It’s that time of year again — time to set new goals for next year! Most people choose to set goals about fitness, diet and healthy eating. There will be lots of new memberships at your local gym and unfortunately, a large majority of these resolutions will fall by the waist-side (pun intended) between the first few months of the year. It’s not because good intentions aren’t there, it’s because we have to learn to set realistic goals. We have to find workouts that are challenging, but doable.
The real challenge will be sticking to your plan!
Let’s break this down into six steps to success!
Choose a resolution that is attainable.
Set goals for the week or for the month. For example, pick three classes a week to attend and commit to that for a month; then work your way to four or incorporate running on the treadmill or 30 minutes on the elliptical. Once you’re comfortable, add more! Or set a time frame that within three months, you’ll lose 10 pounds. This is the healthy way to lose weight, 1-2 pounds per week. Make small changes in the beginning so you can stick with it and it will become habit.
Post your goals where you can see them.
Put them on the fridge, in your car or even at your desk at work. Constantly reminding yourself of what you’re hoping to achieve will help build willpower so you can stick to your weight loss or exercise plan.
Fitting in workouts and healthy meals can be difficult with a busy schedule, so don’t save those decisions for the last minute. Map out your workout plan for the week and write it down or schedule it as an appointment in your phone/calendar and then do the same with your meals. If you don’t have time to cook every night, pre-prep a few healthy meals early in the week, so you’re covered.
Keep a log.
Post a calendar with your workout schedule or carry a small notebook so you can track your mileage, gym time or whatever it is that you’re doing for your New Year fitness program. The phone apps My Net Diary and My Fitness Pal will do this for you. Putting a check mark next to your goals after each day will show your progress and keep you on track.
Having a partner in crime makes it easier to stick to your goals. You’re more likely to stick with a workout schedule if you have someone to join you for those early-morning runs, after-work gym trips and weekend yoga classes. Joining a running group or attending classes at your local gym will help you find friendly, like-minded individuals.
Try to eliminate all the “junk” foods or foods that you have a weakness for. Replace these items with healthier alternatives in your refrigerator, pantry, and at work. Pre-portion healthy snacks and meals. Make your health a priority!
Don’t forget to reward yourself every once in a while. A glass of wine, slice of pizza or ice cream isn’t going to ruin your weight loss plan. This goes for exercise also, so take at least 1-2 rest days per week to recover.