5 Tips To Stick To Your New Year's Fitness Resolutrion
Even if things did not go according to plan last time around, every New Year is an opportunity to move forward. That's the whole point of resolutions, after all. Your health and fitness are particularly well-suited to the practice, even if it feels hard to stay consistent.
We asked experts to recommend a few fitness hacks you can use after that first week, New Year honeymoon period. When the going gets tough, you'll have a playbook to stay on top of your commitment to making yourself healthier and, most importantly, happier.
𝗦𝗖𝗛𝗘𝗗𝗨𝗟𝗘 𝗔𝗡 𝗘𝗩𝗘𝗡𝗧 𝗙𝗢𝗥 𝟵𝟬 𝗗𝗔𝗬𝗦 𝗔𝗙𝗧𝗘𝗥 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗡𝗘𝗪 𝗬𝗘𝗔𝗥
Even if you're not a competitive person by nature, a fun contest can bring out anyone's best efforts. Adding a competitive element to your New Year's fitness goal also helps to serve as motivation to follow a strategic, long-term training plan, since there's a payoff at the end other than the nebulous goal of "getting in better shape."
Signing up for a competition, whether it's a 5K run or your first Spartan Race, reinforces our instinctive need to achieve, says Chelsi Day, PsyD, HSPP, a clinical and sports psychologist for Indiana University Athletics. Make sure to set a specific date and sign up for the event within the first week of the New Year, so you'll be less likely to back out if you start getting the jitters as the date of the contest nears.
𝗧𝗔𝗞𝗘 𝗦𝗘𝗟𝗙𝗜𝗘𝗦 𝗙𝗢𝗥 𝗦𝗨𝗖𝗖𝗘𝗦𝗦
I usually don’t like seeing photos of myself, particularly selfies. But the fact is that seeing yourself in photos is one of the best motivational tools to keep your fitness goals on track.
Stop using the scale to measure progress—take photos of yourself instead! That way, you'll have visual evidence of your body's progression, rather than strictly sticking to numbers on some chart or scale.
If you're feeling particularly brave, share your progress on social media. A 2013 weight loss study from Translational Behavioral Medicine found that participants who shared their progress on Twitter lost more weight than those who kept their results to themselves. We've seen some great results from people ready and willing to share their transformations. What's holding you back?
𝗦𝗘𝗧 𝗠𝗜𝗡𝗜 𝗚𝗢𝗔𝗟𝗦 𝗘𝗔𝗖𝗛 𝗠𝗢𝗡𝗧𝗛, 𝗢𝗥 𝗪𝗘𝗘𝗞
This is my personal favorite. There's nothing wrong with committing to big New Year fitness goals. But you should also establish small and specific monthly benchmarks to maintain your motivation throughout the year. This will give you a reason to celebrate incremental progress or success as you move closer to the bigger goal you set for yourself.
“If I ask you to eat a steak in one bite, you might be intimidated and pass on ordering the steak," says Day. "But if you cut the steak into manageable bites, it helps us enjoy it." For example, if you want to lose 30 pounds, break that up into 3 to 5 pounds per month.
Every day is a new opportunity to make one or two positive decisions in your fitness or diet. Some days you won’t feel like getting off the couch for some exercise. Force yourself to do something, anything, to get your heart rate up! Here’s my promise to you— exercising when you least feel like it will give you an amazing sense of accomplishment and pride, particularly on those days you’re lacking motivation. If you can get off your butt on those lazy days, nothing will stop you!
𝗖𝗛𝗢𝗢𝗦𝗘 𝗔𝗡 𝗔𝗖𝗖𝗢𝗨𝗡𝗧𝗔𝗕𝗜𝗟𝗜𝗧𝗬 𝗣𝗔𝗥𝗧𝗡𝗘𝗥
Whether it's a trainer, a friend, or even your significant other, a workout partner provides a powerful level of support to keep you motivated year-round. The American Society of Training and Development says that having a regular workout buddy will increase your likelihood of reaching your fitness goal by 95 percent. Make sure to choose someone who will not accept your excuses or give you a pass when you're not in the mood to hit the gym. My recommendation is to ask a friend whom you envy for their dedication to sticking with their fitness routine.
𝗖𝗛𝗔𝗟𝗟𝗘𝗡𝗚𝗘 𝗬𝗢𝗨𝗥𝗦𝗘𝗟𝗙 𝗧𝗢 𝗔𝗡 𝗘𝗫𝗧𝗥𝗘𝗠𝗘 𝗪𝗢𝗥𝗞𝗢𝗨𝗧
After you've settled into a routine, tackling the same workout week after week and month and after month may become boring and deplete your fitness mojo. You should be implementing different plans and progressing in your workout at the most basic level—but you can also push yourself in other, more exciting ways to keep your commitment fresh.
To spice things up, ditch your traditional workout and challenge yourself to one extreme workout per month to keep things interesting. You can take your workout outside and venture into rock climbing or tackle a challenging terrain on your mountain bike. Or maybe give an intense HIIT workout a try?
𝗙𝗜𝗡𝗔𝗟 𝗪𝗢𝗥𝗗𝗦 𝗢𝗙 𝗔𝗗𝗩𝗜𝗖𝗘
Take it from me, New Year’s Resolutions are tough to keep, mainly because they typically go against the grain of our established comfort zone. Don’t let the seemingly impossible task at hand discourage you from getting started on your new goal. And more importantly, don’t beat yourself up if your best intentions fall flat after a week or two. You will have relapses along the way. The key is to get back in the saddle and start again. No rule says if you fail on your New Year’s Resolutions that you have to give up. Set yourself a new — possibly more realistic — goal and try again! Remembering to stay realistic in your goals is a great way to stick with them. As you accomplish one goal, make another more challenging goal. It’s all about taking baby steps!
Will 2021 be your year? It certainly can be, but only if you take the first step to success — Setting some realistic goals!
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