Not surprisingly, weight loss is a popular New Year’s resolution for many.
Celebrating the holiday season offers many occasions to indulge in tempting foods and luscious deserts. In addition, the rush of holiday gift shopping encourages poor-nutritional, fast food consumption, often resulting in additional pounds.
According to USA Today, only 22% of people who establish New Year's resolutions actually follow through on their personal promises. Why then, do so many individuals begin the new year with a goal of weight loss, only to end up failing? The answer lies in a lack of understanding regarding the planning of the actual resolution. Another reason is often a lack of commitment.
The fitness industry is constantly introducing new products to spark interest. However, the attention given to exercise machines is often short term, with the user becoming bored and unmotivated. To permanently shed those pounds, a person must remain faithful to a plan of action. The goal of weight loss should not be confused with the resolution itself, i.e. merely purchasing exercise equipment or starting a diet. Rather, the goal should be to implement a plan, carry it out, and achieve the goal. Martial arts, for example, can help in understanding goals, making plans, and having the ability to achieve success.
The next dilemma many people face is commitment to the goal. Again, martial arts can be an invaluable tool as, by definition, the martial arts teach commitment. Because it’s fun, martial arts is a great way to get in shape for the new year. It’s always easier to commit to a fitness goal, achieving long-lasting results, when the physical activity is enjoyable. Martial arts continuously motivate and challenge, while exercising the body, burning fat, and improving muscle tone.
In addition to having the support of martial arts training, the following five valuable lessons can assist with the realization of any resolutions.
1. Keep in mind, goals provide the direction that governs behavior. Focus on the goal with positive thoughts, not the resolution. For example, if your resolution is to stop smoking, and you crave a cigarette, don’t think of it as “no longer smoking”, but instead, focus on living longer.
2. Decide which activities will be utilized in order to reach the objective. If a person loves deserts but has a goal to lose 20 pounds, resolve this conflict by using means other than completely eliminating cheesecake.
3. Dream big, but keep your goals realistic. Remember, goals and resolutions are not the same as hopes and dreams. Goals and resolutions are the specific actions to which a person is willing to commit, in order to fulfill their hopes and dreams. Systematically move toward reaching the goal, step by step.
4. Do not wait until next January to review your goals and resolutions. Keep track of progress each month by writing down successes in a notebook. Improving in small steps leads to long term success.
5. Spread the word! Publicizing goals and resolutions help in achieving them. The more people who know, the more help you can get. Other people can help strengthen your commitment.
The USA Today article also reported that 90% of people who make New Year's resolutions, indicate a desire to make changes to better themselves. Martial arts can be the most important resource in realizing these personal changes. With careful planning, realistic goal setting, commitment to the plan, and support from others such as friends and instructors, 2023 will be a successful year!