Fun and Fitness: Loving life in 2013

Each new year, I often try to emphasize some of the key points that people should generally follow if they want to be successful with their New Year's resolutions. Often discussed are proper stages of essential goal setting and reasons why people relapse when trying to improve their physical health. It's no secret that, once again, "working out" and "eating better" will top the majority of people's 2013 self-improvement lists. But, as you get older, you begin to realize that setting single, definitive goals is not always the best solution — at least, that's what I've noticed is true for me.

Don't get me wrong here. I'm all for the "one step at a time" motto, and if you want to be a doctor, for example, it's definitely not happening overnight; it takes years of schooling and perseverance. The same can be said for simple New Year's resolutions like "working out more." But if they are so simple, why do so many people's resolutions fall by the wayside once February rolls around?

I truly believe that when a goal is limited in scope, it can often backfire because of the unplanned emphasis that is placed on it. I mean think about it, you set one goal, you slip up a few times and there is a likelihood you may give up all together. Try a new approach: why limit yourself to one goal when you can set SEVERAL goals?

Allow me to clarify. A friend of mine often falls into this pattern of depression once winter sets in. I've noticed that his life is very routine and hasn't changed all that much over the years. I encouraged him to shake things up and become a "yes man," much like Jim Carrey in the movie of the same name. I told him we were going to salsa lessons, and even though we were absolutely terrible, he picked up a few new moves and had a great time. He has also got involved in our basketball league and beach volleyball games.

Along with these improvements, he has built up the courage to take up some other hobbies that have also acted as catalysts in his personal improvement. Gradually, I've noticed a very positive change with his overall demeanour, and although he has never needed any improvements with his fitness and eating lifestyle, the rest of his life has improved tenfold and he is not the winter grump that I was so accustomed to.

I guess what I am trying to say is that when you take a proactive approach to truly improving yourself on a grand scale, you may be shocked to realize how everything falls into place. Want to get fit? Great! But why stop there? Have you wanted to be more sociable? Start smiling at everyone and strike up small talk! Have you wanted to learn a different language? Start this week — you could get involved with the International department and meet with students from another country, and there are even language course offerings available through Fanshawe's Continuing Education!

Be a "yes man" in 2013! Who knows? You may just find that your workout and eating resolutions come naturally because you love life that damn much!