Are you ready to start a new diet and exercise plan in January, but worry that your good intentions will slowly fizzle out by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around?
The New Year is a great motivation for us to make changes. We assess our bad habits and make plans to change things over the course of the next year to live happier, healthier lives. The problem is often consistency – we set goals that aren’t realistic, and then we end up falling short and sabotaging our efforts.
Following are some tips for setting fitness goals that stick, so you can see real results:
Focus on consistency, not results.
Instead of setting goals based on results you want to see – like the number of pounds you want to lose, or that you will have six-pack abs by the beginning of summer – try being consistent instead. For instance, commit to walking five days a week for 30 minutes a day before you go to work. Or commit to running three times a week, or hiring a trainer to work with you twice a week. Think of your schedule and what works for you to maintain a consistent schedule. When you commit to a routine, then over time, you will see changes. It’s all about commitment to the process, not the results.
See what works for your schedule.
If your work schedule doesn’t permit you to be consistent – like if you travel a lot or work long hours – then try something more flexible, like an online fitness program. You can join an online fitness program or sign up with a trainer for online classes that you can take at your convenience. This way, you can make a consistent practice work for you, instead of feeling defeated and overwhelmed before you begin because you can’t keep up with your goals. There are so many options available - it's time to see what works best for you.
Try something new - now is the time to experiment with your fitness routine.
Don’t like going to the gym? Running? CrossFit? You don’t have to do any of these. There’s no one fitness plan that works for everyone, so don’t make yourself do something you don’t really even like doing. Remember, you are getting up earlier or making other changes to incorporate the fitness program into your routine, so make sure it’s something that motivates you. Do you prefer playing tennis, or volleyball, or kickboxing? Then make that your fitness routine. Or if you want to try ballet class or Zumba, then do it. Sometimes it takes a while to see what you like, what will motivate you in the long run, so don’t be afraid to try a new class or sport. And don’t worry about looking like a beginner – everyone was there once. If you like the activity, you’ll work on getting the hang of it – and it will be fun. The main point is: see what you like, and then you will be more inclined to make time for it.