Were you like the millions of other
people worldwide who made a resolution to lose weight this year? How
many times have you set that goal for yourself? And of those times
how many have you been successful? Not too many, probably.

I’m going to go out on a limb and
say, the goal of losing the extra pounds is the wrong way of looking
at the issue. Why not focus instead on improving your health and
personal fitness? That way, weight loss becomes a positive side
effect but not the main impetus for actions.

When you focus on cutting pounds you
are constantly viewing yourself as not good enough. On the other
hand, when you look to improve your health the focus shifts to
betterment and small positive milestones; such as running a half mile
further, doing an extra rep of weights at the gym or drinking one
less carbonated soft drink a day.

It’s not easy to make the transition.
It takes an entire mental overhaul. To get started, try these tips:

  1. Outline your fitness goals. (Run a
    half-marathon, feel less sluggish during the day, play with your
    kids outside without feeling winded.) Make your goals realistic but
    challenging to achieve.

  2. Examine your day-to-day
    activities. Where does unhealthy living creep in? (not getting
    enough sleep, driving some place you could walk to, rarely drinking
    water, frequenting fast-food restaurants) Identify the biggest
    problem areas and what you can do to uproot them.

  3. Expand your knowledge base. The
    more we know about our bodies, foods and exercise the easier it will
    be to implement positive changes. Sign up for a magazine
    subscription or bookmark a favorite website.

  4. Tweak your eating habits. Can you
    trade flavored water for soft drinks? What about eating a handful of
    almonds instead of potato chips when you want a snack?

  5. Don’t concentrate on the numbers
    on the scale. Health is about the body as a whole.

  6. Cut the words ‘weigh loss’
    from your vocabulary. Instead supplement that phrase with healthy
    lifestyle.

  7. For inspiration YouTube-it. The
    site has videos that will walk you through every thing from yoga
    moves to hip hop dance routines. It even has more than 26,000
    entries for healthy recipes and hundreds of how-to videos for the
    fitness ball.

  8. Communicate your fitness goals
    with someone else. Just speaking the words will help these concepts
    become a reality. Plus, your confidant can act as a cheerleader,
    spurring you on.

  9. Results are never immediate; don’t
    expect them to be. It takes time to see/feel a difference. You’re
    in it for the long haul.

  10. Don’t compare yourself to
    others. No two people are going to fit the same fitness and heath
    model. Find what works for you; ignore the rest.

Katie Hinderer

Katie Hinderer is a freelance writer and social media enthusiast. She holds a degree in Journalism from Marquette University. Over the years she has transitioned from traditional publishing...