Every New Year’s Eve, many people make a resolution to improve their life in some way. Lose weight, go to the gym, start a diet, save money, spend time with family, work less, travel more…The list goes on and on. But what happens to those resolutions? Unfortunately, most don’t make it to the end of January as the resolution gets lost in the everyday hectic pace. Why don’t these resolutions last? It could be that the goal was too big, no plan was developed to achieve said resolution, or trying to make significant changes without the support of others leads to solitary failure.
To achieve your goals you may want to look for reinforcements, aka friends and family. There is power in partnering with others as it holds you accountable to someone other than yourself. For example, wanting to be more fit (e.g., eat healthy, be active) or to spend more time with your family in the New Year or maybe both. These resolutions have a better chance of “making it” past the end of January if there is accountability to another person. Additionally, making fitness a family activity can have many benefits beyond just achieving a new year’s resolution: teaching your children that exercise is an important part of being healthy and self-care, family time can be fun and active, eating healthy helps both mentally and physically, and getting to spend time with family instead of going to the gym alone.
But where to start? First, pick a small time period 2-3 times per week for family fitness time. Second, start small: a walk around the block, dance party in the living room, relaxation activity, cooking a meal together, or a game of catch. Third, get input from others on what they would like to do and rotate whose turn it is to pick each activity. Once you have a good consistency with the 2-3 times per week, you can start to increase the time. Or maybe you will be having such a good time during the activities that the time has naturally increased. If so, start increasing to 3-4 times per week. In the case of missed activity times, go back to the beginning and reinforce the consistency with small and manageable activities.
Consistency is the key to keeping resolutions and accountability can help with getting that consistency. The most important aspect of resolutions is to make them manageable and fun! And if it doesn’t work, we are here to help. Just give us a call.
By Michelle Culver, LMFT at Treehouse Family Counseling Services