The Crib Sheet: How to Stick to New Year’s Resolutions


Canyon Ranch

It’s that time of year again. We’re making resolutions to kickstart the New Year. If you’re anything like us, you get bogged down throughout the year (ok, by the end of the month) and those pledges get left by the wayside. But this year, we’re turning to the wellness experts at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts to help find ways to stick to them.

1. Find an exercise routine that you actually enjoy.
Don’t fret if running is not for you. Anything that elevates your heartbeat for a sustained period is a good cardio workout – the best exercise for you is the one you enjoy most, because you’ll keep doing it. Try classes that look like fun – indoor cycling, boxing, or high-energy dance classes like Zumba®. If you enjoy competitive sports, get your heart going with racquetball or basketball. If you prefer a solo activity, try swimming, cycling, or walking (mile for mile, walking and running yield about equal benefits). If you like to be social, go out dancing, hiking, or kayaking with friends – even a snowball fight works. Your body doesn’t know the difference between exercise and play, it just loves to be active.

2. Plan out your meals in advance.
Always aim for balance, so you’re getting the full spectrum of nutrients. Imagine your day-long plate including plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole-grain carbs and fiber, a moderate amount of protein, and a small amount of fats. The proportions may vary at each meal, but the average should be well-balanced. Try this visual tip: Think of your plate as a painting and use all the colors in your culinary palette. Many nutrients are associated with specific hues, such as beta carotene in orange foods and potassium in white foods like banana and potatoes.

3. Find time for yourself.
Reserve your Sunday nights (or whatever time works best for you) for a calming (sometimes indulgent) activity just for you: a night of magazine catch-up, meditative yoga, or a long bath with soothing oils. And set aside one room for quiet relaxation for any time, a space that’s free of noise and distractions, where you can sneak away in case you’re feeling frazzled.

4. Create a calming home.
People feel rejuvenated as soon as they arrive at Canyon Ranch because of the balance of natural beauty and casual elegance. To create this feeling of tranquility and well-being in your own home, keep all the senses in mind. Include fresh flowers and scents that make your house smell good. Choose art that speaks to you. Play music that suits your mood for calmness or exhilaration. Select furniture and fabrics that feel as good as they look. And if possible, create a garden or outdoor space to enjoy nature.

5. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Set clear goals, keep track of your progress, and reward milestones. Choose one or two objectives to start, rather than trying to change everything at once. As you achieve each goal, set a new one. It’s easier to stay committed to a specific plan than a hazy intention. If you decide to get 40 minutes of exercise five days a week, record your success. If you commit to eating six vegetable servings a day, mark it in your food log. Give yourself credit each time you meditate, attend a class, or take another step on your healthy journey. When you reach pre-set milestones, treat yourself to something special like a weekend getaway or new outfit.

6. Start fresh.
Kick off your resolutions with a new year’s cleanse. Whether it’s a lavish spa getaway or a peaceful, cell phone-free weekend, you’ll end it feeling refreshed and ready.

Our Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts Boutique runs Monday, January 3 – January 6.

December 31, 2010