How to Achieve Your New Year Fitness Goals
Yes, it really is that time of year again. Time to get ready for a brand-new year, which usually means looking ahead to what we want to accomplish over the course of the next 12 months. Unfortunately, while many of us start each year off strong, with a great list of goals to work towards, our initial enthusiasm usually fizzles out soon after the year has begun. Follow our tips below to so you can look back at the end of this year and be proud that you achieved your fitness goals.
1. Create a Plan
Before you start on any fitness routine, it’s important to create a plan that you can actually stick with. Determine when you will exercise by identifying the days and times that fit best with your schedule. Then figure out the types of exercises you’ll be doing and where. Will you be running in your neighborhood before work, taking cycling classes at a studio, using cardio equipment and free weights at a gym? Pick what works best for you and what you enjoy. Finally, figure out how much time you’ll spend exercising to start out. Whether it’s 10 minutes per session or 45 minutes, what matters is that you’re consistent. Starting small is often the best way to build consistency and then you can add on from there.
2. Be Realistic
This goes along with the first suggestion in that you need to be realistic with the plan you create. There’s no point in creating a plan to work out 7 days a week for an hour a day if it’s not realistic for your schedule or it’s not feasible based on your current fitness level. It’s a good idea to start with small, realistic goals at the beginning of each month. Having small goals to work toward each month will help keep you on track and maintain your motivation - and you’ll see how it all adds up over time!
3. Get an Accountability Partner
Accountability is key for many of us. If your significant other, a close friend or family member is also looking to achieve fitness goals this year, make a plan to hold one another accountable. Not only will having a buddy to check in with increase your chances of success, but it will make the process more fun and less lonely.
4. Stick to What You Enjoy
Think about any types of exercise or fitness routines you tried in the past that didn’t work and try to identify why. Have you tried to force yourself to go to the gym, but you just aren’t a gym person? Have you previously taken up running because your best friend is an avid runner, but you don’t really like running? Don’t force yourself to do anything you don’t enjoy because, in the long run, you won’t stick with it. Find activities you love doing and will look forward to and you’ll be much more likely to continue doing them in the long run.
5. Reward Yourself
It’s important to recognize your little wins along the way. For each monthly mini-goal you write down, put a small reward next to it that you’ll treat yourself to once you’ve achieved it at the end of the month. Of course, once you’ve attained your overall fitness goal, whether that means losing a certain number of pounds or running a marathon, make sure your reward is something bigger!