4 Tips For Keeping Your Fitness New Year’s Resolution
Now that we’re a little ways into January, how are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions?
You know the drill: hundreds of people make fitness-related resolutions for the New Year, start out strong by working out a lot at the beginning of January, before giving up after a few weeks.
The top reasons that most people give up on their New Year’s fitness resolutions are:
- Setting unrealistic goals
- Feeling intimidated to work out in public
- Having no one to hold them accountable
- Difficulty in forming new habits
How can you ensure that you will maintain the motivation to keep your resolutions throughout the year vs. just keeping it up for a few weeks? Here are a fit tips to help.
1. Select a realistic goal
The trouble with New Year’s resolutions is that most people bite off more than they can chew. It’s fine to want to make a big change in your life, but it also has to be realistic. If you’re not a morning person, it may not be realistic to suddenly want to wake up at 5am every day. Implementing a big change like this is going to take some time. You won’t be able to go from a size 10 to a size 4 overnight (it also may not be healthy to lose this much weight!).
Our brains are wired to seek out pleasure, so it does everything it can to keep us comfortable. This is why overly ambitious resolutions fail–they are too much shift for our comfort-seeking brain to handle.
So how do we overcome that?
2. Break Down Into Smaller Goals
Once you have your realistic “larger” resolution, start by breaking it down into smaller goals. This will prevent your brain from being overwhelmed by a goal seemingly too large for it’s comfort zone. Space out your smaller goals into milestones to be achieved over the course of some time. For example, if your New Year’s resolution is to lose 30 pounds, don’t think of your goal as “losing 30 pounds.” Instead, break it down so that your goal is to lose 5 pounds every month until you hit your final goal. Losing 5 pounds sounds a lot more achievable than losing 30. Instead of focusing on losing 30 pounds, focus on losing the first five. Then keep going from there.
3. Track your progress
It’s also important to keep track of every small success! Those smaller goals are easier to keep, and each successful accomplishment will help keep you motivated to continue working towards your larger goal. There are many ways you can track your progress. If you’re trying to slim down, you can take a picture of your body every week to see the change week after week. Or keep a journal to track your weight loss. Reward yourself for every small goal achieved (ie. for every five pounds lost). Focus on the journey, not the destination. Remember: fitness is about a lifestyle, not just about a number.
4. Find Someone To Keep You Accountable
Some people are incredibly disciplined and can keep themselves accountable to sticking to their resolutions. Others will need some help staying accountable to their goals. There are many ways you can seek accountability for your resolution. One way is to post your progress photos on your social media. Your friends and followers will see the progress you are making, and will expect you to continue your fitness journey toward reaching your goal.
If you would prefer a more private option, you can ask a friend, family member, or significant other to help keep you on track for your goals by regularly checking in and asking about your progress. Another great option is to hire a personal trainer, because a personal trainer can actually help you with all four of these steps. They can help you determine a reasonable and realistic goal and break it down into smaller goals. Then they will tailor your sessions so that you can achieve these goals over time. Personal trainers will also help you track your progress and results, and will definitely keep you accountable!