We all start the year with the high hopes and the best intention to take better care of ourselves, finally fit fitness into our schedules, or clean up our eating habits. But given that 80% of people give up on New Year’s resolutions by February, the odds are not in our favor. In hopes to help us all be successful through the rest of the year, we have been looking for the tricks to beat the odds. We brought together a few people who found the time- in busy careers and personal lives- to reach their goals in 2018. Here are their tips to getting started and sticking with it that you can use keep up your health-related New Year’s resolutions.
- Treat your workout like a meeting with your boss. Schedule your workout and block off the time in your calendar, especially if you plan to fit it in during the workday. You wouldn’t flake on your boss, so treat yourself the same and keep your meeting with yourself. If that is hard to do, find a workout buddy or hire a trainer. You’ll be less likely to skip it when you scheduled someone else’s time too.
Nathalie Bulos, product development engineer, says, “Being an engineer and a single mom with two amazing daughters, time management is a daily challenge and struggle for me. But I chose to give importance to myself. On my work and personal calendars, I reserved a recurring 12–1 p.m. for Boot Camp class offered on campus. If I cannot make it to the gym at lunch, I register for the small group session at 8 a.m. or 5 p.m. With a gym and free classes on my campus, there is no excuse and I can find something to fit on my calendar.”
- Start small and set micro goals. You may have a one big goal in mind, that’s great. However, losing 100 pounds or running a marathon is a long-term goal. It is important to have milestone goals to celebrate your progress and keep from feeling overwhelmed. And if you don’t have specific goals in mind, don’t underestimate the power of a single change. Starting with something easy and building on early success can make you less likely to call it quits than if overhaul your daily life and don’t think you’ll be able to maintain your new status quo.
Marely Tejeda Ferrari, packaging engineer, shared, “I have different types of goals, which are all about performance and not weight loss or physical appearance. My main goal is to be able to dance contemporary again and do a Spartan race. However, because these goals are very long term and sometimes they feel unachievable, I focus on short term goals, like being able to hold a plank for X seconds or being able to do a push up or pull up. I know what my main goals are, but yes, those are for the future, right now I am living in the moment, celebrating my present achievements and keeping in mind that every day I am a step closer to that contemporary dance class.”
Ricardo Martinez, a software engineer, shared his secret, “I actually didn’t do lot of changes to get started but, instead, small meaningful ones. I started taking on-site fitness classes three times a week and I stopped drinking soda from the cafe.By December when I visited the campus health center for my physical exam, I got the nice surprise that my triglycerides levels and cholesterol both went down so the small, sustainable changes are working for me.”
- Find your people. You need people who will encourage the behaviors you want to stick to and discourage the habits you are trying to break. Family or friends who you can enjoy activities with, or a professional trainer or nutritionist who can keep you accountable but also make you feel comfortable.
Ricardo Martinez actually started his journey because he had a supportive partner leading the way. “I joined small fitness training groups on my Intel campus around June last year, mainly because my wife (non-Intel employee) was getting into a healthier lifestyle and was having great results. She inspired me to get off the couch. Now, my wife and the on-site fitness trainers make it easy to stay motivated.”
- Find an activity you love. If you are looking to get moving, find something that interests you. Sign up for a dance class, join a recreational sports team or anything that makes you say, “I’d try that!” It will a lot more fun and might just become your “thing.”
Marely Tejeda Ferrari shared her approach, “I don’t particularly like running, but I enjoyed playing soccer. I don’t like going on walks, but I enjoyed taking my dog hiking and seeing how happy she is outdoors. I don’t like the gym, but I love dancing and training is an important part of it, and I love dancing so much that I am willing to do it. I have found that when I am doing activities I enjoyed, they don’t feel like a chore.”
Nathalie Bulos says, “I stretched myself to try dragon boat racing with the Intel Dragon Boat team. I never thought I’d love this water sport but I was lucky to stumble upon an activity that keeps me motivated. It has been a life changer for me and has become the reason for continuing my health and fitness journey. Everything I do in the gym helps me be a better paddler.”
It is not always easy to find time for fitness, prioritize your health, or stay motivated but if you follow these tips in February, you can beat the odds and reach your goals in 2019.