If you’re like a lot of people, you may have overdone it a bit on the merrymaking this holiday season. Improved fitness is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions for that very reason, and plenty of gyms see their memberships increase dramatically in January, only to return to its usual attendance as early as February. If improving your health is on your list for the new year, here are seven ways to make your fitness resolutions stick in 2018.
Set Your Goals Wisely
Specific and measurable is the key with fitness goals. Deciding you want to “get fit” in 2018 is a fast track to disappointment – how will you know when you’re “fit?” Committing to what you want – “I want to lose ten pounds” – and laying out steps for getting here – “I’m going to avoid fast food and eliminate soda and alcohol, and I’ll work out three to four times every week” – can help you set a clear, achievable goal.
It’s also wise to be realistic. If committing to fitness is a new endeavor for you, resolving to lift weights six days a week may not go well. Changing your habits is difficult, and expecting to establish new habits immediately isn’t realistic. Instead, focus on making little changes over time. Think of it in terms of training for a marathon. You don’t start by running 26 miles. You start with running one, and over time, you build on those miles.
And Then Break Up Those Goals
Improving your mile time, increasing your push ups or pull ups, or setting a new personal record on the squat rack are good general goals, but remember that being specific is the idea. If you’re trying to improve your mile time by a specific number, and you want to hit ten pull ups or twenty five push ups without stopping, that’s a little more intimidating. Try breaking down those goals – improve your pull ups by a single rep, and build from there.
Consider your Motives
Superficial motivations, like wanting to look better, can become less than appealing after a few weeks of eating clean and working hard. Focusing instead on the real benefits of living healthfully – improved happiness and energy, better sleep, reduced cholesterol – can help you develop deeper intentions for all this hard work. So consider why you’ve set these resolutions, and what exactly you’re hoping to achieve. Ideally, you should have an emotional response – this can help guide you.
Know When to Ask for Help
If you have no idea what you’re doing, it’s much easier to give up completely. This is where a knowledgeable training partner, or better yet, a certified personal trainer can come in handy. Learn how to safely and effective execute a variety of exercises without putting yourself at risk of injury (which will only sideline your goals). A trainer has a few advantages – he or she can help you solidify your goals, build a workout program that will move you efficiently and effectively toward those goals, offer nutrition guidance, and keep you progressing along the way.
Stick to a Schedule
Managing your time effectively is critical no matter what you’re doing, and it’s absolutely true for fitness. Planning your workouts, adding them to your calendar, and then prioritizing them will help you move closer to your goals. Working with a personal trainer can make this part easier – you’re far more likely to show up and work hard when you’re spending a little money.
Mix it Up
Working out three or four or even five times every week will get old quickly (and lose effectiveness) if you’re doing the same things over and over. Again, this is where a personal trainer can be valuable – they can challenge you in different ways, which is good for your body and your mind. If you’re doing this by yourself, try experimenting with different fitness classes to mix things up.
Accountability comes into play when someone else is expecting you to do something. A workout buddy or that personal trainer you hired is counting on you, and that makes you more likely to follow through.
Learn more about how to tackle your 2018 fitness resolutions with a free consultation here at Framework Personal Training in Reno.