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Updated: December 29, 2012 18:10 IST

Resolutions and reality

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Start with a jog...
Start with a jog...

Got fitness goals for the New Year? Ameeta Agnihotri offers tips on how to keep them.

Take hold, grab control, and aspire for perfection. Let go of those inhibitions and begin life afresh and anew. The past is over. It’s New Year once again. The past year went by so fast that even before we could begin considering the ‘R’ of our resolutions, it’s time to do it all again. So, this time round, make those resolutions simple and keep-able.

One way to do this is to write them down. Not in a word document on your computer, but using pen and paper. However unachievable it may seem, write it down. Then keep the list where you can see it so that it works as a reminder. Strike out what you’ve achieved, and re-look at what’s left. Reflect on the best way forward. Take advice, if you must. But you don’t you have to follow it if it does not work for you. Their way may not be your way.

Say, your resolution is to lose 10 kg, remember it will not go away in one day or one week. These things take time. You have to keep at it. Make it a long-term goal. Start with shaving small quantities of food from your daily intake.

For example, if you eat three rotis and a cup of rice every day, make it two rotis and a smaller cup of rice. The calories will automatically decrease and your stomach need never know. If hunger pangs strike, keep some fruit handy. Oranges are easy to eat, low on calories and chockfull of nutrients.

Next, remember, everything you do can be like meditation. All it needs is mental focus.

Add a little exercise to your daily routine. It really is easy. If you hate long stretches of vigorous activity or detest the very word, break it into small packages of activity. This will also give your body bursts of calorie burning, which could contribute towards your own brand of “interval training”. Like opinions, every body is different and needs different amounts of exercise, food and sleep.

There’s no need to opt for that expensive gym membership, especially if you’re not going to use it. Instead buy a pair of good walking shoes. Why coop yourself up in a gym? Walk or jog instead. Not only do you save your ears from loud music you haven’t chosen, you get the added benefit of spending time on your own.

“When I walk, it is like a form of meditation for me,” says Karthik, an avid and regular speed walker. For him, the beat is the same. The intensity, however, has increased because he finds he can walk faster and longer now than he did when he first began. “I made the walking resolution in 2009. Three years ago.”

Strong and very powerful, your mind controls your life, the way you feel, think, and perceive. It will tell you that your busy schedule permits no time for exercise. In a moment of weakness, you may give in. But many such moments of weakness turn into days, weeks, months and the whole year hurtles past with no action taken. As soon as those little doubts rear their heads, telling you how stressed you are and cannot go for your walk, just sit still and watch your breath for a minute. If you still do not feel like exercising, let it go for the time being. But make up for it the next day.

Last of all, we get back to the pen and paper. Spend a little time writing a journal. Just for 10 minutes every day, sit down with a book and a pen and jot down your thoughts. It is a very small but powerful tool that will help keep you focused. It’s interesting how life changes when we become the masters of our mind and not the other way round.

Amandeep Sandhu, Manjul Bajaj, Manu Joseph and Sonora Jha read from their novels that were shortlisted for The Hindu Prize for Fiction 2013. Ziya Us Salam introduces them and moderates the session. <... »



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