Many people include a fitness goal in their New Year resolution, aiming to make this year a healthier, fitter one than last. Unfortunately, many resolutions don’t see it past February before they’ve been abandoned.
Many well-intentioned individuals who resolve to improve their fitness don’t always set a specific goal, instead they opt for something general, like “exercise more,” which can result in non-compliance and eventually giving up altogether. To improve your success at your fitness New Year resolution, consider the following:
- Make your goal specific and realistic – say that you are going to aim for exercising three times each week for 30-60 minutes each, for example. Know why you are making this goal, since that is critical to your motivation.
- Create a plan – whether you still use a paper calendar or prefer to log workouts into your phone, determine when you will fit in exercise sessions each week. Be flexible as necessary, but schedule workouts or you’ll never magically “find the time” to do them.
- Prepare – make sure you have proper athletic shoes and attire, along with accessories that can help, such as a water bottle, iPod, heart rate monitor, etc.
- Get equipped – if you choose to run or walk outside, you don’t need much equipment. But what about variety for a rainy or cold day? Fitness equipment at home – from treadmills to home gyms to DVDs – makes it convenient to exercise and more difficult to find excuses to quit.
- Join a health club – this isn’t mandatory, of course, but if you want to exercise around others, a health club has quality equipment, classes, trainers and more. This can be ultra-motivating, provided that you choose a convenient location and resolve to get there.
- Find a partner – you’re more likely to stay committed if you have someone working with you and cheering you on.
- Track your progress – there are lots of apps today that help you record your workouts and become a valuable log of success, which is greatly motivating.
- Forgive yourself – if you miss a workout or two, don’t quit altogether, but recommit, get going again and focus on your goal, one day at a time.
- Celebrate success – don’t wait until the end of the year to reward yourself. As you hit milestones, treat yourself to a massage, new apparel or a session with a trainer – whatever you like that keeps you on track!
This year, commit to your fitness New Year resolution! You’ll be glad you did!