Vail Daily column: Renewing your resolution
The third week of January has passed and, according to statistics, the failing of our New Year’s resolutions have, too. Regardless of your indication of betterment for yourself, the sweet, often-unrecognized silver lining to this cloud is simple: You can start again. Your resolution success is still in front of you!Let’s take the exercise route. I recognize you out there: you are a (insert any age, any gender) who intended to make a change in your life by making a change to your body by exercising more. Was it four days a week, or six? Cardio workouts, or hitting the gym? Or, were you going to renew a commitment to yoga or Pilates?I meet people at the gym daily who almost tiptoe in, not because they feel like they’ve failed us, but because they feel they’ve failed themselves. It’s hard to take the first step back. I’ve been there myself. Even with the best of intentions, I’ve managed to not exercise for a month or two. There’s something about the time away that makes it even more challenging to set your alarm, get your sneakers or yoga mat out, and do it again for the first time.While taking that first step is the hardest part, once you dip your big toe in the water, the second, third, and fourth times are remarkably easier. You overcome your initial sore muscles, realize that class isn’t as intimidating as you thought, and find (aha!) that it does feel good to exercise, even if that means getting up before dawn.But you will get off track again in the future, so be prepared to take the first painful step again. Find your daily (not annual) resolve and move forward. Run yourself through this quick checklist for fitness-related resolutions:1. Determine your baseline. This could be measurements, the result of a body composition analysis, or a determination of your own limits (ex: I can only walk two miles). Write this information down for future reference. If you don’t know where you’ve begun, it’s harder to identify the success you achieve when you get where you’re going.2. Identify the life-change you are trying to achieve. After all, success is not about going to the gym five days a week or losing 10 pounds. Success is about having a body that allows you to live your life with vitality, whether that’s skiing everyday, or feeling confident in that one pair of jeans. Tap into this reason for change daily, and you will find increased motivation.3. Set realistic goals. That means start small. Create a resolution that allows for success. Once you have achieved that success, create a new goal. Continue this cycle.4. Step out of your comfort zone. Exercise should be uncomfortable. You are working your body in order to allow it to build itself stronger. If you duplicate the same workout everyday, you are not getting stronger. Do something different! Push yourself harder. Try intervals, try lifting heavier weights for fewer reps, try a new class, or try a new sport. 5. Your resolution can change – allow yourself the latitude to refocus your vision of success and your resolve to achieve that success throughout the year.6. Tap in – every time – to the gratitude, strength, and endorphin release you feel at the end of each workout. Take a moment to bask in your own sweat. This is the feeling that is most likely to motivate you to do it again tomorrow.7. Continue to resolve. Every day!You can start again, and, in fact, it’s vital that you do.Shannon Smith is the Club Manager & Membership Director at the Vail Athletic Club at The Vitality Center at Vail Mountain Lodge.