Fitness and weight loss goals are some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions people set for themselves, and they’re also some of the most difficult resolutions to stick with.
As big a part of my life as the IT world is, it’s not the only thing I think about. I also happen to be an avid fitness enthusiast! I believe exercise and wellness are big parts of leading a happy, healthy, and successful life, and I’d like to pass that on to you.
In this series, I’ll share simple and effective tips and insight for leading a healthier life. Keep these in mind, and you’ll be surprised by how soon you feel a difference!
This week I’ll be sharing a few tips to help you make and keep smart fitness resolutions for 2018.
The start of a new year is a great time to make positive changes in your life, and for a lot of people, that means working to become a healthier and happier version of themselves. Making health and fitness goals your resolution can be a great way to motivate yourself, and making yourself accountable to others by sharing your resolution with family and friends can sometimes help keep you on track.
That being said, fitness resolutions are notorious for being hard to stick with. After the first few weeks or months, motivation starts to wane, and the next thing you know you’ve completely forgotten about your plans to make this year the year you finally reach your fitness goals. More often than not, falling off the fitness wagon has little to do with you as a person, and a lot to do with the way you approached setting your goals.
Expecting too much from yourself right off the bat is only going to set you up to fail. Instead of setting a major long-term goal for yourself, focus on smaller milestones you can strive for over the course of the year. Smaller goals are more attainable, and each of these accomplishments will help motivate you to keep pushing towards bigger goals down the road.
If your fitness resolution is to run a marathon, start off by setting specific – and realistic – time or mileage goals to get yourself started off. If your resolution is to lose weight, set a manageable weekly goal that focuses more on getting into a workout routine and eating better than what your scale says. Adjusting or reevaluating your resolution over the course of the year feels much better when you’re raising the bar for yourself instead of lowering it.
Starting a fitness journal is a great way to monitor your progress, and self-motivate by laying out your past accomplishments for you in black and white. On days where you feel like you’re struggling or falling short of where you wanted to be, you can look back at how far you’ve come and remind yourself that you’re doing exactly what you set out to do. But don’t use your journal as a way to beat yourself up over missed workouts or slip-ups. You’re only human, and making yourself feel bad for being less than perfect at all times isn’t helpful. In fact, it’s that attitude that causes a ton of people to give up on their resolutions.
The hardest thing for a lot of folks to grasp is that no matter how excited you are to get started, it takes time to settle into a new routine. Humans are creatures of habit, so if you can stick with your new fitness routine for a month, you’ll find it suddenly feels much easier to keep up with your new habits without being tempted to slip back into older and less healthy behavior. Stay persistent, and as time goes on you’ll spend less time fighting with yourself over hitting the gym or passing on foods you know you shouldn’t be eating.
It’s okay if you have a false start or two. Fitness resolutions are something that, if they’re successful, will stick with you for the rest of your life, so don’t approach your resolution as something with a twelve-month deadline. If February rolls around and you find yourself struggling, take a step back, figure out where you fell off track, and start again. You’ll cross that finish line eventually, so don’t be afraid to do things at your own pace. Keep trying for those smaller milestones, and see where that progress takes you.
Most importantly, don’t feel like you have to do everything on your own. Treat yourself to a session or two with a personal trainer to get a better idea of how to approach your goals or sign up for classes that will help you keep to a schedule and use the support of your fellow attendees as added motivation. Or, you can buddy up with a friend who has a similar resolution and work together to make sure you both reach your health and fitness goals.
Make 2018 the year you finally keep your New Year’s resolution. You’ve got this.