New Year’s Fitness Resolutions: How to Stay on Track
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The start of the new year can be a call to action for many of us to renew our fitness goals and commit to lifestyle changes. Unfortunately that resolve starts to dissipate as we fall back into old routines and work schedules. So how do we stay on track and keep our new year’s resolutions going all year long?
The key may be to pace ourselves. Many times we get excited, join a gym, workout intensely several times, only to burn out or get discouraged when we don’t see immediate results. Think about the real, not superficial, reasons behind wanting to lose weight or get fit. When you know that being healthy and feeling strong are the reasons you want to commit to working out, you are more likely to stick with it.
Starting more gradually gives you time to get used to carving some time out of your current schedule to dedicate towards getting healthy. Workouts should be uncomplicated and meals should not be massively different. Shorter workouts are good for beginners with the goal of working up to at least 30 minutes three times a week. Instead of cutting all sugar from your diet, try adding better options as sides or snacks. Adding more fruits and vegetables will slowly change your eating habits and naturally limit junk food consumption.
Comparing yourself to family, friends, or coworkers is a bad idea since everyone’s body and metabolism are different. Your plan has to be tailored to your body with the acknowledgement that your fitness journey will not be instantaneous. Recognizing that it is more of a lifetime commitment will let you be less hard on yourself when you fall behind, and enable you to re-commit and keep going.
Treat fitness as a life priority by scheduling time every week and keeping those appointments. Sometimes it might be easier to find a workout buddy with the same priorities to keep you accountable and offer support. It is much harder to blow off a workout session when you already told your friend you would be there.
Set goals that you know you can reach. It is way more encouraging and motivational to reach your smaller goal, than to not reach a bigger one soon enough. Losing 5 pounds in a month will be an attainable goal to celebrate, then you can set a new goal to achieve. Long-term fitness is achieved by being positive and flexible in your expectations.
Focus more on your fitness plan than on the scale. Checking the scale constantly can be a let down and is sometimes deceptive as we build muscle as we’re losing fat. Give the scale a break for a few weeks and enjoy your workouts and newfound energy. Then when you check it, you might see a change for the better.
Be patient in your progress and commit to the long game. Knowing you are working continuously toward a healthy body can keep you positive and committed. Even if you get derailed by life issues, just get back into your fitness routine instead of thinking it was ruined. Starts and stops can be okay as long as you keep moving forward.
Paige shares the vision of LearnFit, which is dedicated to providing information on living a lifestyle that’s healthy for both our bodies and our planet.