11 Tips to Keep Your Resolutions All Year
After New Year’s Day, we'll purchase that gym membership, we'll buy the healthy foods, and we'll take the stairs - for the first month. But life always seems to happen. As time goes on, you get busy, you make excuses, and you’ll even say that you were entirely joking about your resolution, even if you know you need to make that change.
Perhaps the reason that we don’t make serious resolutions merely is that we’re afraid of failing; it’s easier to have a casual mindset about making the resolutions if you’re not even sure where to begin to make your goal a reality. However, it’s easier to make a fitness resolution that you’ll hold to than you might think. Take a look at the break down below for setting up a realistic plan for a healthier new year!
1. Break down your resolution.
Despite what you insisted that you’ll accomplish on New Year’s Eve when you finally sit down to plan out your upcoming year, the last thing you want to do is to set yourself up for failure. You’ll want to make sure that your goals are going to be realistic; if you decide to make a drastic change to your lifestyle, chances are that you may be in for a disappointment. In general, humans don’t like giant changes, so when setting up your goals, the idea is to plan small, gradual changes. Breaking down your goal into manageable bites is the best way to start. Instead of taking a look at the overall, perhaps daunting goal of, “I want to be able to do 100 push-ups in a row by the end of September.” It helps you think about it with the idea of, “I’m going to start with ten push-ups a day, then increase it by five each week.”
2. Make sure your goals are realistic.
However, let’s say that you’re not sure where to begin as far as reasonability goes; let’s say that you’re not sure what an acceptable time frame is to lose that excess weight. To make sure that your goals are realistic, try doing some research, perhaps reading up on stories of those who have accomplished your goal, or even taking the time to talk over your goals with a trusted professional. Chances are, just taking the little extra time to make sure that what you want is attainable will help you start planning out the changes.
3. Set your goals up to be specific.
Although you may vow that you’ll lose weight this year, without a specific goal, you may quickly become discouraged when you find that you’re not dropping pounds within the first few days of January. Instead of saying, “I’m going to lose all my fat this year!”, Try looking at it differently. Say, “I’d like to drop twenty pounds before July by eating out less often, by making it a goal to go to the gym at least twice a week, and by substituting water instead of soda during the work week.” These goals are concrete, and from there, you can set up how to track them.
4. Plan your goals around your existing schedule.
Planning out a schedule for what you’d like to accomplish in your set amount of time is the easiest way to make sure that you’ll stay on track. Let’s say that you want to start going to the gym three times a week. You can write out your schedule and plan those times around your work, family, and social time. It’s okay if you find some difficulties here; it’s better to face those and plan around them during this stage than to meet them later on and have them cause you to give up.
5. Prepare yourself to track your progress.
When you’re setting up your method of tracking, whether it’s on paper, an app, or a calendar posted to your wall, it’s best to have timed check-ins. Setting up a schedule for checking in allows you to track your progress, and it helps so that you don’t have a few weeks go by before you realize that you haven’t made it to the gym at all. Instead, you’re checking on your goals on a schedule. This also helps you set up a reward system.
6. Consistently re-evaluate your goals.
Even if you set your goals to be as realistic as possible, life can sometimes still get in the way. Don't be afraid to pull out the list of your goals and what you wanted to accomplish and put it under the magnifying glass. It's important not to give up or be discouraged, but just to re-consider what is realistic as time goes on.
7. Remember always to reward yourself for hard work.
The second type of reward is my favorite type of award! You know you best, so when it comes to understanding how to treat yourself, you’ll be the best expert to ask. Of course, you don’t have to break the bank every time you reach a mini-goal, but perhaps having a “goal jar” for treats would be a start. Or if you reach your goal of running a mile in under 10 minutes, you can go out for a nice pedicure or dinner. If you’re writing down your goals, remember to include the rewards with the check-ins, so you have something to look forward to. Remembering that you’re are the one accomplishing the goals is important here; it allows you to treat yourself without feeling guilty, and it allows you to set up activities that are personalized to yourself as well.
8. Find the best activities to fit your unique goals.
After taking a look at your goals, research what activities or ways there are to help you achieve them. If your goal is just to tone up and improve how you feel, taking out an extensive membership to the best gym probably isn’t necessary. There are cheaper and more accessible ways to improve your overall fitness than hiring a trainer. You can check out at-home workouts and local activities.
9. Switch up your routines.
If you do choose to hit the gym to achieve your goals, remember to switch up your routines. There are tons of practical exercises for working specific groups of your body or just overall, and to avoid killing your brain, learn new activities, and don’t be afraid to change up your game plan. Let’s say you want to tone up. Part-way through your lifting weights experiences, you realize that there’s nothing worse in the world than this. Switch it up. Try looking at yoga, or rock-climbing, or activity that allows you to accomplish your goal without numbing your brain.
10. Pump yourself up!
Sometimes the easiest way to motivate yourself to start out is to purchase some swag for your new routine. If you want to start hitting the gym, but you don't have the right kind of shoes, it can be challenging to stay motivated. Similarly, if you end up dropping $50.00 on a new pair of leggings, it can help encourage you to show them off at the gym.
11. Use your friends and people you trust to support you.
People are naturally social. Whenever we want to take on a goal, it’s always a good idea to consult your friends, family, and support group. Not only are more heads better than one, meaning that they can often give you fantastic advice and ideas, but they can also pump you up and keep you on track. They are also another way of keeping you accountable; if you come to your friends with your plan and goals, they’ll have an understanding of how important this is to you and will make sure to help you in any way that you can.
Ultimately, the New Years can be a great time to start on your path to fitness and health. Even if your resolutions begin to fade, don’t give up. There’s always going to be difficult parts of your journey, but make sure to remember that you are human, and you can still adjust your approach. Now go out there and set some solid goals for a healthier new year!
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