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This is sponsored content from BlogHer and Reebok.

So if I’m being completely honest, I have to tell you that 2010 was a Major Fail for me in the exercise department. Maybe my worst year yet.

Oh, I did a little walking here and there. And I cranked up a work-out DVD a time or five. But with the exception of a whole lot of swimming back in the summer, the words “daily exercise” weren’t in my vocabulary a whole bunch. And even though I know it sounds trite, and even though I know it sounds like millions of other people, I can’t help but tell myself that 2011 will be better.

(2011 will be better.)

(2011 will be better.)

(If I repeat it over and over, will that make all my fitness dreams come true?)

I have to say, though, that 2010 brought some really good changes in our eating habits. For whatever reason – and this was never anything that we sat down and planned – we gradually made a switch to a much simpler diet. Lots of vegetables, lots of whole grains, plus good-quality meats that are prepared very simply and flavorfully (is that a word?). And as a result of those changes, we’ve felt a lot healthier. My husband paired the smarter food choices with a regular work-out regimen, and he’s entering 2011 about thirty pounds lighter than he walked into it.

But now? It’s time for Mama here to get on board. Which means, among other things, that I may have to dial it back a notch or two on some of my favorite foods.

Oh, it is a blessing.

I know that if I set unrealistic goals (lose 40 pounds and/or fit into a tiny size and/or look like Heidi Klum and/or run a marathon), I’m just setting myself up for failure. I think a better strategy is to find two or three small things that I can do well and do consistently. The mental and emotional battle is just as big as the physical one, so I know that it’s super-important that I take that into account. So here’s what I’m thinking in the way of goals / changes / strategies for a better, healthier life in 2011:

1. Drink more water. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but diet soda and I have a little bit of a thing going on. We’ve had a thing going on for YEARS, in fact, and I really need to loosen my grip on those 12-ounce aluminum cans. The caffeine has a bit of a hold on me as well, so while going cold turkey (I just wrote “gold turkey,” which sounds like a fascinating albeit unrelated issue) isn’t the best option, drinking more water and less diet soda seems wise.

2. Go to bed earlier; wake up earlier. I have an unhealthy relationship with the snooze button. I tend to err on the side of burning the candle at both ends, which means I’m always trying to grab bits and pieces of sleep whenever I can – and because of that I tend to stay up too late and fight waking up in the mornings. This year I want to at least be in the bed at a more reasonable hour, and I’d like to wake up about fifteen minutes earlier in order to make my quiet time more of a priority. I’m a better, more even-tempered, more level-headed person when I set aside that time in the morning, and I want to do a better job of keeping that appointment with myself.

3. Move. I’ve never been a runner. I like the idea of being a runner, but I’ve decided that my transformation into a runner is just about as likely as teaching a cat to bark. However, I’ve had a lot of success in the past with walking. I really do enjoy it when I make a point to carve out the time for it (the time element is huge for me). This year I want to put on my walking shoes again (side note: I’m intrigued by the Reebok Easy Tones – I actually enjoy the process of toning up my legs, and I think the Easy Tones would make that process even quicker) and hit the trails behind our house. Walking three times a week would be a huge improvement for me, and it would also make that second goal I listed a whole lot easier.

So what about you? What’s one way you plan to improve your overall health and wellness this year? Leave a comment with your answer, and you’ll be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card. Plus, for more chances to win, just visit the Exclusive Offers section over at BlogHer.com

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This giveaway runs from January 4 – January 16, 2011.

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Comments

  1. I hope to Zumba at least 3 times a week.

  2. tweet-http://twitter.com/#!/mami2jcn/status/22353730682757121

  3. I want to try walking more, eat healthy and drinking lots of water.

  4. meeyeehere aka Rachel Crisman says:

    I plan on running every day,eating better,and to do yoga to relieve stress.
    jacksoncrisman@yahoo.com

  5. meeyeehere aka Rachel Crisman says:
  6. I’m having major surgery in a couple of days. My plan is to follow the directions of the physical therapist. That’s easier said than done: I usually want to exercise “my” way (i.e., as little as possible). But I need to learn how to build up strength slowly and carefully. I’ve resolved to pay attention to the professionals on this.

    Thanks for another great giveaway!

  7. Susan Smith says:

    I take my dog out for a walk a few times a week. I also elinated pop from my diet and eating more fruits and vegetables.

  8. Susan Smith says:
  9. I plan to run one mile each day! Half a mile in the morning and half a mile in the evening!

  10. My goal is to make it to the gym 3 times a week.
    catherine(dot)alley(at)gmail(dot)com

  11. If I wanna move my booty more, I’m gonna need some new kicks to make it happen. Let’s do this!

  12. My goal is to drink 32 ounces of real, plain water each day – and walk at least 10 miles each week.

  13. I’m also a late-shift-working night owl and must find a way to get enough sleep this year! Maybe then I’ll be awake enough to eat breakfast more often :)

  14. After I finish being sick (hoping that will be soon!), I will resume my running. I plan to run a 5K in April, and I hope to be able to run a 10K later this year (or at least run that distance in a workout.)

  15. Julia Wurst says:

    Eat less sugar and bread. Exercise when I can.

  16. Mary Helen says:

    I am about to have a baby (in about 4 weeks), so my goal this year is going to be gradually working back up to my old workout routine so that I can lose this baby weight. I would like to walk/run at least three times a week and try to get back to my goal weight (which means losing about 30 pounds) by the Fall.

  17. Like you, I love to walk for my work out. 3x a week or more would be great!

  18. Jessie C. says:

    I plan to do more yoga and jogging
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  19. Jessie C. says:
  20. Sara Crowe says:

    For the first time ever, I am trying to cut out most carbs…you know, like tasty toast, cream smeared bagels, noodles… Those kinds of things. As a family, we are going to the gym 2 nights together…in addition to practices, etc. Time to be together, but to be healthy as well.

  21. I’m going to frink more water. I actually found an app that helps me track it. Good luck to you!

  22. J. Johnson says:

    I’m going to try and actually use my gym membership. My friend and I are going to take the zumba classes.

  23. Angela Mills says:

    My plan is to get active and make healthier choices that I can live with forever.

  24. Me and my treadmill, M-F. That’s the theory, anyhow! :)

  25. Between Jan. 09 and April ’10 I lost 100 pounds. I became pregnant (yay!) in April ’10 and am due to have baby #2 next week. Unfortunately I gained A LOT of weight with this pregnancy and am hoping to rejoin my weight loss goals after baby is born. Maybe to lose 77 in 2011? :)

  26. I plan on walking every day and drinking less sodas
    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  27. i hope to be more active, either walking or jogging

  28. I’m joining a second tennis team (at a higher level) and hoping that the social aspect of tennis will make it seem less like exercise. That will bring my tennis up to three times per week – and I’ll hit the gym the other days.

  29. Robin M. says:

    I would like to incorporate more walking into my daily routine.

  30. I started the year out by replacing “bad” snacks with healthier versions. Like, instead of chips, I take cucumber and slice it really thin. Then a pinch of salt and a cheese cube topper. It’s not 0 calorie, but it a whole lot better and filling than chips. I also plan to start going on bike rides with the kids when the weather turns :)

  31. I’ve got to get back to my friend, the elliptical! And, I need to detox off sugar and other “white foods of evil” like white flour and processed junk. It makes such a difference to me but is SO hard to do!

  32. An apple a day! I’ve tried it before and haven’t stuck with it, but it seems manageable. Those suckers really are filling, and there are so many great varieties.

  33. Bonnie P says:

    I plan to eat less
    bepoia(at)hotmail(dot)com

  34. Kristen S. says:

    I am with you on the water. I have never been a real water-drinker but I know when I do it I feel so much better. I am intrigued by Zumba. I want to read Made to Crave by Lysa TerKerst and try to implement some small changes in our family’s diet. We all need to be on board together!

  35. I love to run, and I try to run 2-3 times a week. It doesn’t help that I love to cook as well, though… This year, I really want to explore healthier options. I want to cook super-healthy meals in a creative way that my husband will love. We’re not rabbits, but there are ways to cook meat and other things that are much healthier and still taste delicious. That’s my goal!

  36. Jeannett says:

    I plan on extending my daily workout from thirty minutes to an hour!

  37. Debra D. says:

    Along with changing a few bad eating habits, my main goal for 2011 is to live what I love about Jesus everywhere I live..home, work, whereever!

  38. Well, for starters I need to STOP EATING THE HOLIDAY TREATS ALREADY. Then I have a similar diet Coke issue. Can I just say I don’t like water? I mean, where is the thirst quenching fizz? And I should probably start taking advantage of that family Y membership we’ve had for a year. And I mean, try to get there even once a week. Just a baby step. Overall, I just need to whip my sweet tooth into shape. It is out of control.

  39. Eat healthier. I just HAVE to do it!

  40. 2011 – Will this be the year I gain control over my eating? I hope so!
    I struggle with obesity. Been a ongoing member of Weight Watchers and TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly) yet I can not get control over my eating for a long period of time. So tired.

    THis year I too will be making small healthy changes…

    1. Stay away from the cokes. I like diet coke but when a real one is around I usually go for that one.

    2. Drink more water and Crystal Light. I bought 2 pitchers for the fridge one for each.

    3. Drive thru less. Brown Bag my lunch 4 days a week. On Friday when I go out with the girls pick something more healthy.

    4. Shop on the outside of the grocery store more. Take time to prepare dinner and enjoy the process as well as the meal.

    5. Establish some sort of movement. Small steps each week.

    That is my plan. I actually started it in the fall of 2010 and I am loving the results. I just want this to be the year I dont regain what I lost!

  41. I’m a new mom… I can’t handle any resolutions! I’m going to make an effort to get my family on a good scedule so I can GET SOME SLEEP. That’ll keep me healthy!

  42. I resolve to become the best me that I can this year. Taking more time for the Hubby, excercising regularly (grrr), increasing water consumption, regular devotions…and loving myself no matter if the number on the scale decreases or not….

  43. I’m joining Weight Watchers with a group of friends next week! Becoming a healthier person hopefully will help me to raise healthy kids!

  44. Melissa B. says:

    I’ve been walking more (a mile a day), but I need something that will get my heart pumping, so I’m going to try to add in more cardio. Not exactly sure how yet, but hopefully something will come to be soon!

  45. Everytime I find myself sitting in front of the t.v. and not moving, I’m making myself either do weights or walk on the treadmill. I can watch t.v. and walk at the same time so why don’t I do it more?!?!

  46. My goal is to get to the chiropractor enough this month (Jan) that I can do mild exercise again without doing more damage to my back. I’m on my way to my goal! Hoping to start exercising again in Feb. I have no specific amount in mind that I have to lose, I only want to get rid of my double-chin. :)

  47. I want to buy an exercise bike, so I will have no weather-related excuses not to burn some calories!

  48. I plan to go to bed earlier. Because midnight or 1 a.m. is probably not the healthiest time to go to sleep! (Even if I do have the luxury of sleeping late.)

  49. I’m trying to stop at the gym on the way home for work.

  50. Casey A. says:

    Get outside more with Hubs and our 21-month old baby boy. We live in Alabama, for the love! We have to get outside and take advantage of the warmer temps:)

  51. Well, my brand new treadmill was just shipped to me last week. So I am excited to start using it. Hopefully I will be able to burn some calories, lose a few pounds, and tone up my body in 2011.

  52. I plan to incorporate some kind of exercise into my daily routine. I also need to cut way back on the CokeZero and replace it with Crystal Light or water more often – easier said than done, though.

  53. Danielle S says:

    Drink more water.
    I started the 30 day shred.

  54. Margaret says:

    get off the computer more

  55. Enter giveaways so I can pay off my debt and not be so stressed :)

  56. I am walking more.I love the treadmills with tv’s! Drinking more water. Eating more vegetavles. giving up sugar and flour and grains. I have lost 35 lbs with more to go!

  57. I’m going to cut out the complex carbs. For real this time.

  58. get rid/ destress

  59. Kathleen says:

    I am going to exercise 5x per week.

    kport207 at gmail dot com

  60. Margaret Smith says:

    I’m trying to walk 3-4 days per week around our neighborhood to get into better shape.
    Thanks so much.
    rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

  61. I want to drink more water (and less diet soda) this year.

  62. We plan on eating out at fast food restaurants less.

  63. Janice Whitaker says:

    My goal is to lose 20 lbs. I need to lose more but I dont want to freak myself out :)

  64. I’m trying to walk 3 miles a day at least 5 times a week.

  65. I joined in with other moms for an accountability group. We keep points for eating well, exercising, etc. We have a group on Facebook and each week will report in. Hope it works!

  66. Stephanie V. says:

    currently fighting cancer and recently out of treatment and isolation so mine to to find health and balance again (reactivate my gym membership)

    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  67. I want to move more! I would like to take advantage of our Wii Fit more and get outside while the weather is still nice and walk.
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

  68. tweeted
    http://twitter.com/ljatwood/status/22865063408828416
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

  69. I have been a slacker these last few months – really got out of the habit over Christmas. So it’s back to the treadmill for me; I usually walk during Oprah to make the time go faster.

  70. For medical reasons I’m limited on what exercise I can do, but I’ve let that stop me from pretty much ANY exercise! I need something mild but consistent. I live on the beach, so I’m starting with walking 3 times a week. Not setting a time or distance goal yet – I’ll just walk as far/long as feels good, and hopefully build up some strength and stamina, then mid year I can re-evaluate my goals :)

  71. due to chemo I lost a lot of weight – too much. So I need to pack on some pounds while still eating healthy. I started a food journal to keep track :)

  72. I plan to increase my daily exercises under the advice of my physical therapist.
    chainmail (at) iwon (dot) com

  73. I plan on working out more, losing 30 lbs, and drinking more water!

  74. Rebecca Graham says:

    I am going to do Zumba this year.

  75. I’m gonna start eating better and EXERCISE for God’s sakes!!!
    – Daddy Rich
    daddyrichispoor@gmail.com
    Happy New Year!

  76. overall plan? I have been wallowing with health issues for years, have waning of energy and strength and the past couple of years have lost a lot of myself. THIS year, I need to broadly stop saying I CANT and get up and do more…exercise, socializing, reading, cooking new healthy foods, and TRY really hard to get back in the driver’s seat, literally and otherwise. I need to stop comparing myself to the me I used to be and love the person I am NOW… THIS year, CAN’T is a 4 letter word to me.

    thank you!

  77. T. Lawson says:

    I am adding circuit training to my workout regimine.

  78. Adrienne Gordon says:

    I’m taking spinning and running classes.

  79. Cutting out the diet coke would be a big thing for me. Need to drink more water.

  80. I want to walk my VERY energetic lab for twenty minutes a day. Benefits both of us!

  81. EMMA L HORTON says:

    I AM GOING TO EAT MORE FRUITS

  82. lose weight “of course”

  83. Mary Kat's Mom says:

    I’m going to jump on my trampoline four times a week for 20 minutes! Does that sound healthy? I haven’t started yet but hope to on Saturday! ! !

  84. Keri Always says:

    I decided this morning to kill my sweet tea addiction. I will drink water. I WILL!!!

    I want to run a 5K by the end of the year. That’s do-able, right?

  85. i need to eat more fruit and veg as well as healthy cholesterol
    nannypanpan at sbcglobal.net

  86. I’m going to continue the work-out regimen I have now BUT add boot camp (I bought it on Groupon) for at least one month. I’m hoping to add some new form of exercise each month after that. I also want to drink more water…but coke is just SO TASTY.

  87. Jessica P says:

    I plan to increase the amount of time I walk each day

    pestkaj(at)yahoo(dot)com

  88. I plan to make time to walk daily.

  89. Two goals:
    a) remember where the YMCA is
    b) go there.

  90. I plan on eating a little healthier this year as well. Mostly by cutting out snacks but also by cutting down on portion sizes to some of my favorite foods.
    Dove056 at aol dot com