How About Those New Year's Resolutions?
By Mary Jane Horton
Last January, Diana Ennen made a New Year's resolution to get in shape. She started off with a bang: "I was on fire," says the writer and publicist from Margate, Fla., "working out at the gym, going to kickboxing and Zumba [a fitness class that combines Latin music and dance steps], exercising with videos one to two hours a day and walking. Then life happened. I had to plan a seminar for a client, took on a new client, then there was my daughter's birthday party, and well, all those excuses. I haven't been able to get it back."
Sound familiar? The truth is, only about 40 percent of people are successful at changing ingrained habits on the first attempt, according to G. Alan Marlatt, Ph.D., who, as director of the Addictive Behaviors Research Center at the University of Washington, has studied resolutions for more than 20 years and specializes in helping people alter their daily routine.
The secret to successfully keeping your resolutions? Try and try again, says Marlatt. This is especially true when it comes to getting (and staying) in shape. So if your New Year's resolution to get fit has fallen flat, consider the following:
Try something different When you fall off the fitness wagon, three simple words do the trick: "Mix it up," says Michael George, a Hollywood trainer who has worked with starlets Reese Witherspoon, Julianne Moore and Meg Ryan, among others. Nothing beats the excitement of starting something new. So if you can't drum up enthusiasm for your usual workout, "go back to the drawing board," says George. "Set new goals, change your music, do different activities, go to a different gym, take it outside."
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