Fitness goals and technology

Reasons for Failed and Successful Wellness Resolutions

By Will Welsh, Manager of Content, Nursing


It’s the end of February. It’s very possible that at the beginning of the year you made some kind of wellness resolution: You may have promised yourself that you’d lose weight, eat healthier, get to the gym more often, or run your first 5k or half-marathon—all worthwhile goals, to be sure.

As we know, however, resolutions have a way of wearing thin. Despite our best intentions, life gets in the way, and the things we resolved to do at the beginning of the year can lose their importance. By the time the March rolls around, many of us already find ourselves struggling to keep motivated.

Now, however, it’s time to re-energize.

The long, dark days of winter are coming to an end. Pretty soon, you’ll be storing those baggy, loose-fitting, but oh-so-warm clothes in favor of lighter, breezier outfits better suited for warmer weather. You’ll be outdoors more, and with that comes the ability to take part in all kinds of activities, such as going for a hike, run, or bike ride; taking long walks; going for a swim at the local pool; or just indulging in loads of sunshine.

One of the best ways to re-energize your earlier goal is to ask yourself these questions about your previous resolution:

  1. Why did you make it?
  2. What prevented you from continuing with it?

Go back to late December/early January. What about your resolution interested you? What made you want to pursue it? Do you still want to achieve it? These are important questions to ponder. While it’s possible that your goal simply failed to resonate with you, it’s more likely that Old Man Winter made the pursuit of the resolution difficult. Now is the time to decide if the resolution you gave up on earlier in the year is worth trying again. Do you still want to lose 10 pounds? Run an obstacle course race? Try out healthier, lighter meal alternatives?

If you wanted to take on a wellness challenge a couple of months ago, it’s a safe bet that you still want to take it on today. No doubt that the challenge and the overall health benefits you’ll reap in the pursuit of it are just as rewarding now as they were then.

After deciding that you want to give that resolution one more try, it’s time to evaluate what went wrong the first time around. Let’s face it: If we’re making a resolution, we’re asking ourselves to make a pretty big life change. Paying attention to our own personal wellness takes effort, especially when we’re asking ourselves to leave our normal comfort zones; it’s not something that’s done without thought, consideration, and even a little trepidation, which is what makes it challenging.

If you wanted to get to the gym more and found yourself unable to get up early enough in the morning to go, now try going during lunch or after work. If the gym isn’t near the office, start going for lunchtime walks. Or try the mornings again, when it’s not so bitter cold, the car doors aren’t frozen shut, and you don’t have to let the car warm up for 15 minutes before departing.

If you wanted to eat better, maybe now that the weather is going to be warming up, you’ll be more inclined to give up hearty winter meals in favor of lighter fare. Instead of waiting until the last minute to decide what to have for dinner each night, plan out your meals at the start of every week. Use a calorie-counting app such as My Fitness Pal to help guide your choices. Prepare whatever ingredients you can over the weekend so that you have the time to combine them into a healthy dish in the evenings.

If you wanted to start running and didn’t enjoy running on your own, head to your local running store and ask if they have group runs. Most specialty running stores do, and they are usually welcoming to runners of all levels—even first timers! They’ll get you to the finish line of any race you want to run and provide motivation along the way.

Basically, do whatever you can do to make your resolution easier to accomplish. Find ways to tweak your plan to make it work for you. It’s possible. Your goal is still out there. Now is the time to achieve it.

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