New Year Resolutions (You Can Actually Keep)

Katie Leyton

The new year means two things: 1. People are motivated to work hard; 2. People make promises to themselves (and then forget about them within two months). After the excessive eating, drinking and sleeping throughout the holiday season and winter break, students come back to Kent with determination to hit the gym, eat healthier and lose 20 pounds. I’m not saying it’s not possible, but let’s be honest: Eating right comes with a price tag, and fruits and vegetables are a lot more expensive than a $5 pizza from Little Caesars. This where I come in with tips, tricks, exercises and ideas to make reaching your health goal for 2015 a little more practical.

Achievable goals

A good place to start is to think of a goal that is achievable. If you’ve never run a day in your life, I don’t recommend going in with the mindset that you’ll crank out a marathon by October just by running one mile every day. Rather, find your niche. If you lift weights, make a goal to be able to curl twice as much weight by the end of the year. Or, if you do enjoy running but have never run more than six miles at a time, make a goal to double it and run a half marathon.

Goal weights

Forget about, “I want to lose (a ridiculous number) pounds this year.” Goal weights aren’t a bad thing, but if you plan to go to the gym X number of days per week, or run a certain amount of miles a day, your ideal weight will happen more naturally, as it should.

Grab a friend

Pairing up with someone to achieve the same goal makes the process 10 times easier. With a friend, there will be someone to encourage you to push through that last bench press rep. There is power in numbers, and forming a group allows everyone to hold each other accountable. Ask a friend, a random stranger, or even the kid you sit next to in class, who wears Roshe’s so you think he probably has some athletic ability. Two is better than one, and now you have someone to spot you instead of awkwardly asking the sweaty stranger to the left. 

Find a reason

Think about the resolution you’ve made for yourself. Have you made this goal for yourself, or to impress someone? If you’re doing it for someone else, stop right now. The only way you will be successful with your New Year’s resolution is to do it because you want to. If you’re trying to get the attention of someone then go talk to them. Don’t waste your time killing yourself over 10 miles or eating a no-carb-diet. Chances are you won’t succeed (but you may pass out).

Who I am

I’ve created these tips from my own personal experience of failing year after year to reach my fitness goals. This changed two years ago when I realized I was only caught up in the external factors. I was constantly comparing myself to other girls and even, dare I say it, putting on makeup just to go to the gym. I grabbed my best friend, and together, we hired a personal trainer. I didn’t have a goal weight or a specific mileage I wanted to reach. I only had three small goals: a pull up, a dip and 15 push-ups. This may sound too easy, but I was a lot weaker than I had thought. Despite playing volleyball and tennis in high school, it was as though I had never lifted a weight in my life. It took time, diligence, encouragement, doubts and many breakdowns, but eventually, I was able to do three pull-ups, five dips and 20 push-ups. 

As I said before, I didn’t have a goal weight going into my fitness journey, but by the end of it all, I had lost 23 pounds! I am not a certified personal trainer, a physical education teacher or a fitness instructor. I am a college student with a passion for health and fitness on my own journey of kicking butt and making gains (without makeup) in and out of the gym. As you muster up the courage to weather the cold and head to Kent State’s Student Recreation and Wellness Center, grab a friend, and don’t be afraid to step into the weight room! 

Contact Katie Leyton at [email protected].