The New Year’s Resolution is a fickle thing. One day it’s here, and the next it’s July and you’ve done virtually nothing to accomplish it. Don’t be too hard on yourself, though -- changing your lifestyle is hard, and keeping up those changes is even harder. While we personally believe you can start your New Year’s Resolution at any time, if you’re a January resolution die-hard, here’s what our trainers say to help you keep your goals on track.
How to Stick to Your New Year's Resolution
Spell It Out
Make your goals as specific as possible. Instead of “lose weight,” make your goal “lose X pounds by X date,” and then create a real workout plan to help you get there. Get a workout journal to log your daily fitness goals and track what you’re eating. If your goal is to lose weight, for example, reflect at the end of each week and log:
Your starting weight
Your current weight
What your workouts were
How long your workouts were
What you ate
Grab a Friend*
*who has a little discipline. Accomplishing your goals on your own is a feat in and of itself. But when you have a gym buddy, it’s harder to wake up and say, “Eh, maybe tomorrow.” Gym buddies hold you accountable, make it harder for you to cancel, and add a little friendly competition to keep the fire under you burning. Especially when you’re first starting out, it’s nice to have someone cheering you on (and someone to cheer on).
Do What You Love
Yes: you’re going to have to mix up your routine sometime to prevent “muscle memory”. But until you do that, do workouts you love (or even like just a little). If your goal is to do more cardio, but you hate running, you’re not going to stick to that goal for very long. Instead, try cycling, or kickboxing, or even brisk walking. There are variations to every workout that will accommodate what your preferences.
Map Out Your Time
You have the time to get fit. Find it. Maybe it’s 30 to 60 minutes at lunch. Maybe it’s instead of watching Netflix after you put the kids to bed (or maybe it’s before you wake the kids up!). Sit down at the beginning of the year, look at your schedule more realistically, and look for the windows of time that you can fit in a workout. Then, as they say, just do it.
Mix It Up
Cycling class Monday, gym equipment Tuesday, rest day Wednesday, run Thursday...consistency is key in terms of getting yourself off the couch almost every day, but mixing it up can help you stay interested (and avoid daily waits for gym equipment). This also helps you maximize your time and make it efficient -- for days you can spare exhaustion, go to a class like Boot Camp, where you can burn up to 1200 calories. For days you can’t, go for a 30 minute jog. When you’re first starting your fitness journey, movement is movement.
Hold Yourself Accountable
Start a fitness Instagram. Write a blog. Tell your friends and family. When you’re tracking your progress for the public eye, it helps you stay on top of your goals.
Fit people eat snacks. They just don’t eat whole bags of chips. Eating to fuel your body truly doesn’t have to be boring and is just as, if not more, important for your health as working out. Some awesome places to find healthy recipes:
Ease Into It
Most importantly, take it easy on yourself. Building a new routine takes time, and if you skip one workout because you have a sick day, you’re forgiven. The key is to jump right back on the horse when you fall off of it. Start with a goal you can easily accomplish, like working out two days a week for the first month of the year. Then push it to three, then four. Your results may come slower, but your routine will click faster.
A personal trainer’s job is to help you ease into it. If you’re worried about your form or how your body will respond to certain workouts, come into one of our Jersey Strong locations with the free personal training session pass and let us help you find a routine that will keep you safe while you stick to your goals.