Here we go again! Another year you’re going to get in shape, get healthier, stronger, leaner and work out on a regular basis. Sounds easy enough and you’re all ready to start off with a bang. But some reports show that 73% of us don’t stick with our goals. As a busy mom and fitness professional, I know how tough it can be to keep up with all these grand intentions.
The biggest challenge is creating goals that are practical and realistic. Here are my 7 top tips to keep those New Year’s Fitness Resolutions:
1. Keep it real.
Sure, it’d be great to work out at 6am every morning, 7 days a week, but let’s be honest, that’s not going to happen for most of us and the pressure of trying to maintain that type of schedule is enough to overwhelm anyone. Instead, try setting aside at least three manageable times a week that work for your schedule.
2. Make a date and write it down.
Each Sunday, look ahead at your week and make an “appointment” for working out. Block out the time just like you would any other important commitment. This is your time to take care of you, which in turn benefits everyone in your life.
3. Buddy up.
Call on a friend and set up your goals and times to exercise together. Accountability is a strong motivator and you’re both more likely to stick with your routine.
4. Set yourself up for success.
Let everyone close to you know your intentions and ask for support and help in making it happen. Have meals and/or chores planned out or assigned ahead of time so that you can focus on your workout with no excuses or guilt.
5. Stay positive.
Positive thoughts are powerful motivators that keep you moving forward instead of getting stuck. Tell yourself: Exercising is good for my body and mind, gives me strength and energy and I'm worth it.
6. Go to the experts.
If you can, hire a fitness professional for a few weeks to help you get started and create a sustainable plan or commit to a speciality class in your area for a structured workout. Both can help push you further than you would on your own and the camaraderie of group training is inspiring.
7. Reward yourself.
Set up a simple reward system. At the end of every two weeks that you stick to your goals, treat yourself to a manicure, a healthy meal out, a movie, or a special date with a friend. My favorite? Create a “reward” bank and add $10 toward a new purchase which you cash in after a few months.
New Year’s resolutions are a way to make improvements and get in touch with ourselves. This should be an exciting, positive time. Cut down on stress by making your goals practical, making them real and making them stick. Cheers to you and Happy New Year!
Photo Credit: Sharon Schuur