New year, same you?

New year, same you? Image
New year, same you? January 18, 2017

It’s mid-January, so it’s likely some of you have forgotten that you made New Year’s resolutions altogether.

Others might be sputtering on fumes, clinging to that last bit of resolve you had entering 2017.  No need to despair, though.  We’ve got a few tips from alumna Kate Toohig to keep you on track.

We get it. It’s tough to change.

“Good habits take at least 21 days to form and about 6 months to become part of your life,” Toohig said.

She’s director of fitness, wellness and recreation at the Mandel Jewish Community Center in Beachwood, Ohio, so she knows a thing or two about what it takes to transform.

“People need to realize that changes will not happen immediately, but if they stick with it, things will change.”

The problem is that perhaps we fall into the trap of having ambitions that aren't attainable.

“People set themselves up for failure by making goals that are too much too soon,” Toohig said.

“They need to be realistic when they set them, because once they fall off the wagon, more often than not, they stay off.”

Is that you? Have you fallen off the wagon?  Maybe you’re still going strong and want to stay there.

Here are five Toohig tips to help you make substantive change this year.  Though you’ll find these seem to apply only to fitness and health, you should see that there’s a universality to them, applicable to pretty much any area you’re looking to improve.

  1. Be realistic. Set goals that you will be able to keep. Do not set yourself up for failure with goals such as “I will never eat bread again.”
  2. Plan ahead. Start planning your week of fitness and healthy eating before the week begins. This will keep you from having to make poor choices at the last minute.
  3. Tell people. Tell your family and friends so that they can support you and help keep you on track!
  4. Track your progress. Whether it is weigh-ins, how your favorite pants fit, or simply being able to run a little bit longer every week.  Keep track of what you are doing and how you are doing. Use an app or a journal to help.
  5. Don’t beat yourself up. If you have a misstep in your plan, do not fall off your program entirely. Accept that you will make mistakes and get back to your plan quickly.

Last words from Toohig.

“Change is hard because most people are more comfortable doing what they have always done. If they make a change, chances are they will learn to love it soon enough!”

Here’s to lasting change.