Though resolutions can certainly be helpful to jumpstart a fitness regimen in the new year, they are essentially your personal goals on steroids. Your goals are year round, so the new year may not necessarily change anything other than external motivation and a short term mindset shift.
So, here are my top three tips to prevent the New Years back slide and keep your personal fitness goals going year round.
Meet yourself where you really are
The new year marks a fresh, perhaps optimistic, perspective on self-care and personal goals. As a Health Advisor and Personal Trainer, this means I have witnessed clients, time after time, begin the new year jumping head-first into a fitness routine that by mid February or March ends up in a gradual back slide.
The one thing I always say is that you can always predict that life is going to happen. You will inevitably get behind on something, or an obstacle will pop up. Remember that at the beginning of the new year as well, and set more realistic, smaller goals that you could without a doubt commit to year long, not just for a month or two.
Put your routine first
A routine is key to any success. If you routinely wake up and go for a walk, say a prayer, grab a coffee, or some other healthy habit, then chances are, that is what you (your mind, body and soul) will learn to expect and crave over time. Again remember this routine should be realistic and meet you where you normally and consistently are in life.
Another key factor to a routine is baby steps. Change is inevitable, but progress and growth are optional. If you are going from not exercising at all, try beginning with just 10-15 minutes a day or 20 minutes three times a week to establish a foundation to build upon. Then, gradually add more as time passes. Routine comes for those willing to take the time to build it.
Measure your success
There are a million ways to measure success around your fitness resolutions.
You can measure performance: do you now walk, jog, bike, dance, etc. longer without stopping? Are you lifting heavier or for greater reps? Are you able to travel longer distances in shorter periods of time? Are you able to bend more for improved flexibility?
You can measure the physical: Has your total body weight increased/decreased? What is the difference in body fat and muscle?
You can measure by feeling: Do you feel like your heart and lungs are gaining endurance? Are you feeling more energized? Do you sleep better at night? Are you able to focus better during work? Are you feeling stronger?
You can measure by your health: Has your cholesterol or blood pressure improved? Do you notice positive changes in your A1C? Has the inflammation, aches and pains in your body decreased?
When you measure your progress and growth, you’re able notice the positive changes that helps establish internal motivation for long term fitness commitment.
Happy New Year!
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– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC
Health Advisor | Email Casey