New Year’s resolutions – A new look

It is that time of the year when most of the urban population make another set of resolutions for the New Year 99% of which will not make it past March purely because, well, the year isn’t new anymore! Looking at how most resolutions don’t result in anything, are there meaningful resolutions that can keep you on track for the duration of the year? I say yes. But they need to be about habits and not about numbers. They need to be about lifestyle changes and not about products.

What the majority of fitness enthusiasts (and the resolution making crowd in general) don’t realize is that it isn’t about the New Year or about a particular event or result but about the consistent actions that lead to the chosen event or result. If, for example, your New Year resolution is to run a marathon, it isn’t about the marathon but about the training, consistency and discipline required for you to be ready for the marathon and, more importantly, about what you learn during the process of preparing for the marathon and how you incorporate what you learn into your daily fitness life, personal life and professional life.

Here are 8 very strong changes I recommend that will help you move robustly towards those results you’re looking to achieve in 2013.

1. Eat dessert 62 times in 2013.

  • There are a total of 52 weeks in 2013. How about eating dessert once a week and on 10 other days? The 10 other days should be days you choose – relevant festivals, important birthdays/anniversaries, respectable life events etc.

2. Get in at least 104 training sessions in.

  • It doesn’t matter what kind of training. It could be a run or yoga or strength training or zumba for all I care. At 500 calories burnt per session (either directly as in cardio or indirectly as in other forms training that increase BMR), you’ll burn a good 50,000+ calories during the year which will result in a ~7kg weight loss in addition to the myriad other health and lifestyle benefits that stem from exercising consistently.

3. Sit for no more than 60 minutes at a time.

  • Every hour stand up. What you do after you stand up is almost irrelevant but don’t sit for more than an hour at a stretch.

4. Try a new vegetable every month.

  • We all have vegetables we love and vegetables we hate. But almost invariably, we tend to hate some of the most nutritious vegetables mainly because we have bad memories of that vegetable from when we were kids. Well, we’re not kids anymore. Our outlook towards life has changed. Our needs have changed. And it is very probable that our tastes might have changed too.

5. Lose your temper less.

  • Every time you lose your temper, give yourself a little black mark.

6. Plan your vacation before February.

  • Everyone is very busy today. No one has the time to take time off. But guess what? The industry/company won’t pulverize if you take a week off and there is enough statistics to prove that people taking vacations are more productive. The truth is that most people don’t take vacations because they don’t plan in time. Plan your vacation well in advance. You will have something to look forward to during the year and you can save yourself a couple of bucks.

7. Don’t litter

  • and report the folks who do. Even a place like Chennai, now, has trashcans every 100 -200 meters in many areas. Use them. Keep the city clean. Keep diseases far away from you and everyone else. Fall sick less. Live life more.

8. Say no to weighing scales, elevators, suitcases with wheels and driving endlessly hoping to find the closest parking spot.

  • Weigh yourself once a month. Always take the stairs. Carry your suitcases. And, always, park a few hundred meters away from your destination.

And like everything else I write about, you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) follow these blindly. Find the ones that are relevant to your life and pick those. Understand the idea and add a couple of your own. Accept that you’re not going to hit all 8 or 6 or 11 and prioritize the list. Focus more on the more important ones and go easy on the rest. It’s all about you and it’s all about sustainability. Make it work.


6 responses to “New Year’s resolutions – A new look

  1. Latha January 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Beau…tiful article,change inside and out and so realistic and yet a strong goal.Acceptance and progress-now I want to do these resolutions 🙂

  2. Kusum Rohra January 4, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    One of the best posts I have read here 🙂 This easily qualifies to be made into a Baz Luhrmann’s Sunscreen kind of song! So my FBS has now reached from 109 to 76 in little over a year thanks to the ERF ideas I picked up at the Quad so maybe if not 62 I can at least eat desserts 26 times without feeling like shit. Wish you a very happy new year. I might actually take a print out of these and stick in my cubicle.

  3. suganthi January 5, 2013 at 1:11 am

    Great post! I would like to understand point 3 better. I know sitting for long periods is bad. But our job dictates that we sit for long periods. Just standing up and immediately sitting down will not help, will it? I wonder why standing/treadmill desks are not more popular?

    Congrats to Kusum on the drastic reduction in FBS. Can you elaborate a bit more Kusum?

  4. Gita January 9, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Sure puts things in perspective!! 104 does not sound daunting and 62 sounds like too much!!

  5. Krishnan G January 11, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Twenty years ago, I cut down honking by fining myself 1 rupee every time I honked. I gave the money to a cause I hated (that’s the trick). Now I rarely honk! A recent study by a Harvard prof shows that people stick to challenges if they know they are going to lose money. That has spawned a whole bunch of online betting sites, such as Dietbet (recently won some money on it).

  6. kavimathi January 14, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Good one 🙂 loved reading it

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