When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, fitness goals tend to linger near the top of the list. They’re popular because they’re tangible, feel-good goals to chase — plus, they can always be reconfigured and tailored to new challenges and aspirations in the gym and beyond.
So, if you’re striving to regain or enhance your fitness in 2018, set yourself a single goal for now so that you have one thing to focus on. Then, make it happen with the following six tips for sticking to your New Year’s resolution in the coming year and beyond.
In order to stick to your New Year’s resolution, you have to know exactly what it is. Saying you want to “get in shape” or “lose weight” isn’t enough. How will you do it? When will you know you’re successful? With a very vague resolution, you won’t know — and that will make it easier for you to give up.
In order to achieve your resolution, then, make sure you know exactly what it is. Will you train for a 5K in March? A marathon in November? Will you lift weights three times a week for the next two months? Or will you try a new fitness class once a week?
These are more specific and easier for you to execute, thus increasing your chances of resolution success.
Take It Easy
Even with a big fitness goal on your plate, it’s important not to do too much, too soon. This is one of the more common mistakes made when coming up with New Year’s resolutions. Instead, start off with a slower pace that’s easy to maintain. That way, after a few weeks of keeping up with your goal, you’ll realize it’s doable. Daily or weekly adherence to your goal will make it become habit.
Track Your Work
We already mentioned that your resolution should be something quantifiable and measurable. This is something that will help you track your progress throughout and notice small successes you might not otherwise notice.
For example, if you hope to lose weight, you might hit a plateau on the scales. At the same time, though, if you’re measuring your waist, arms and leg circumference, etc., you might be able to note decreases in those areas even if your weight hasn’t changed.
Knowing this information will fuel you to stick to your goal. You can even use an app to do it if you find it convenient. And if you can see it’s working, you’ll keep going until the final goal has been accomplished.
And then you can set a new one!
Make It a Family Affair
Fitness goals are easier to achieve when you do so in a social setting. Simply having a gym buddy to hold you accountable to your workouts three times a week will greatly improve your chances of sticking to your workout plan.
You can also use your exercise as a way to improve your entire family’s health. Nearly 75 percent of our kids don’t get the recommended amount of exercise to stay healthy, so encouraging all of your loved ones to join in will give you two great benefits: you’ll be more likely to stick to your resolution and everyone you love will experience improved health, too.
Figure Out How You Like to Sweat
If you’re a newbie to the gym and you hope to get in shape, give yourself time to try all of the gym’s amenities. Sample them and you might find swimming is your favorite form of cardio or that you prefer to hop onto an elliptical machine and sweat it out. You might even like group fitness classes. Whatever it is you find, once you discover your favorite, you’ll be more likely to stick to something you really enjoy.
Focus on the Future
A big mistake that many resolutionaries make is to focus on their present-day selves. Does one cheat-day really change you in the day-to-day? Does skipping a workout make a difference? In the present tense, it probably won’t.
But if you think about future-you — the one who has stuck to his or her resolutions — then it’s easier to make the decisions that will lead you to your future goals. So, instead of focusing on the struggles of the now, let your vision of the future guide your decision-making. It’ll make everything so much easier.
Make It Your Fittest Year
After putting these tips into action, you should know exactly the goal you’re chasing and how you’re going to chase it. Most importantly, you know to keep your eye on the prize: the accomplishment of your goal and, therefore, obtaining the fittest version of you yet.
With your dedication, 2018 is going to be your year. All that’s left is to get started!