Windsurfing: get a a healthy New Year's resolution | Photo: texaus1/Creative Commons

Promising a health behavior change for next year can be a powerful motivator for increased health and fitness in windsurfing. But it can also be a disappointment. Henrik Beyer gives us a few pointers to increase the effectiveness of a healthy New Year's resolution in windsurfers.

Lack of motivation or life circumstances can hinder even the most determined windsurfer to get or stay healthy and fit for windsurfing. Research has shown that people who decide to start an exercise program are far more successful if they plan their change and are prepared for setbacks and get social support.

We know that windsurfers enjoy health benefits and will increase their sailing performance if they stay physically fit and follow a healthy diet. But knowledge is not enough to help and make us change.

We do not have a certain amount of willpower stored specifically for health behavior change in our lives. Things such as choosing to go to the gym instead of staying home with your family will require some willpower for most people.

"Since each person has a limit amount of willpower, a New Year's resolution will be far more effective if you focus one thing at the time, and choose what is most important to you," says Henrik Beyer, author of "Health & Fitness for Windsurfing."

Beyer suggests that all windsurfers who are serious about their healthy New Year's resolution should answer these questions, and think about these aspects before making their promise.

1. What is it about windsurfing that you love?
2. Why is the promise important to you?
3. How can your promise be beneficial to your health and fitness and your sailing?
4. What can you do in the following two weeks to start what you promised?
5. What is your goal for the next couple of months?
6. What is your long-term goal?
7. Promise yourself a reward for sticking to your promise each month.
8. Be smart of about foreseen and unforeseen setbacks.
9. Be aware of the fact that many people fail to follow through on their New Year's resolution during the second or third month.
10. How motivated are you in a 1-10 scale to start what you promised, if 1 is "not at all motivated" and 10 is "highly motivated?" For example: If you answered 7, ask yourself why a 7 and not a 9? Find out what is hindering you. Can this be changed?
11. Tell your partner or a couple of friends about your promise. Ask them to check your progress from time to time.
12. Find ways that will increase the pressure on you to succeed. Promise to do the dishes for half a year if you fail. Or promise yourself to donate a determined amount to your favorite charity on a specific date, if you have not succeeded with your promise.

"We have all failed in life. It is absolutely crucial for success that we dare to fail. Each New Year's resolution is an opportunity to be successful if we are smart about it," concludes Beyer.

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