We make New Year’s resolutions every year and seldom keep them. After a whirlwind of holiday parties and decadent meals, the one resolution we would love to achieve usually involves fitness. In order to make this one stick, we need to make fitness a priority and set specific, achievable goals.
Many resolutions sound like, “I want to lose weight this year,” or “I want to run a marathon.” These are too vague to make a plan for execution. Your 2017 fitness goals should be measurable. Here are few tips for achieving them.
Devise a Plan
Start by checking in with your doctor to make sure you are physically ready to keep an exercise regimen. Take any health issues into consideration, before planning what type of fitness program you would like to get into.
Next consider if you need to get ready mentally. Identify situations or thoughts that derailed your fitness progress in the past. One way to clear those barriers is to write them down and develop an action plan to deal with them. If travel was one of your barriers, you could commit to finding a gym or park in the area when making travel plans to be sure you have the means to get a workout in while away.
A workout schedule is extremely important if you don’t want to find yourself putting exercise plans on the back burner and doing something else instead. Make your fitness a priority by scheduling three days a week and treating them like appointments that you can’t cancel. Pick times that work well for you. If you hate early mornings, you will not stay very motivated to continue working out at that time.
Set short term goals to make them easier to get to and to boost confidence. If your goal is to lose weight, aim for 5-10 pounds at first by working out regularly and cutting back on a few indulgences. Once you achieve it, set the next goal. If your goal is to run a 5k, start by running a quarter mile, or 20-30 second sprints comfortably within a few weeks. Hitting shorter benchmarks will help you keep going to reach bigger accomplishments.
Find What Fuels You
Finding the right training program for you is key. Going to a gym that you find is boring or doing exercises that you find torturous will not help you meet your goals. Experiment with new classes, sports, exercises, or outdoor activities to find something (or several) that you actually like. Set a mini-gym at home for those days you just don’t feel like leaving the house.
Even when you already have a workout that you enjoy, it doesn’t hurt to change it up. It keeps your muscles guessing and keeps you away from the dreaded plateau.
Sometimes it might be uncomfortable to divulge your workout goals to others, but having a support system can also fuel your success. Tell a few trusted friends or family members about your plans and when you hit your benchmarks. Positive feedback and accountability can go a long way. You might even discover that one of them might be willing to embark on your fitness mission with you. Scheduling workouts with friends are harder to back out of or turn down and will help you keep your schedule.
There are also plenty of tech options to keep you moving in the right direction. Gadgets, fitness trackers, and apps for almost any platform are available to keep you motivated when no one is around. Commit is one app that is simple, asks you every day if you have reached your goal, and tracks how many days you have stayed committed.
There will be days when you get derailed, but stay positive. Know that it is okay to fall short once in awhile as long as you recommit to achieving your next benchmark. If you believe you have failed, then you have. Instead, choose to believe that your goal is still there to be reached and be patient with yourself. Your 2017 fitness goals are attainable if you plan for them and believe in yourself!
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