Do you ever find yourself thinking “next year for sure I really need to start exercising”? Then when you finally decide to “really try this time” usually you’ll stay on top of it for a month or so and shortly after that the effort you put into your fitness resolution falls slowly to a decline until you find yourself in the same place as you were last year.
When making your New Year’s Resolutions (let’s face it people: whether you say the word ‘resolution’ or not, it still is), there are things to keep in mind when making them. Here is a list of tips to help you keep that New Year’s Resolution to become more active.
Tip #1: Write down your goals
Once you write it down, only then are you committing to the resolution. Telling someone is also an option for accountability but sometimes that doesn’t work. So I recommend writing down the activities you intend to do and keeping them out in plain view so you see them and remind yourself regularly. The more you see it the more you’ll start thinking about it and thoughts lead to action.
Tip #2: Be specific but don’t be too rigid
I have seen people falling into the common pattern of setting the same goal year after year. This type of a goal-setting does not yield different results in subsequent years. So if you are a first time resolution-maker make your goals very specific instead of a vague “I want to lose weight.” A more specific goal would be “I am going to exercise 3 times a week and am only going to eat out twice a week.”
Be disciplined about your goal (it’s never going to be easy) and then re-evaluate in a month. If you are already slacking and not meeting all expectations, you will start to feel like you’re failing anyway and eventually fall off the wagon. Instead, this is the time to re-evaluate. Try changing the goal; change the number of days you exercise, the time of day you exercise, etc. There is always room to adjust. You can make it learn to make exercise a habit and make it work for your lifestyle.
Tip # 3: Use Online Resources. – Apps
There are so many applications to help with your goals, here are some suggestions:
- As suggested on Vogue magazine’s article – Lark (iTunes only) – Chat with a Personal Weight Loss Coach and Nutrition Expert about your meals. You’ll get advice to help you eat healthier.
- One of my favourites is the Nike+ Training. The App allows you to choose your skill level and the duration of workout time from 15-45 minutes and will design a workout to optimize your exercise session.
- MyFitnessPal – see how many calories you are intake and outputting each day. This app allows you to enter your daily food intake – by simply typing in what you ate, and scroll over to the exercise session and you can input what exercise you did and for how long. The summary report will tell you if you were over your caloric consumption for the day.
Tip # 4: Fitness Tracker
If you haven’t tried a fitness tracker it could be a great option for you. I have numerous clients who have begun to habitually wear and refer to their fitness tracker. There are many great Fitness Trackers to choose from, including the Garmin vivosmart fitness tracker, a great device that also tracks your heart rate.
Tip # 5: Think about the process rather than just the goal
A reason why people have trouble with keeping their New Year’s Resolutions is because they didn’t start with a plan to help them achieve the goal. I.e., if your goal is to run a 5k then having a 5k training program is going to help you gradually get to your goal. Furthermore, reserving a 30 minute window between work and dinner for exercise is another example of creating a plan to help you achieve your fitness goal. Create your road map to success
Tip # 6: Don’t think investing money is going to do the trick
January is the prime month people sign up for memberships at fitness facilities. The gym will take your money whether you show up or not.
Similarly, fancy home exercise equipment sitting around your house will cost you the same amount whether you use it or not. If exercising at home is the best option for you, I suggested purchasing a few low cost items such as Medicine Balls, or a bosu ball that allow you to do a range of exercises and would help you become more active.
You can become more active and stay more active. I’ve seen it happen for many people. Setting goals and using discipline may sound kind of obvious but believe me it can work. Comment below if you have any specific questions about your road map to becoming a better, fitter person.