Maybe you had every intention of starting a fitness plan on January 1, but for some reason it just didn’t happen. It could have been a very legitimate reason like you caught the flu, or maybe work got really busy as soon as you got back from the holidays and you weren’t able to even think about working out when you got home. Perhaps you’re vehemently against New Year’s resolutions and trends like it. Whatever the case, it’s now mid-January and you’re nowhere near your fitness or health goals, whether it’s weight gain, weight loss, or something else. The good news is January 1 is just an arbitrary date, and you can start reaching your goals no matter what time of the year it is! Read on for some tips on how to make this resolution last.
Evaluate Your Goals
Before you can reach your goals, you have to define them. Think about the SMART method when creating goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-based. Specific: Many times if we just make a generic “I want to be healthier” statement, it won’t go anywhere because it’s not specific enough. Measurable: Similarly, it’s important to have a goal that’s measurable so you know you’re progressing toward it. Attainable: This is especially true for fitness-based goals, as you need to be healthy while going about it (ex: you don’t want to lose too much weight, or too quickly to put your health in jeopardy). Realistic: Furthermore, you need to set goals that are reasonable setting so you don’t set yourself up for failure from the start. Time-based: Set a date when you want to reach your goal so you have an end in sight and something solid to strive for. Once you have your goals set think about logical, realistic ways to reach them.
Find Something You’ll Enjoy
Especially if you’re a fitness newbie, it’s important to try new things and find something you’ll enjoy and will stick with. Running your first 5k is a very honorable goal, but know that not everyone is cut out to be a runner (and that’s okay!). Use this as an excuse to hit all the fitness clubs that are having specials, free classes, or one-time trial periods. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new like kickboxing, Pilates, or water aerobics. Even if it’s not something you’re good at yet, you can usually tell if it’s something you can stick with until you are better at it. It’s important to enjoy the physical work, because if you’re dreading even going to the class or walking down to the gym chances are good you’ll quickly get burnt out and eventually stop altogether. By switching it up and keeping things fun you’re setting yourself up for success from the start. Summit on Quality Hill has several unique types of fitness equipment to try just for this. Tag us on Facebook or Instagram if you’re using and enjoying that equipment!
Find Your Routine
Similarly, it’s important to find a routine that works for you. If you’re not a morning person, have never been a morning person, and hate anything that happens before 8 AM, you probably shouldn’t try waking up early to work out. On the other hand, if you’re more in the 20- or 30-something-year-old grandma crowd and are in bed by 8:30 or 9 every night, you might not want to add something else to your after-work schedule. As long as you’re still getting plenty of sleep, there’s no wrong time to work out. At Summit on Quality Hill our fitness center is open 24/7 so you can work out on your time. No matter what time of day it is, what matters is that you’re consistently keeping up with your routine and it’s sustainable for the long run. Remember that health and fitness is a lifetime journey, not just a small task that you get to tick off and stop completely once you hit your goal.
Make It Easy on Yourself
Fitness is just as much mental as it is physical, and sometimes we have to play mind games with ourselves to keep up motivation and make ourselves get off the couch. No matter how much you love your yoga class, there will be some days when you just want to stay home. Beat yourself at your own games by eliminating excuses before they even start. If you work out of a morning, lay out your clothes the night before so you can grab them and be out the door before your brain can even think about it. If instead you hit the gym after work, have your clothes packed, or even change at work, so you’re less likely to sit in front of the TV and get sucked into a show instead of getting in your run. You should also create a playlist that motivates you while you’re at the gym. Start from scratch, use a premade playlist, or combine the two and add your own songs to a playlist. Either way, good music tends to help motivate and keep you going even when you don’t necessarily want to.
Forgive Yourself When Necessary
We’re all human and there will be times when you don’t stick to your plan 100%. Many times when things go south people will give up completely, which is one of the big causes of goals not being met. It’s important to remember that, once again, health and fitness is a lifelong journey. While that huge cheat meal, the splurge weekend away, or the week-long all-inclusive vacation may feel like the end of your fitness goals, when you think about the long-term, 5 years down the line one meal, one day, or even one week isn’t going to matter that much. What will matter is if you got back on track or not. Sure, it might mean you won’t reach your goal as quickly, but don’t let it mean you don’t reach your goal, period. Dust yourself off, forgive yourself, then get back on track as soon as you can. Future you will thank you.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have before starting a fitness or diet plan.