The new year is fast upon us and, as with every new year we see in, it’s nearly resolution time. While the desire for self-improvement is a good thing, actually sticking to your fitness resolution is another. Here are some tips to help you keep your resolutions and make them a reality:
Keep it Simple
Many of us use New Year’s resolutions as an opportunity to make large bucket list of extreme changes..
It’s great to have ambitions, but our daily lives have so many competing priorities that this type of approach is doomed to failure. Simply put, overwhelmingly large goals can be so psychologically daunting, that you end up never even starting in the first place.
The sensible approach is to set small, attainable goals throughout the year, rather than a singular, overwhelming goal. Bare in mind that it’s the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and working toward it, one step at a time that will help you make your resolutions a reality.
As the old adage states “Rome wasn’t build in a day”, chances are that unless you are superhuman from krypton your dream body or fitness goals won’t be attained over night. It takes many bricks to make a wall, so take small attainable steps toward your end goal. Sure the end goals may be to drop weight or build mass, but instead of focusing on your lack of results 2 weeks in, focus on the small changes you’ve already made or have yet to make to your diet or daily routine that will help get you to that end goal.
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” - Benjamin Franklin
Many experts recommend charting your goals in some fashion (to-do lists, vision boards, a journal etc.), although there’s no universal strategy for success. Taking progress pictures is a great way to keep your motivation levels high, even if you don’t want others to see them, keep them for yourself. Long term change isn’t as clear in the mirror as it is in photos At the end of the year, you’ll have a nice record of just how far you’ve come. If you need an extra kick in the butt, an emerging trend is using social media outlets to build accountability.
Anyone can walk into a gym, throw some weights around or run for 5 minutes on a treadmill and say they worked out. However, when it comes to getting fit and making your new year’s resolutions a reality – knowledge is power. The internet is rife with free information pertaining to health and fitness. That’s not to say that everything out there is legit, so take the time to do your research and find the right program, diet and supplements that fit your needs and current fitness level.
Bare in mind, you can have the best supplements and most amazing training program in the world, but if you are not willing to stick to it then it’s probably not going to work for you. Again, be realistic and start small.
Phone a friend
If you’re really struggling to stay committed to your fitness resolution call your friends and find a gym partner! If you can find someone who’s stronger or more fit than you, that’s a major bonus because he or she will push you harder and be able to show you tips and tricks you might not be aware of.
Having a friend to train will increase the odds of sticking with your resolution because you won’t want to let the other person down. Plus, exercise is way more fun when you have someone to train with.
Don’t stop believing (cue Journey)
More often than not, people who fail to keep their resolutions blame their own lack of willpower. In surveys, these would-be resolvers repeatedly say that if only they had more self-determination, they would’ve overcome any hurdles and achieved their goals. However, emerging research shows that willpower is malleable. In one University study, scientists gauged whether test subjects believed they could exhaust their willpower, and sought to convince them otherwise. The researchers found that people “performed better or worse [on tests] depending on their belief in the durability of willpower.”
Simply put - You have as much willpower as you think you have. Which means that on some level, your journey toward self-improvement will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. To keep belief levels high, trust the process, don’t deviate from your program and stop measuring results by pounds gained or lost.