Chances are at some point in your life you’ve made a New Year’s resolution and then broke it. It’s okay to admit it; you’re not alone. It’s great to be enthusiastic about the New Year, thinking ahead of how you’d like to see the year play out – thinking about how you will set new fitness goals and have your healthiest year yet. I’m sure you’re wondering, if there is so much enthusiasm at the start of the year, then why do so many people abandon their resolutions before spring?
There are several factors that come into play with making resolutions stick. A couple of the biggest factors related to resolutions with fitness goals have to do with a lack of planning and realism. This year, even if you’ve already started working toward your resolution, take a moment to consider these three tips to help you achieve your New Year’s fitness goals.
1- Determine Your Readiness
How ready are you to start and/or change your fitness regimen? Before you set your goals, it’s a great idea to start with determining your readiness, and building from there. If it’s been a while since you’ve exercised, a visit with your doctor may be in order. Tell your doctor that you’d like to begin a fitness regimen and start a conversation about the goals you’d like to achieve. Once the doctor has you cleared to proceed, consider your mental readiness. Consider factors that will help you stick with a fitness program once you begin. Things like your confidence, choosing exercises that are enjoyable to you, having a workout buddy or being surrounded by people who will help and encourage you, and making certain you can commit to time for fitness in your schedule.
2 – Be Realistic & Make a Plan
Another important factor in devising your New Year’s fitness goals is to be realistic. Often times when we are excited about making life changes, we put extra enthusiasm behind our plans. Sadly, those enthusiastic goals are often impractical goals that can lead to failure. When determining your fitness goals, make them S.M.A.R.T. goals. For example, a goal to lose 10 pounds by Easter is both reasonable and achievable, as is running a 5K by Tax Day. A goal to complete a marathon by that same day is neither reasonable nor achievable, and quite frankly, could be potentially unsafe for a newbie runner. When planning out your goals, start slow, develop a solid foundation of fitness, and then build on that foundation as you go.
3 – Question Your Motives
Steady gym visits can help you achieve and/or maintain a great figure, but superficial goals may lose their appeal after countless weeks of diet and exercise. Instead of developing a fitness goal around looking good, try framing it around a path to health and happiness. Regular exercise has many benefits, including boosting overall energy and increasing your mood and happiness. By bringing some deeper intentions into your fitness goals, you’ll bring an inner motivation that will make all the difference in sticking with it.