Once the holiday magic begins to fade and we are faced with the consequences of “blessings of indulgence,” we often turn to the mental safety of the New Year’s fitness resolution.
As a fitness professional, this is the time of year when we see people naturally wanting to accomplish goals that are unrealistic for the time frame they give themselves. They often end up frustrated and usher spring in with defeat.
Finding a mindset and game plan to avoid setbacks after New Years can be a serious challenge! If your New Years resolutions fall under the conventional fitness and weight loss declarations, here are some strategies to help reach your goal and maintain them throughout the year.
1. Keep It Real
Drastic transformations and impractical goals are the main reason for “New Year, New You” fitness failures. Keeping your goals simple is the best formula for success. Overblown ambitions like “I’m going to lose 20lbs in one month” or “I’m going to work out every day” are risky.
Instead, go for realistic behavior changes that you can commit to, that fit your lifestyle and have staying power through the seasons. I advise clients to use a journal to write down their behavior for a month. This includes times per week exercising, a food log and writing actual feelings about the whole process. This method gives you a launch pad to go to the gym more often, stay a little longer when you go, work a little harder when you get there and find the investment willpower to eat better to nourish your workouts. If you are seeking to make real life changes, you should probably be introduced to who you really are on paper.
2. Shift Your Focus
No one can deny the fantasy of the skinny jeans that are two sizes smaller and the chiseled abs on the beach this summer. Using these motivational tools are fine, however there’s much to be said for cardiovascular power, muscle strength and bone density.
We know cholesterol levels probably didn’t cross your mind when you saw the annual Victoria’s Secret runway show, however having deeper intentions does connect you to exercise in a different way. Thoughts of happy and healthy versus thin and skinny allows one to feel like they deserve to find the time instead of the pressure to do it simply for the external results. I encourage you to factor in the joy of health–the ability to play with your kids, feel your body accomplish strength, become more flexible and rock your next physical. The good news is that you can wear your sexy skinnies while accomplishing all of it.
3. Get support
Having someone who supports your goals can offer the understanding and encouragement that can keep you on track. Find someone who will keep you accountable on your journey, or better yet, come along with you. Research has shown that people with exercise partners are more likely to achieve their fitness goals. You keep each other consistent and that is the key. Without accountability, it’s hard to be consistent.