight loss and fitness experts, which include some of the nationís most sought after certified fitness professionals. The support of members, information from a weekly newsletter, convenience, confidentiality, and customization of the meal and exercise programs take out all the guesswork.

5. Tempted to skip a workout -- Put an image in your mind of how you will feel when you are fit. How will you look? How will you act? How will people react to you? What will your energy be like? Keep in mind that achieving health and fitness takes consistent effort. You may even want to cut out inspirational pictures and view them to be reminded of what you're aspiring toward. Think of the long-term consequences of skipped workouts versus consistent exercise.

6. No support -- If your spouse, roommate or family members are trying to sabotage your efforts, find a gym buddy. Look for someone, who has a similar or slightly better fitness level and agree to a training schedule. Having the commitment of a gym buddy will increase your chances of showing up for your workouts.

7. No progress -- It takes at least six weeks of regular and intense exercise to begin seeing and feeling a difference. Your health will begin improving long before you see changes on the scale. Measure your progress and success by using weight, body composition, circumference measurements, clothes size, improvements in strength, and so on. Take your measurements now and set a goal as to where you would like to be in six weeks, three months, six months and 12 months.

If possible, sign up for a complete fitness evaluation with a personal trainer to find out your resting heart rate, blood pressure, body composition, strength, endurance and flexibility. This way, you will be able to see improvements and compare your progress. Donít forget to reschedule the re-evaluation date, which will help keep you on track.

8. No equipment and no money -- You donít need anything fancy or expensive to begin exercising. You can put one foot in front of the other and begin striding out the door. As a beginner, you can use body weight exercises without equipment. A small investment in a fitness ball, tubing and dumbbells can go a long way. Check out our company store for a variety of exercise products.

9. Iíve never been athletic -- Stretch your comfort level. Maybe you never pictured yourself playing racquetball, mountain biking or in a kickboxing class, but if you keep yourself open to new activities -- you might just find several that you truly enjoy and want to do often. Donít be afraid to try a sport you enjoyed as a child. Remember, itís the things that you DONíT do that you will regret. This isn't gym class. Fitness should be fun.

10. I canít stay on track -- Keeping a workout log gives you an idea of your progress at a glance. You can record your goals, exercises, heart rates, duration of cardio, water intake, food intake and so on. Having to write everything down makes you accountable, is therapeutic and allows you to see your progress along the way.

There will be obstacles. You may encounter a plateau or unexpected life event that may throw you off track. Remember that this is part of the process, and while you may wander temporarily -- you can get back on track the very next day.

With the eFitness personalized fitness and meal plans, you have the support and expertise of health and fitness professionals on your side. This is a joint responsibility, and we will do our part to help you keep your resolutions all year.

Most of us aren't going to look like the cover models on fitness magazines. It's not reasonable to think you should lose more than 1 percent of your body weight a week. You should not commit to keeping up with an unrealistic and/or unhealthy exercise program. This is a journey and it's for life, so take it slow and enjoy the process.

Kelli Calabrese MS, CSCS, 2004 Personal Trainer of the Year - Online Training. Kelli is a 20 year fitness industry leader. She has 3 fitness related degrees and 24 Fitness, Nutrition and Lifestyle related certifications. Kelli is the former Lead Fitness Expert for eDiets and eFitness and remains a regular contributor. Kelli is the author of Feminine, Firm & Fit - Building A Lean Strong Body in 12 Weeks She has transformed thousands of bodies just like yours. She is available for phone coaching, online training, grocery shopping tours, seminars, and media opportunities. For more information go to
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