A Word on New Year Fitness Resolutions
How to stay on track of your health & fitness goals
How many times have you heard of someone making a new years' resolution to get in shape? Or maybe you've made one yourself? You get motivated to be healthy, lose weight, or build muscle. Maybe you actually sign up at a gym and go for a few months, and actually make a bit of progress! Eventually the enthusiasm wears off and you stop going, resigning your goals for "next year".
I often see many people make goals to change for the new year, and I often see people fail. I love their enthusiasm and motivation, but I believe the reason they fall off track is not because they lack discipline, but because they don't set themselves up for success. Below are some tips that can help you or someone you know to stay on track!
Sometimes the way we think things are going to go and how they actually play out are completely opposite things. This happens to me all the time; I put a mental note in my head to do something, but it gets lost in all my daily activities. One thing that can sit on the back burner for most people is going to the gym. So one thing you can do is plan ahead, and there are many ways to do so. Pack a few days or the week's worth of clothes in your gym bag and put it in you car's back seat, that way it'll serve as a daily reminder. Finding yourself busy between work and home life? Sign up at a gym that is on the way to work, that way it fits into your schedule for before or after work. Set daily notifications on your phone's alarm or calendar for gym time, and make the title motivating to help get you going.
You can also plan meals ahead of time, and I would recommend setting aside time on 1-3 days a week (like the weekends, or on days you get off early from work) where you plan out your meals. Look up healthy recipes online that yield large amounts, go to the grocery store, make the food, and BAM! You now have tasty, nutritious food and leftovers. Also, consider leaving the debit / credit card home and take cash with you when you go out; If you can physically see how much money you have and how much you're spending, you might be less inclined to spend it. You'll save money!
Have FUN with fitness
This one doesn't need much explanation. Whatever you choose to do for fitness, make it something fun that you actually enjoy. Sure, there might be times where you are not feeling it or times where you have to train your weaknesses, but the majority of your training should be fun and challenging while being a balanced program.
Also, make sure the frequency is something you can keep up with. Going from nothing to training 6-7 days a week will burn you out fast, so start small; try working out 2-3 days a week and see how that feels.
Remember your why
Remembering why you started can be the most important motivator, and make sure you dig a little deeper than a superficial reason. Instead of your why being "I want to lose weight" or "I want to be strong", ask yourself WHY you wanted those things in the first place. What is the point of it all? Do you want to feel more confident in your own body, to be healthier so you can enjoy life with loved ones, or be prepared for emergencies? Know your why on a deeper level and write it down. Keep it somewhere you can see it on a daily basis at the start and end of your day. Make a daily commitment to work toward your goals in some way, even if it's the smallest thing. Knowing your why and planning ahead allows you to dial in and focus on the daily tasks and goals, rather than having a broad idea of what you want but with no direction.
"If a man knows not which port he sails, no wind is favorable." Seneca
Hopefully these tips help someone stay on track of their fitness goals. At the end of the day it doesn't matter if it's the new year or the middle of the year, you can always decide to change your life. And should you ever fall in your journey, all you can do is get back up and keep going.