We decided to write this blog, because it is the beginning of the second week of the new year – about halfway to the Ditch Your New Year’s Resolution Day! Whether you made it so far, or just starting your journey anew, or even if you are reading it in the middle of the summer – this article is aimed to provide you with tools to achieve your fitness goals and stay fit year-round.
The time when we misguidedly imagine that the arrival of a new year will magically provide the catalyst, motivation and persistence we need to reinvent ourselves. Traditionally, New Year’s Day is styled as the ideal time to kick start a new phase in your life and the time when you must make your all important new year’s resolution. Unfortunately, the beginning of the year is also one of the worst times to make a major change in your habits because it’s often a relatively stressful time, right in the middle of the party and vacation season. In addition, the entire process of making resolutions is flawed and generally does nothing more but set your fitness goals to fail from the start.
Making Resolutions vs Setting Fitness Goals
To set yourself for success let’s first define the two terms. Resolutions are usually vague statements with no time frame or action linked to it. Very often New Year’s Resolutions are made on emotion alone, without getting much into details on HOW to achieve them. Setting fitness goals, on the other hand, is usually accompanied by action-oriented steps that are aimed to get you where you want to be. If the idea of starting in the new year provides motivation, then build a plan and utilize the following tips to keep yourself in check:
Set Small Fitness Goals to Start
Think of small, gradual goals within your larger goal. It could be as simple as setting a new goal for each month of the year. For example, if you want to be more active, don’t say “I’m going to visit the gym five days a week”. Instead, aim to walk to work 3 days a week in January, then find an active hobby for the weekends in February, and in March slowly ease yourself into the gym 2-3 times a week.
Commit to a Group
Joining a group of other people who share the same fitness goals provides support and motivation. For example, attending Boot Camp classes can be immensely helpful for staying on track with dieting. Utilizing group social media for sharing resources and seeking motivation can also keep you accountable. It’s so easy nowadays to be a part of a group of like-minded individuals. Try our online service that has its own social media platform that will connect you to other women around the world who are looking to get in shape.
Be Honest with Yourself
This is a crucial and often overlooked key! Setting unrealistic expectations is worse for motivation than never setting the goal in the first place. There is a difference between wanting to do something and being motivated to follow through. Outline one or two major fitness goals for the year, and break them into monthly micro goals that are easy to achieve. You will stay much more motivated when you achieve the micro goals (or sometimes, over-achieve them) on a monthly basis.
Ask yourself, why didn’t I start this journey earlier? What barriers do you see getting in your way from being successful? There will be problems, so make a list of what they’ll be. If you think about it, you’ll be able to anticipate problems at certain times of the day, with specific people or in special situations. Once you’ve identified the times that will probably be hard to stick to the plan, work out ways to cope with these situations so that you stay ready for anything.
Don’t Get Stuck In Black-and-White Thinking
If you make a goal, don’t force yourself into an all-or-nothing trap. In tandem with the above points, set small fitness goals and try your best to stick to them. Old habits are hard to break and new ones are hard to sustain. Cut yourself a break if you have an off day! For example, if you’ve gone off your diet one day, or even a couple, this doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It means you’re human. Don’t give up. Forgive yourself and keep moving forward.
Small rewards are great encouragement to keep you going during the hardest first days. After that, you can probably reward yourself once a week with a magazine, a long-distance call to a supportive friend, a siesta, a trip to the movies or whatever makes you tick. Later you can change the rewards to monthly and then at the end of the year you can pick an anniversary reward. Something that you’ll look forward to. You deserve it and you’ll have earned it. Positive reinforcement goes a long way, even when you are both the enforcer and the enforced!
Whatever your plans and goals, find a support system and tell people what you are working for. Make yourself a priority and treat the process like a very important project. Sign up for Body Beautiful Online service that comes with a mobile app, dozens of workouts created by us, a library of 2500 exercises, calorie tracker and many other helpful tools, that will help you get (and keep) your dream body!