Amber Alert

The Overlooked Key to Achieving Your Resolutions

What kind of New Year's resolutions did you make this year? Did they involve improving your health, fitness, nutrition or related health habits? Every year, many of us start off with good intentions, only to find that "life" gets in the way. A couple of months along we find we are no closer to achieving what we started out to do.

It's easy to justify or excuse these "failures" in a variety of ways. Maybe it wasn't a high enough priority or we are just too busy and so forth. But there's one element in all of this that might be overlooked - genuine support and understanding by the people we care about. An important part of this relationship dynamic is that we feel the person or people closest to us have faith in our abilities to do what we set out to do.

Fitness trainers see this sort of thing a lot. A person comes for training, gets going well and then starts missing sessions. When the person is asked why, the answer is usually something like "I feel that I am taking too much time away from my family" or "my wife feels that we are not spending enough time together.” I once had a spouse of a client tell me right in front of the client that the client has started to get fit many times and failed and that now he doesn't believe she can do it! I felt the client's hurt and self doubt with that comment. Certainly, the comment does not encourage her success. That's really tough.

If you are having trouble keeping fitness resolutions (or any resolutions) year after year, take a look at your family and friends. Do you feel that they are they enthusiastically supporting your efforts and believe in your ability to accomplish what you start? If not, try to think of some ways to change this situation for the better. Here are some ideas:

Recruit a support group of people who can support and mentor you to help offset some of the difficulties and self doubt you are experiencing. Your supporters don't have to be fitness enthusiasts (although your trainer is a good place to start). They can be friends or colleagues whom you enjoy. Even better, talk to people who are accomplishing goals while experiencing resistance or lack of support by their loved ones.

Communicate, communicate, communicate, and communicate again!

It's up to you to find a way to communicate the importance of your goals to your family and friends emphasizing your need for them to support you.

Tell your loved ones how difficult this change is for you and how past failures affect your self confidence in this area... and that you need them to help you!

Ask for their suggestions on how you can meet their needs and also accomplish what you want to do.

Try to find out how they feel about what you are doing - if there are fears or insecurities involved. Sometimes there can be hidden agendas such as a spouse's fear that you getting fit will cause you to change in a negative way or a child who thinks you will spend less time with them. Then, with this knowledge, together, discuss ways to make sure everyone feels secure and happy with any changes in routines etc.

You will be amazed at how much cooperation and enthusiastic support you will receive, just by asking.

Have a wonderful year!

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