Everyone is in the New Year’s resolution frame of mind, particularly when it comes to making a “new you.” However, we all know the journey from resolution to realization takes us through a valley where many lose the most important ingredient in a resolution…resolve!

Jon Williams, the director of Health First’s Pro-Health & Fitness Centers, has more than 25 years in the fitness field. He commented,

“It usually takes six to eight weeks before we actually begin to see results from a health or fitness resolution. That’s why setting realistic, attainable, short- and long-term goals are so important.”

Translated, that means setting a goal of completing a local 5K run by April, for most people, is attainable. However, competing in the Iron Man Triathlon this year may be a stretch. Also, people’s goals are different; one may want to get lean and fit, while another may want to lower blood pressure and reduce dependency on medications.

Williams, along with Susie Bond, one of Health First’s dietitian/nutritionists, identified the…

Four Keys to Realizing our Resolutions:

  1. A Strong Desire — Someone once said, “We change when we know enough
    to want to, or hurt enough to have to.” Williams and Bond both stressed the motivational advantage of “wanting to” versus “having to” in attaining our health and fitness goals.
  2. Make a Commitment — The substance of any commitments are the actions they produce. Without simple action steps, usually those commitments become dreams, and we know how long we remember dreams after we wake up.
  3. Develop a Habit — According to Bond, it takes 21 days to form a new habit and 66 days for the habit to seem automatic.
  4. Do Not Go It Alone – One of the most important factors Bond and Williams saw demonstrated repeatedly at the Pro-Health & Fitness Centers was relationships. People formed relationships with both the staff and other members, which motivated them to stay on target.

“One of the biggest surprises people have when they come to one of our fitness centers is it’s filled with people just like them, not runway models or body builders,” Bond said.

“Also, we have so many classes and fitness options people can explore — from aerobics and spinning classes to racquetball and free weights — there’s something for everyone,” Williams added.

Both stressed the importance of the process Pro-Health uses to help people clarify their goals and set up a plan reasonable enough to ensure success.

“We show people the road to get to where they want to go, which is actually a much broader road than most people imagine,” said Williams. “It’s all about bringing balance into their lives through healthy eating, exercise and behavior changes.” ◆


Resolutions For Kids

Many parents wonder how to help their kids make better health and fitness choices. Bond and Williams give two primary suggestions:

  1. Many lifestyle solutions for young people have to start with the parents. Planning activities that involve exercise and changing the food choices available in the home can help.
  2. Connecting them with a health and fitness professional they like and relate to is essential for long-term results.