It’s a new year, and you’re determined to make this one different.
This time you’re committed to losing weight and getting fitter. Where in the past you’ve failed, now’s the time to make it work.
You and millions of other Americans across the country!
In fact, eating healthier and doing more exercise are the two most common New Years resolutions in the United States.
However, it’s said that over 80% of resolutions fail by February! Clearly, that initial motivation can fade quickly.
How do you become part of the minority who keep theirs up for the long term? How can you ensure that you stick to those New Year’s Fitness Resolutions?
Keep reading to find out.
8 Ways to Stick to Your New Year’s Fitness Resolutions
New year, new you! No more excuses. Motivation’s high. Now’s the time to get fit! Here are 8 tips to help you stick to your New Year’s fitness goals.
1. Set Realistic Goals
Goal setting’s one of the best methods of achieving your ambitions.
It doesn’t matter what you’re trying to accomplish. Having a goal can make a significant difference in your ability to succeed.
Not having a goal’s a bit like getting in your car without having a final destination in your GPS. You don’t know where you’re going. Your goal(s) keeps you focused.
They define what you want and keep you on track.
Make sure they’re realistic though. Setting the bar too high’s a sure-fire way to lose motivation. Don’t do yourself a disservice though: you’re capable of more than you think.
2. Set Specific and Measurable Goals
Being realistic is one thing. But your goals should also be specific and measurable.
It isn’t enough to aim to get fit. That’s too loose. In reality, you still don’t know what you want. Go further. Define what fitness means to you!
Do you want to lose 10kg in 6 months? Do you want to gain 5kg of lean muscle? Do you want to run a triathlon at the end of the year? Whatever the case may be for you, aim to be as specific as possible when goal setting.
This enables you to create a plan of action and to check your progress over time.
3. Break Everything Down
Breaking your new goal(s) into bitesize chunks will help you stay motivated.
It’s always easy at the start of the year, right?
You’re full of enthusiasm and determined to go about the year in the right way. But we all know what happens. A month goes by, then another, and we might not see the results we want. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the challenge ahead and to give up.
Try not to get too far ahead of yourself. Instead, break your fitness goals into smaller steps. Know where you want to be a month from now, and then 3 months, and 6.
Focus on the here-and-now, rather than where you want to end up. Instead, focus on the immediate step that you’re on, along the road to achieving your goal.
4. Take Before and After Photographs
There’s nothing like seeing your progress to keep you motivated.
Take a ‘before’ shot at the start of the year. Be honest with yourself. Stand in front of the mirror, let it all hang out, and take a photo! Don’t beat yourself up about what you see. Remember- this is why you want to get fitter. This is the beginning.
Then take follow up pics at certain points throughout the year. Try weekly, monthly, or whatever works best for you.
You could even take a picture every day. By the end of the year, you could put together a video, play it at high speed, and see just how far you’ve come.
This is a great way to build self-confidence, maintain motivation, and stick with your goals.
5. Don’t Try to Run Before You Can Walk
It pays to take your fitness journey slowly.
It’s all too easy to get ahead of ourselves. We assume we can do more than is realistic, straight off the bat. We go all out from 1st January, waking up at 6 am, eating just salad and boiled chicken, hitting the gym every day, and so on.
Be wary of this approach! You’ll burn out.
Keep your goals in mind. Create a realistic plan based upon them, and build your routine up slowly.
6. Remember Something’s Better than Nothing
There will be days when you simply don’t feel like doing anything.
It’s totally natural. But there’s danger in falling off the fitness wagon. It’s easy to make excuses. You’re tired, you’ve worked out 3 times already this week, you’re on track to meet your monthly goals; it’s only one piece of chocolate…etc!
By all means, allow yourself a cheat day, or take a step back once in a while. Just be aware that excuses can escalate.
Counteract the problem on the days you don’t feel like doing anything, by doing something. That might mean a shorter work out, or going for a walk instead of a run, and so on.
This approach will diminish the guilt that can build when you feel you’ve betrayed your goals. It’ll help you stay motivated in the process.
7. Don’t Beat Yourself Up
It’s important not to be too hard on yourself when sticking to your resolutions.
You’re human. You will fail. You will have better days than others. You will struggle to stick with your fitness and dietary routines on occasion.
And that’s natural. It’s going to happen. Just show yourself some self-compassion when it does. There’s nothing like shame and guilt to ruin your commitment to a cause.
You have a cheat day. You don’t exercise. You mope around and do nothing.
Fine. Don’t beat yourself up. Celebrate the awesome chilled out day you just had! Tomorrow’s a fresh start. Get back up and out there to achieve your goals.
8. Get a Coach
Self-motivation’s a fickle beast. It can turn on a dime.
One day you’re ready and raring to go. The next you’ll be fighting inner demons, feeling sluggish, tired and ready to give up.
Hiring a coach is a sure fire way to keep you in the game. Suddenly, it isn’t just you fighting tooth and nail against your goal- you have someone there, backing you up in your corner.
This challenge is an awesome way of killing two birds with one stone. Not only do you get a structured program to help you achieve your goal, but you can work with a coach to support you along the way.
Time to Get Fit!
There you have it: 8 tips to help you stick to your new year’s fitness resolutions.
Make this the year you keep to your resolutions! Make yourself commit, and reap the benefits of a healthier, stronger self.
Hopefully, the tips above have given you some ideas for how to make that happen. Remember, set yourself goals that are realistic, specific and measurable. With this foundation, stay motivated by breaking everything down into small steps, and taking before and after photos to see your progress.
Next, take things slowly, and remember that something’s better than nothing on the difficult days. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day, and consider hiring a coach to keep you on track.
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be on your way to achieving your goals in no time. Best of luck!
Do you want to get fit this year? Check out all of our health-related posts to help you along the way!