New Year's is right around the corner, and every year, it's the same story. We all want to drop ten pounds or a dress or pants size, tone up that tummy, and shrink that rear. Still, the moment the resolution becomes a reality (meaning the moment it becomes work), those aspirations tend to disappear. Why not change it up this year and actually KEEP those fitness resolutions? It's all about staying motivated and creating a system that enables you to make measurable progress. I've created a list of some great tips for finally sticking to your New Year's fitness resolutions:
Set Reasonable Fitness Goals
Saying "I want to lose 30 pounds" and doing it are two different things. When the weight doesn't fly off, you may get discouraged, and that 30 number goes from being doable to impossible. Instead of setting the bar super-high, start small, like losing two pounds or three pounds at a time. Write these small goals down, and revisit them every day. Each time you meet a goal, write down the date that you did and immediately set your next goal so that you are always working toward something in manageable steps.
Get a Gym Buddy
When you set out to keep your New Year's fitness goals, definitely rely on the buddy system. Not only will you feel more obligated to not let your gym buddy down, but you'll also have someone to share exercises, workouts, and progress with. Plus, having someone else to commiserate with over the after-workout aches and pains allows you to vent and still get support when you're unmotivated or frustrated. If you have no friends willing to step up and be your gym buddy, consider hiring a trainer, which forces you to schedule a workout time and stick to it.
Make it Convenient
Part of the reason why I have kept my fitness goals this year (yes!) is because I picked a gym near where I work. I get up a little earlier, work out, shower, do my hair and makeup, throw on my work clothes, and drive right to work. It's convenient and has become a part of my routine. For anyone wanting to make their fitness resolutions stick, the best kinds of plans are those that can be easily integrated into your schedule. Visiting a gym close to home or work at a time when you need to be out of the house (or on your way somewhere) anyway is one of the best ways to make it easy to keep your resolutions.
Don't Be Afraid to Try Something Different
Many people feel like the only way to get in shape is to go to the gym, pound out a few miles on the treadmill, go lift weights, and then repeat until fit. If that sounds horrific to you, why not try something non-traditional? Maybe ballroom dancing? Yoga? Aerobics? Swimming? Why not join a community soccer or basketball league? Maybe karate is more your speed? You don't have to force yourself to do something you absolutely hate; you can get fit in a way that interests you! Learn what you like, get started, and then you'll be more likely to stick it out.
Make Workouts Manageable
If you are going to the gym to try and get fit, you will also want to set reasonable goals there as well. Don't try to stuff a whole-body workout into one trip to the gym. Break it up a bit. Focus on specific areas on specific days (arms Mondays, legs and butt Tuesdays, abs Wednesdays, and so on). You'll be less likely to "cheat" on your fitness plan when you don't feel overwhelmed (or too achy everywhere).
Nothing is more frustrating than a scale that seems stuck at the same number week after week. Sometimes, even though we're killin' it at the gym, we are self-sabotaging our fitness regimen by not supporting the increase in activity with other healthy habits. Make sure that the resolution to get fit is also a resolution to eat better, get more sleep, and manage your stress level, too! Aim for an increase in healthful habits in all areas of your life and you will definitely see results.