January 1, 2008

New Year’s Resolutions

88% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and only 20% succeed. Scary! Every year I make TONS of New Year’s resolutions for how I’m going to make my life better (told you I was a perfectionist). One year I made so many I couldn’t even remember all of them! Clearly that is not the way to join that 20%. In fact, this article on New Year’s resolutions fitness tips warns people to limit the number of resolutions you make. Although that article warns people to break your goal into smaller goals, I’ve never really been good with keeping the “everyday” goals – I think I’m better off setting long-term goals to accomplish at some point in the year. Plus, if I do long-term resolutions, I have all year to get them done instead of having one bad day (or bad week or bad month) and giving up.

I’m declaring 2008 “The Year of Fitness.” On my weigh-in this morning, I got back to my lowest weight in 18 months! Unfortunately, this weight is also the weight I couldn’t seem to get below on my last attempt to lose weight and get healthy. Will I be able to get below it? Hopefully my new year’s resolutions will help.

I’ve already gotten in the calorie counting habit (and LOVE it), so I don’t need to really add that to my list. Instead, as I said, I’m choosing three long-term fitness goals.

Goal #1: Complete a half-marathon. I know a full would be more ambitious and probably a better goal for me, but with my work schedule, it’s hard for me to make that kind of time commitment. My current project gives me plenty of time, but who knows what my next project will be like. So – I’m aiming for a half-marathon at the end of January. I’ve been running 9 miles or so in Central Park, and I think I can work up to another four in a month (that’s 1 mile/week, which is exactly what’s considered a safe way to increase your mileage). My project finishes at the end of January, so I know I’ll be good for time until then. Hopefully I can get this goal knocked out early in the year, and then maybe I’ll even go for a marathon later in the year.

Goal #2: Get my CPT (that’s a certification to be a personal trainer). I’ve wanted to do this for a while, not necessarily because I want to work as a personal trainer (I think it would be great, but I don’t know if I can fit it in with work, and I’m not ready to make it my whole career). The hard part is, there are a TON of different certifications. To be a doctor or a lawyer, there is only one organization (at least in the US) that certifies you. However, to become a personal trainer, there are about five different options, all of which are considered reputable. If anyone who reads this has gotten a certification, let me know which one and how you picked it – I’m interested to hear real anecdotes instead of the marketing nonsense on each website. Cost isn’t a HUGE consideration (of course, I’d rather spend less, but it seems like there isn’t a big differential so I’d rather just pick whatever one is the best). I’m particularly interested in some of the ones that offer dual certifications as a personal trainer and nutritionist, because diet and exercise go together so much. My goal is to pick a certification within the next week, so then I have the rest of the year to study up and get it done!

Goal #3: Run 600 miles this year. That sounds like a TON, but that’s 50 miles/month, which is doable… IF I keep up with my running. This I think is going to be the hardest goal, because it’s going to be the least intolerant of slacking (if I miss a month, 100 miles in the next month is going to be really hard).

This has been my attempt to make myself accountable by publicizing my resolutions, as discussed in this article. Feel free to do the same by posting yours in my comments – I’d love to hear what your plans are for the new year! If you want some ideas for your own resolutions (remember, they can be made ANYTIME, not just on December 31), there are a ton of comments at FitSugar with other people’s fitness resolutions.


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