Why You Should Rethink Making These Fitness Resolutions

During the first month of the year, making extreme resolutions to improve our health, wellness, and fitness is pretty commonplace. Often, we feel that pulling a complete overhaul to our habits is the best way to get results and see lasting positive change, but Certified Personal Trainer and Professional Dancer Kaley Hatfield of www.KaleyHatfield.com talked with us about some extreme resolutions you may want to think twice about, as you may not actually get the results you're expecting. 

Moderation and allowing for human error without beating yourself up is actually more effective in the long term than striving for perfection and perfection only. According to Forbes, a disheartening 80 percent of new year's resolutions are abandoned by February, so taking Hatfield's advice about how to adjust your extreme resolutions (that you might give up when you feel you aren't living up to them) and replace them with more realistic goals my be your best bet to beat that statistic!

Giving up all sugars? No cheat days? Reconsider.

If you've vowed to completely cut sugar out of your diet, Hatfield has a suggestion to help you drastically reduce the amount of unhealthy sugars in your diet without feeling deprived and frustrated. "Setting the goal to cut out something that is the most common ingredient in our everyday lives... is ultimately going to have you giving up on that goal faster than you set it," she says. Instead, she suggests "simplifying" your goal to cutting out added sugars 5-6 days per week, which she calls "more accomplishable."  Switching some sugars for others can also help when you do decide to indulge. "Eating natural sugars is way better for you, and will help with bad cravings... frozen fruits at night vs ice cream, adding stevia to your coffee or tea vs sugar or creamer. When in doubt, choose honey over white sugar. It's still sugar, but the best sugar substitute in the bunch!"

And if you plan "no cheat days," Hatfield has two words for you: "Good luck!!!" She explains, "Our bodies need a break. Throwing them off every once in a while... will send your body back into hustle mode and help you continue to burn and tone." She suggests the 80/20 rule, where 80 percent of your diet is lean proteins, healthy carbs and fats, low added sugars, gluten and soy, and the other 20 percent is literally anything you want, even ice cream! "It's all about balance," she says. 

Working out every day? Here's why you need to rest

If you've also committed to a major workout every day, you may want to let up just a bit. "The #nodaysoff trend is out!" says Hatfield. "It is just as important for you to have a rest day as it is for you to get in a workout. Your body needs rest in order to recover." So rather than an intense workout every day of the week, she suggests committing to moving at least 30-45 minutes, four to five times per week. "You will see and feel change, to keep you coming back!"

What about "bad days?" Hatfield assures us we need to allow them and that even Beyoncé has bad days! "Do not beat yourself up... You're human, give yourself grace and start to learn from your 'bad day' feelings," she says. How? Treat "breakdowns as breakthroughs."  She explains, "Learn to recognize why you're feeling this way, maybe it has to do with your cycle and hormones...maybe it's something at work...Most of the time the anxious feelings are from lack of action. So take that and run with it! Make a list of things that bring you back to your high vibe and do them when you start to feel down." She says the approach can actually help you to have fewer bad days. "Always trust that if you're doing the work, and acting out of love, everything your heart desires will come to you!"