A new year is upon us! Whether or not you plan to make a fitness-related resolution or two at this time, here are some tips that will help you achieve your fitness goals any time of the year. Not each one will work for you based on your lifestyle, but pick several that will help keep you on track.
1. Visualize success! What is the end result you want to achieve? See it (in your mind) to believe you can do it.
2. Figure out your starting point. Most gyms offers free fitness assessments to help you determine your current fitness level. You have to know your starting point in order to measure your results. Plan to get an assessment every 3 months to track your progress.
3. Make specific plans. Sitting on your butt and wishing you were in shape isn’t going to get you in shape. Write down concrete plans so you can reach your goals.
4. All big (long-term) goals are achieved by meeting smaller goals. Set daily, achievable goals that move you towards your bigger goal. Each “mini success” will help motivate you to stick with your resolution. Examples: a daily goal of walking 10,000 steps a day; a weekly goal of exercising 3 times a week.
5. Create a workout schedule for consistency. Putting exercise on your calendar serves as a reminder to hit the gym regularly and will keep you on track. Treat it as a top-priority appointment and schedule things around it. When you prioritize your health, all other aspects of your life will also improve.
6. Record your exercise and food intake in a journal on a daily basis. Write down what you do and eat daily to track your progress and see how far you’ve come. Each week, give yourself a new mini-goal (add an extra serving of veggies each day; add an extra 5 min to your run) and record it.
7. Change your workouts every 4 – 6 weeks. While you want to be consistent in exercising, you also want to make sure you don’t hit a plateau and stop progressing. Every workout should be challenging. As you get more fit, the exercises should get tougher. This is a great time to try new fitness classes!
8. Find solutions for your excuses. If something is derailing you from moving towards your goal, take the time to figure out a solution. Ask a friend or gym staff for advice. If you really want it, you’ll find a way; otherwise, you’ll find an excuse.
9. Be patient when it comes to seeing results. Changes won’t happen overnight. Don’t give up if you don’t see progress immediately. There are numerous health benefits to eating well and exercising that you can’t see. Don’t track your progress only with the number on a scale. Notice yourself getting stronger, lifting heavier dumbbells, being less winded in a cardio class, etc.
10. Share your fitness goals with friends. You’ll need a support and accountability team during your journey so you won’t be tempted to ditch your workout or eat a second slice of cake. Find a workout buddy who will motivate and encourage you to exercise regularly.
YOU CAN DO IT!