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new year's resolutions

6 Ways To Create Successful Goals

6 Ways To Create Successful Goals

Make your dreams come true by setting up a plan to achieve them. Goal setting and vision boards are powerful tools when you have your thoughts aligned with your dreams. So, you want to create successful goals that will actually make a difference for you. Before starting, remember that your thoughts become your words and your words become actions. Be aware of what goes into your mind before setting your intentions.

Regardless of where you are now, any time is the perfect time to create successful goals!

The Fail-Safe Guide to Getting on Track in January

The Fail-Safe Guide to Getting on Track in January

If there is ever a time that our collective enthusiasm for fitness takes a back seat, it is during the holiday season. Starting with Thanksgiving, and carrying on well into January, more people are into growing a bloated belly than a bicep, breaking the habits of a bodybuilding lifestyle – and well, any routine.

Getting back in shape is an imposing task, one that requires a whole lot of willpower. Armed with unbeatable determination and past experience, however, it is possible to make a triumphant comeback early into the new year. Here are a few tips for getting on track in January!

It takes 21-days to make a habit, so let's talk about your New Year's resolution

Post by Siya Natseva. Follow Siya on her blog, PumpUp (@cinnamonontop), and Instagram/Tumblr cinnamonontop8.

With January almost out the door, is it possible to still set some reasonable health goals for yourself? My resounding ‘Yes’ may have something to do with procrastination on my side this year! Let’s briefly run through my the pitfalls of New Year Resolutions and how to prevent failure.

I’ve never been fond of New Year Resolutions. They’re among those silly rituals people pretend to follow to give themselves a sense of purpose. The mantra whereby you actually do without vowing to do is, in this author’s view, as efficient as they can get, and my choice to start anew in January has little to do with world’s obsession with New Year Resolutions.

Why do most New Year’s Resolutions fail? 

1. Lack of commitment

In startlingly many cases, people aren’t committed to resolutions that they’ve made. The group mentality of the human race – which I’m happy to say rarely affects me - dictates that when a large number of people participate in something, it’s also expected of us to partake. And so, on an annual basis we are faced with the fateful moment of promising to quit smoking, start eating healthily and chasing after that dream job. Whether we truly believe in our goal and intend to work towards it is beside the point. Come November, this momentum wanes, creating a domino effect upon resolution-makers. 

 2.     Timing

Although the start of a new year sounds like the perfect time to rectify past wrong-doings, it’s also the worst. Having the blues in January is nothing short of customary. The anti-climax of the New Year hits hard and exercise, for example, is the least of our concerns.  When January rears its head, everyone is back in the office and companies set business objectives for the next 300-something days. It’s hardly helpful the days are short and darkness veils us at four pm. With stressful schedules ahead, it’s easy to understand why January isn’t the right moment to commence a journey of any sort.

 3.     Enthusiasm wears off

These factors soon lead to reduced levels of enthusiasm. Routine settles comfortably behind the steering wheel and self-reassuring statements, the likes of ‘It’s different now’, fly out of the window. Before we know it, it’s March and we’re yet to conquer planning meals, hitting the gym, embracing a positive attitude. Either that, or come March – after a string of gym visits and healthy eating – we’re tired of it, consider we can’t keep it up and give in.

What can you do about it?

1.     It’s about the now

As much as I say no one should rush into anything without studying it, there’s no time like now. It may be January 5th, or February 2nd. If you decide to go ahead with your fitness journey – or return to your programme after a setback - you should. Often, the longer you rationalise and analyse, the more convinced you become it’s unsustainable. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t put your trainers on and run in the park for 20 odd minutes. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t do a few sets of core exercise in the comfort of your home. Right now. Not tomorrow. Not next week or next month. Now.  

 2.     Leave the stress behind

If you’re like me, once you set yourself a task, you have to see it through at any cost. This zealous outlook frequently causes me unhealthy doses of stress. Working out is no exception, yet research shows that stress is immensely counter - productive to our health journeys. Instead of beating myself over the inability to exercise due to, say, exhaustion, I should see it as a motive to do superbly tomorrow. Naturally, it’s seldom the situation. I’m not advocating for the absence of passion and discipline here; I’m saying that an overly driven approach may sometimes be disadvantageous.

3.     Think comprehensively

Think of your health as an investment. The elements that compromise it, such as exercise and wise eating habits, will enable you to lead a fulfilling life. Try assessing them as a part of the whole, not separately. This way you won’t focus on how much you dislike sports, for example. It’ll be about your overall journey to a better you; a you that is content in the knowledge that your body is cared for. Remember the mental passage, too. No physical change will materialise, if you don’t welcome the voyage of the mind. And the voyage of the mind isn’t pinned down to a single date on a calendar (January 1st). It’s a life-long pledge: one that has to be driven continually but can start at any hour, on any day, in any year. Happy Resolutions!

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#MyResolution Day 8: Realistic Goal - We’ve set our ultimate resolutions, so what’s a realistic, short term goal that you want to accomplish? Whether it’s reaching new personal record or working up to a new yoga pose, let us know if you have a very specific goal that you’d love to accomplish this week! PumpUp member @_marieta_’s is to go swimming at least 2x a week

Check out the full photo challenge here 

How Elizabeth overcame depression, binge eating, and learned to love herself - PumpUp 2014 Success Story

At this time last year, Elizabeth’s New Year’s resolution was the same as it always was: to lose weight. With the help of PumpUp, she accomplished so much more. “Ever since I can remember, I’ve had self worth issues,” she revealed. "I began to love the way I am, inside and out. I’ve lost 20 pounds and I’ve learned that the halfway point of becoming who you want to be begins with loving who you already are." Be inspired about how Elizabeth overcame bingeing and depression, transcended a weight loss plateau, and learned to love herself by joining the PumpUp community! Prior to her journey with PumpUp, Elizabeth’s struggles with binge eating made it difficult for her to lead a holistically healthy lifestyle. Any progress that might have been made through exercise stagnated due to her divisive relationship with food. “I worked out almost every day, but it was always the same kind of workout…it would barely make me sweat,” she recounted.  “I was so confused as to how I was gaining weight when I worked out every day.” Before PumpUp, Elizabeth would be overwhelmed by cravings and treated workouts as punishments for poor dietary decisions. “I would wake up, eat an unhealthy breakfast, be anxious for lunch, eat way too much food when I did eat lunch to the point of discomfort, come home to have a sugary snack, workout half-heartedly, then head home, eat dinner, and spend the rest of my night wishing I could be anyone but me,” she lamented. “I was miserable.”

This cycle of guilt and bingeing disintegrated after Elizabeth joined the PumpUp community. She’s been a beloved member for quite some time and understands how to live a healthy lifestyle through a different lens. “I learned that weight loss isn’t just about working out; it’s about everything all together—workouts, diet, and everyday activity,” she insisted. At first, Elizabeth turned to PumpUp purely as a source of inspiration. “I would read others’ success stories and I adopted a whole new outlook on how I should go about my weight loss journey,” Elizabeth confirmed. “PumpUp is the reason I actually be came a vegetarian—I look at PumpUp daily for new recipes and workouts to further my progress.” She only truly began to share about her journey with the community once she started to lose weight. “I felt that I should have had a little bit of progress before I started to motivate and encourage others,” Elizabeth shrugged. “Looking back, I can see that I wasn’t right. You can be at the very beginning of your journey and still inspire others. It’s all about attitude and perception.”

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Elizabeth was diagnosed with depression one year ago, and this impacted her journey in ways that she could never have imagined. “When I was first diagnosed, I felt so completely lost,” she recounted. “I felt like I didn’t know who I was anymore. PumpUp was kind of how I began to find myself again. I would read blogs and stories all day long and realized that I had stopped crying.” At first, Elizabeth’s coping mechanism was to ignore her depression. “I never wanted to see my psychologist because I hated talking about my weight and how much I had grown to hate myself,” she recalled. “Slowly, I began to look at life with a different perspective. I would counteract every bad thought about myself with two good ones. Whenever I had a setback (such as having too much ice cream), I wouldn’t beat myself up about it—I would accept it and move on.” Elizabeth picks herself up and keeps moving forward, even when bad tides come crashing at the shores of her life. “There’s no point in wasting your life away by feeling sorry for yourself,” she insisted. “I found a lot of strength through my faith in God as well. It’s been quite the climb, but the view’s been worth it!”

After Elizabeth learned the importance of incorporating variety into her workout schedule, she transcended her weight loss plateau. She works out at least 4 days a week, alternating between yoga, tumbling, dance, running, and weight lifting. Although her food options are limited as a vegetarian, she goes about her lifestyle in a healthy way and makes sure that she eats more than just carbs. “I wake up, have an energizing breakfast (a smoothie, for instance), and go throughout the day happy and focused. I eat a light lunch—a salad or veggie sandwich—then relax when I get home,” she explained. “I work out, and after I eat my dinner I go to bed with a smile on my face. I’m proud of how far I’ve come and of who I am now.”  The  contrast between Elizabeth’s lifestyle prior to PumpUp and her current lifestyle is stark; it illustrates the extent of her successes, both mental and physical, since she became a member of the community.

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All of this was achieved within the span of a little more than one year. Elizabeth’s advice for those looking to achieve their New Year’s resolutions with the help of PumpUp emphasizes the importance of perseverance. “First, do NOT obsess over your goals and constantly worry about them. Goals are something to be taken one step at a time. No need to stress,” she counseled. “Second, learn that setbacks will and are going to happen, and that’s perfectly okay. Failure is a part of success. Third, try something new. Most of the time, if you’re stuck in a rut, it’s because you’ve been doing the exact same things. Trying something new can be life-altering. Be it a new class at the gym, or focusing on a different part of your diet, the more you change and arrange, the better shot you have at pin-pointing what’s really holding you back along your journey to success.”

As Elizabeth continues along her journey with PumpUp, she hopes to maintain all of her hard work by remaining active and eating healthily. She intends to inspire others by demonstrating how anybody can reach their goals if they try hard enough. “It’s not impossible. I’ve not only decided to become vegetarian, but I’ve followed through with that decision. I’ve finally learned how to appreciate myself the way I am,” she said firmly. “By using PumpUp I’ve come to the realization that I’ll never be a model-esque girl with a thin body frame, and that is 100% okay because who I am now is more than enough.” Even if Elizabeth hadn’t lost the weight during her journey, she asserts that the halfway point of becoming who you want to be begins with loving who you already are. “If I could pick the hardest part of this entire journey, that would be it,” she stressed.

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Biggest Motivation

“It is and has always been cheerleaders. As a cheerleader I know how rough it is to appreciate your body type. I’ve met so many cheerleaders who have beat anorexia, binge eating and depression. Professional cheerleaders have so much pressure on them to be perfectly skinny and athletic that it’s unreal. The girls who can take all that pressure and turn it into extreme focus for their dreams are so incredibly amazing to me.”

Favourite meals and drinks

“My absolute favorite drink is the newest low calorie Gatorade. It’s the type of drink that you can take with you to the gym and not worry about feeling weighed down. It gives you energy that will last throughout the day. My favorite meal is a special spaghetti with Morning-Star vegetarian meat. It has the most incredible taste without all the carbs. And my favorite snack is those plain string cheese sticks. It’s a great in-between meal snack to keep you full.”

Motivational saying

My favorite is a poem written by Erin Hanson called “You’re Not”:

"You are not your age,

Nor the size of clothes you wear,

You are not a weight,

Or the colour of your hair,

You are not your name,

Or the dimples in your cheeks,

You are all the books you read,

And all the words you speak,

You are your croaky morning voice,

And the smiles you try to hide,

You’re the sweetness in your laughter,

And every tear you’ve cried,

You’re the songs you sing so loudly,

When you know you’re all alone,

You’re the places that you’ve been to,

And the one that you call home,

You’re the things that you believe in,

And the people that you love,

You’re the photos in your bedroom,

And the future you dream of,

You’re made of so much beauty,

But it seems that you forgot,

When you decided that you’re defined,

By all the things that you’re not.”

Favourite Workout

“Tumbling. Whenever I tumble I love the feeling of adrenaline and I find it’s easier to be proud of myself after I finally hit a new skill. Tumbling is the best kind of workout to me. Half the time it doesn’t even feel like you’re working out. You get so caught up in the fun of it all. That’s what working out should always feel like. It doesn’t have to always be something you don’t want to do. Find something that’s a fun active activity for you and stick with it! The results will be rewarding, I promise!”

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More about Elizabeth

“Something interesting about me is that I play guitar and ride horses. I find so much peace in these two things. I love having “me time.” Because you’re stuck with yourself, so you mine as well learn to love you!”

Find Elizabeth on the PumpUp app making her dreams come true @elizabethgillespie5 and follow her on Instagram @lizzie_53. 

New Year's Resolutions from the PumpUp Community

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Awesome #MyResolution Posts from Day 1 of the PumpUp Photo-A-Day challenge

Several PumpUp members went above and beyond generic resolutions. Theirs were specific, personal, and inspiring. @mjmartinez86’s photo (top) describes how she’s making resolutions to better herself, try new experiences, and improve upon how she interacts with those around her. @fierce’s cute resolution photo (featuring Disney’s Stitch) describes concrete and tangible goals such as eliminating fast food and saving up more money. Not only will these goals help her to live a healthier and fuller life, she’s rewarding herself as well.

Our winner of the PumpUp swag prize of the day, @rynasaadi wrote down several resolutions for 2015. The ultimate and most important one to her, however, was to stop drinking soda this year. It’s achievable, realistic, and within the parameters of what she can actually do to make a big change. We’re proud of her!

Sticky notes that @hannahds1999 wrote (bottom left) are vibrant reminders that you can paste around your room and carry with you anywhere. She’ll be a dancing queen in 2015, full of happiness, hydration, and exercise.

@Mariasouele’s resolutions all work towards a specific goal. Her first is to organize her life by working towards a degree in computer science, finding a job, and waking up early in the morning. Her second goal is to lose weight, but for specific reasons and goals: to be fit (and have defined abdominals), to be confident (for an improved demeanour to those around her) and to be healthy (for her family). Finally, her ultimate goal this year is to be happy, intensely and immensely, for herself. 

Check out more #MyResolution posts from the pumpupapp by opening up the app!

Watch the new PumpUp video

Watch the new PumpUp video

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Success is achieved when we inspire wellness, together.Get motivated by millions to become the best version of yourself. Let PumpUp encourage you along the way. Nothing is impossible! Share this video if you love #TeamPumpUp! 

Your 3-step solution to making better New Year’s Resolutions [INFOGRAPHIC]

Your 3-step solution to making better New Year’s Resolutions [INFOGRAPHIC]

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New Year's Resolution Infographic and Statistics // PumpUp Blog

New year, new you? It isn’t easy, but you can achieve your 2015 goals for real. According to one study, 45% of Americans usually make resolutions for the New Year. Given that the U.S. population was just over 317 million at the start of the 2014 year, and that a dismal 8% are reported to successfully achieve their resolutions, this means a whopping 131 million Americans did not achieve their resolutions in 2014. Millions more around the world may have experienced this same failure rate.
Why do so many people make resolutions, while so few succeed? The pre-frontal cortex is an area of the brain responsible for controlling one’s will-power among other important functions, including abstract problem solving and short-term memory.
Asking the pre-frontal cortex to immediately adjust to a big, abstract, and daunting New Year’s resolution is like asking an untrained individual to perform Beyoncé’s choreography perfectly: it won’t work. Like a muscle, the pre-frontal cortex falters easily without proper training.  This means that smaller and attainable goals will be easier to accomplish than larger ones.
If you do these three steps when you’re making a resolution this year, you’ll have a greater chance of being successful.
  • Be specific.  Set tangible goals with concrete deadlines that you can gradually work up to. Rather than making a generalized goal to, for example, run more often this year, train for a race instead.
  • Make a schedule. Take time to create a plan and set mini-benchmarks for yourself. Reward yourself when you transcend tiny personal milestones along the way. Set aside specific days each week for your resolution, or sign up for something that already adheres to a schedule, such as a class. Don’t wait until you ‘have the time’ to work on your resolution.
  • Track your progress. Make gradual changes and don’t expect too much too soon. Patience is everything. Mobile apps such as PumpUp are an excellent way to log your progress while other like-minded people cheer you on. It’s important to have a support team to keep you accountable.

Sources
“New Years Resolution Statistics.” University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology via Statistic Brain (2014). Web.
“U.S. Population Clock.” United States Census Bureau (2014). Web.
Diamond, Dan. “Just 8% of People Achieve Their New Year’s Resolutions. Here’s How They Do It.” Forbes Magazine (2013). Web.
Lehrer, Jonah. “Blame it on the Brain.” Wall Street Journal (2009). Web.
Webley, Kayla. “Top 10 Commonly Broken New Year’s Resolutions.” TIME Magazine (2012). Web.
Widrich, Leo. “The Science of New Year’s Resolutions.” Buffer Social.(2013). Web.
Vanderkam, Laura. “7 Secrets from People Who Kept Their New Year’s Resolutions” Fast Company (2014). Web.
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