Everyone likes to set lofty health and fitness goals as a part of their New Year’s resolution. We resolve to lose weight, gain muscles and get back our six-pack. Most of these resolutions are abandoned by February (or January 2nd) and many more are simply never accomplished. Here are 7 ways you can increase your chances of meeting your New Year’s fitness goals.
One of the biggest causes of failure in reaching fitness goals is being vague. Saying “This year, I’m going to lose weight.” doesn’t give much motivation. If you want a solid goal that you can measure, you need to set numbers and milestones you want to reach. This can be pounds you want to lose, pounds you want to lift or miles you want to run. Without these numbers, you won’t have any real way of knowing whether you failed or succeeded. Unfortunately, this usually is an excuse to fail. Set a goal and be specific.
The most common reason that fitness programs fail is a lack of consistency. There are a wide variety of different workouts and ways to get fit but none of them work if you don’t show up. In order to keep your resolution on track, you should plan your training like you plan everything else in your life. Put your workouts on a calendar and stick to it. Some people find it easiest to train at the same time every day. This allows you to fit it into your routine with minimal conflicts.
Set Interim Goals
Once you have your goals set, it’s a good idea to set some mile markers. It’s no wonder people go into a resolution and get discouraged. If you are facing a goal of losing 50 pounds over the next 12 months, it can be very intimidating. It’s important to break it down into smaller goals and see that you only need to lose a little over 4 pounds each month. Reaching these interim goals can be just the morale boost you need to keep you going.
Use Positive Peer Pressure
Peer pressure can be a good thing if it’s driving you towards a positive outcome. One great way to keep yourself in the gym and make sure that you don’t quit is to train with a friend or group of friends. If you have people counting on you, it’s much less likely that you will flake out on a workout. Your spinning class doesn’t count as a support group, by the way. You need someone who knows you well enough to call you and drag your butt off the couch if you don’t show up at the gym.
This is another form of positive peer pressure. Once you make your resolution and set your goals, make it public. You can post your resolution on social network sites like Facebook and Twitter so your friends know what you’re aiming for. You can even start a blog and update your page on a daily basis with new information. By making your training public, you will be encouraged to do your best in each and every workout.
Make Training Fun
The people who accomplish the most are often the ones who enjoy what they’re doing. It can be hard to slave in the gym day after day. Finding a fun way to get fit is one of the best ways to help yourself stick to your fitness plan. Group classes can be a good addition to your workout routine. Activities like cardio kickboxing or outdoor sports can also make working out something you look forward to each day.
Don’t Just Set Goals, Set Rewards
This last tip is all about being fair to yourself. When you reach your goals, give yourself a reward. Try to set reward on the calendar for accomplishing certain milestones along the way. It might be taking a day to do things you love or even a vacation to celebrate your big goal. Just remember what you are trying to accomplish. Rewarding yourself with an entire tub of ice cream at each weekly goal may not be a good strategy in the long run.