What will I wear? Where will we go? Who will I kiss at midnight? Those are just a few questions among the many that we all wonder going into New Year’s Eve. Among the details and planning that complete the night, the most burning question going through your head before midnight strikes is, “What will my New Year’s resolution be?”
A new year is a great time for positive change. It’s a perfect opportunity to set a goal and start fresh with it. However, picking an attainable New Year’s resolution and actually sticking to it is much easier said than done.
One of the most popular goals people set pertain to weight loss. Lisa Payne, celebrity trainer and fitness expert in Chicago, believes setting smaller short-term goals is the way to go. They will “help you get closer step-by-step to your larger end goal.” For example, if your goal is to drop five pounds by the end of the month: Set goals each week as to how many days you want to work out, when you want to work out and exactly what you’re going to do when you get to the gym. Grabbing your goal by the horns and setting a weekly routine will make dropping five pounds seem much more realistic.
“Think of resolutions as lifestyle changes,” Payne said. “When you start incorporating more permanent resolutions you are more likely to live a life of constant improvement than always crashing and burning on goals that only provide instant, temporary gratification.”
Committing to a routine
While weight loss is among one of the most popular resolutions, eating right and cutting junk food out is very common as well. Andrea Metcalf, NBC 5 Chicago fitness trainer, said that eating fruits and vegetables while incorporating lean proteins is one of the best ways to improve overall body image and help weight loss.
“Drink more low-calorie beverages, especially water,” Metcalf said. As college students it’s easy to let goals fall behind when time runs short, but it’s essential to stay committed to your resolutions in order for it to happen.
“It’s easy to narrow down your priorities to school and partying, but between the homework and late nights, your health is more important,” Payne said.
Senior Lauren Kurash hopes to complete another marathon, but this time, finish in less than five hours. “I plan on reaching my goal by eating the right foods such as fruits and vegetables and keeping up with my workout routine every morning,” she said.
So, on those days when you’re starting to feel unmotivated, what do you do? It’s great to be amped up to set goals, but it’s easy to quickly put them second to extracurricular activities when something better comes along.
Metcalf likes to compare New Year’s Resolutions to “The Wizard of Oz.”
“There are many paths to Oz, don’t let the monkey scare you,” she said. There were multiple ways for Dorothy to get to Oz, but she wouldn’t have been able to do it unless she put more effort into it. When she needed help – she sought it out in The Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion.
DePaul alumna Samantha Peache is hoping to eat healthier this month. In order to do that, she plans to pack her lunch for work and cook dinner more often. She’ll get there with the assistance of her mom helping her grocery shop and prepare meals.
“Remember that your resolutions are yours and yours alone. Take responsibility for your actions and be humble enough to ask for help with you need it,” Payne said.
Not letting cold weather get you down
Despite winter in Chicago being frigid and walking to the gym seems like going through a wind tunnel, you can’t let the cold deter you from working out.
“The gym does not close when it’s cold, when it snows, or when it rains,” Payne said. “If the employees can manage to trek out to the gym, so can you.”
“Remember your goals and remember that being in shape for half a year (during spring/summer) is not as good as being fit year round!” Payne said.
Sharing your success with others
Lastly, don’t forget to share your success. Metcalf believes progression is important and it’s okay to tell the world how great your goals are coming along.
You can find Lisa Payne at Equinox and Fitness Formula clubs teaching cycling and strength-based classes and check out Andrea Metcalf on NBC 5 on Saturday mornings. For more fitness tips check out www.goalsforgals.com.