If you’re like many people, at the start of 2016, you made a New Year’s resolution to improve your health in some way. Maybe you vowed to exercise more, to lose weight or to develop a new healthy habit.
But if you’re also like many people, your New Year’s resolution has already lost some of its luster by now. This happens to the best of us: you start off with big goals and great intentions… then your energy fizzles, and you go back to your old habits.
The good news is that it’s never too late to get back on track with healthy habits – and it doesn’t have to be January to set a resolution. Give yourself a fresh start, and decide to make swimming a part of your life now. Set yourself up for swimming success with these helpful tips.
Take baby steps.
Many New Year’s resolutions run into trouble because they’re overly ambitious. You aim to run five miles every day (when you previously ran zero), or you try to lose 20 pounds in an unrealistically short time. Then when you realize you’ve set the bar too high, you feel like you’ve failed and stop altogether. Avoid falling into this trap by starting with a very small, achievable goal you can reach without much effort.
The problem with resolutions like, “Learn how to swim” or “Go swimming more often” is that they’re too vague. It’s easy to procrastinate because they aren’t concrete. Make your swimming goal as specific as possible, and integrate it into your calendar. For example, sign up for a weekly swimming class you know you’ll go to, or block off 30 minutes every Tuesday morning to swim at the gym.
Resolutions are easier to keep when you have others to encourage you and keep you accountable. A swimming class is perfect for this purpose; you have a regular schedule, plus you make new friends and learn alongside one another. You could also arrange to meet a friend for a swim at a set time each week.
Focus on how you feel.
You know that amazing refreshed and energized feeling you get right after being in the water? Focus on that before, during and after your swims to remind yourself why your goal is important. Write down how it feels on a sticky note and put it up where you can see it.
Work toward something you want.
Tie your swimming resolution to a bigger goal you’re excited about. Sign up for a mini-triathlon to keep up motivation to build your technique and endurance. Or start researching beach vacations to take this summer to show off your new skills.
Get your goals on track – sign up for a swimming class