New Years’ resolutions can be fun. Whether last year was fantastic or you can’t wait to kick 2014 in the backside as it heads out the door, it is great to image the new and exciting things you want to learn and do in the coming twelve months.
The problem is, after a month or two (or sometimes a week or two) it is easy to slide back into old habits. Life gets hectic, your body gets tired, and by the middle of the year you have let go of all that energy and excitement that got you started in January.
Flexibility is not something that you can develop overnight. It takes dedicated, consistent training over a period of time. To achieve your goals, it is essential that you keep the resolve that got you started on this journey in the first place. Here are a few ways that you can set yourself up for a super bendy year, beginning to end:
- Set reasonable goals. It is tempting to get excited and start to make crazy long lists of things you want to be able to do. You have more chance of success if you have just a few goals that are not too terribly far off. Pick 3-5 things that you are pretty sure you can do with sufficient practice and focus on those. Once you reach them, pick some new ones.
- Print out photos of people doing those things that you would like to be able to do and hang them on the wall. Look at them every day and picture yourself doing them.
- Pace yourself. If you have been stretching three days a week for an hour don’t immediately start training six days a week for two hours. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend working on flexibility so that your body doesn’t get exhausted or injured and you don’t burn out.
- Make a plan. Having a regular routine keeps the guesswork out of the gym and lets your brain focus on the workout. Whether you are taking a class, using a video, or making up your own routines, figure out what you are going to do ahead of time and stick to it.
- Fall in love with your training. Sure, stretching is work, but it should also be fun. If you don’t love the process it will be much harder to stick to it. Find a great place to train, make playlists with music that inspires you, indulge in kick-ass workout clothes, intersperse your stretches with impromptu dance sessions, whatever it takes to make you look forward to your stretching.
- Write your workouts into your calendar. Give your stretching sessions the same respect as all of your other important appointments and schedule them each week. It will help you avoid the excuse that you are just too busy.
- Take photos and videos of your progress. You don’t need to document every single stretch, but it is good to take photos every week or two to track your progress. When you feel like you aren’t getting any better, look at where you were three months ago.
- Get a Bendy Buddy. Nothing helps to motivate and encourage us like a friend. Your friend does not have to have exactly the same goals as you do, they just have to share your desire to improve. Setting an appointment with someone else makes it harder to flake out, and you can help each other with spotting, corrections, and pep talks.
Happy New Year, and Happy Bendings in 2015!