Staffers evaluate failed New Year’s resolutions: working out

Written by Yuki Klotz-Burwell

Like many people, I started 2015 aiming to eat healthier and exercise more. I downloaded an app to catalog my eating and exercise habits and, hopefully, my success. I was excited to work out more and become more fit, imagining how my progress would look. However, my first attempt at working on my resolution was a failure.

After running about three blocks, I was exhausted. I blamed it on my hurt ankle (I walked straight into a wall earlier in the day) and limped back home. I was discouraged, but I still felt as though I could live up to my own expectations.

I planned a guide for myself, setting up certain days when I would make my way to the gym (a three-minute walk from my house) and work out my legs, abs, arms, cardio, etc. The schedule looked nice when I finished it, complete with possible exercise routines, but I never got around to completing anything on my list. I found myself constantly making excuses, justifying that I was too busy, too tired or whatever explanation I could think of.

I did, however, begin recording all the food I ate onto a calorie counter app. At first, I noticed a change in my eating habits. I was ashamed at how unhealthily I was eating and convinced myself to start eating foods that were better for me. I thought that I was on my way to achieving the coveted “bikini body.” After a while, however, I became overly self-conscious about the calories I was taking in. Rather than changing my diet I started to refrain from inputting certain foods because the app would tell me that my choices were too caloric. It would not tell me how to change my eating patterns or give me suggestions, leaving me feeling stuck. I eventually deleted the app and reverted to my previous food habits.

What I lacked was motivation; I did not have the drive to fulfill my resolution. Nothing convinced me to reach my goal. My friends would invite me to work out with them and I would see advertisements for weight-loss methods, but nothing inspired me. I could have easily committed to going to the gym at least once a week or to exercising for 15 minutes every afternoon, but I simply did not want to. I decided that I was reasonably fit and healthy, and should focus on setting more meaningful goals than the ones I assumed I was supposed to have.

While last New Year’s may not have been the best of years as far as resolutions go, I set out to make this year’s count. I’m resolving to be content and to stay true to myself and what I want, rather than fit into others’ expectations. After all, it’s never too late to start.