You probably have had to punch yourself in the head all because you didn’t keep up to your fitness New Year’s resolution. You said something like “this time I must begin a regular workout routine to get into shape” “I must eat better and stay away from junks,” but somehow that resolve disintegrates and you fall back into a familiar rut.
Have you observed how the gym membership double each January? Hordes of newcomers fill the cardio desks and weight room in an attempt to get in better shape. The reason is not far-fetched - many people want to go back to a healthy lifestyle after a long period of excessive eating, drinking and being merry. Unfortunately, their enthusiasm soon falls like the “Walls of Jericho” and they become discouraged and lose interest in bettering their health; maybe they’ll give their resolution another shot next year.
Statistics have shown that less than 10% of people achieve their fitness New Year’s resolution. But there are some practical strategies that can help you stick with your resolution from January and beyond. You don’t need an iron will to meet your fitness goals, whether it is to run a marathon, do 10 push-ups or simply take the stairs more often. Here are some tips that may just help you become a regular gym goer and a healthier eater.
1 - Write it and measure it
One of the reasons why you fail to stick to your New Year’s resolution is that you set unspecific and immeasurable goals. Instead of just saying “I want to lose weight,” try to be more specific and say “I want to lose 8 pounds over the next five weeks by going to the gym three to four times a week, and eliminating fast food meals from my diet. I’ll then maintain this new weight for about seven months before writing a new goal.” Break the goal into components and keep a regular checklist to make it result-focused and time-bound.
2 - Get real
Be patient with yourself and don’t try to achieve too much in a little time frame. For example, if your New Year’s resolution is to lose 10 pounds, aim at losing half to one pound per week. You can start running 1-2 miles on a weekly basis to achieve the goal of running 5K. This small gradual progress can help you achieve a long-term result and promote consistency.
3 - Don’t begin alone
There is a role social interaction plays in sticking to your New Year’s resolution especially when it concerns working out. Try not to go it alone because it has been observed by many studies that group training or a joint workout routine encourages a person to stick to a resolution. So, register for a fitness class, hire a personal trainer or join a local running club and you’ll be less likely to bail on your plans to keep fit.
4 - Make it fun
Don’t make your fitness goals altogether uninteresting. Include some dance class, yoga, rock climbing, martial arts, kettlebells, rock climbing and everything between. You are more likely to keep going without any persuasion by your coach or friend. Exercise doesn’t have to be drudgery and you will enjoy it when you don’t dread it.
5 - Use technology to guide you
There are some devices like the QuardioArm and QuardioBase which works with smartphones, and tablets. You can use the reminders and charts that these devices provide to keep track of your progress on your health. This helps to boost your motivation throughout your journey.
6 - Question your motives
The moment you have superficial goals, you begin to lose flare to carry on your New Year’s resolution. One good way to keep going is to frame your fitness as a direct path to happiness and health. Remember that regular exercising can help boost overall energy, lower cholesterol level and even increase your happiness. So always ask yourself introspective questions like “Why did I make this New Year’s resolution?” and “What do I want to achieve?” Your answers can boost your motivation to maintain your fitness goals.
7 - Be accountable for yourself
You can pay in advance for an exercise program that demands attention. Fix regular gym dates with partners and friends to help you stay accountable to yourself. You don’t want to keep them waiting for you, so you show up in time. Plus, exercise routines are more enjoyable with friends and some studies even showed that it improves the result. Your friend here can be who you know or a virtual friend on a video game.
There are many reasons you may want to quit your fitness-related New Year’s resolution. Don’t be like those who stopped half way and fall back to their normal way of life. Stick with your workout routine following the tips highlighted above to better your physical appearance and overall health. Remember “health is wealth.”