Every January, millions of people resolve to work out more, eat healthier, and take better care of their bodies and minds. And every year, despite the best intentions, millions of those same people give up on their goals. Unfortunate? Yes. True? Also yes.
According to research conducted by the University of Scranton, approximately 80% of people who set New Year’s resolutions abandon them by the second week in February. And just a mere 8% of those people actually reach the goals they set out to achieve.
But setting a New Year’s goal to improve your health and fitness and achieving that goal doesn’t have to be so difficult! It all comes down to the way you set your goals and more importantly, the habits you develop to carry you through the journey of achieving them.
Curious how you can set New Year’s resolutions that you actually stick to? The personal trainers at Envision Fitness share helpful tips below.
1. Understand Your Why
The first and most important step toward setting a goal you know you can stick with is figuring out your why. Make sure you dig deep on this one. While you no doubt have surface-level reasons for wanting to get fitter — like looking better in your clothes, fitting into a swimsuit for an upcoming vacation, etc. — those reasons will likely fade over time.
Rather than setting superficial goals, make goals that align with your purpose. Fitness goals are rarely about fitness alone, so ask yourself — Why is this important to me on a deeper level? What’s motivating me to make a change?
Ask yourself how being fitter and healthier will make you feel and how it could change your life. Find your deeper motivation for living a healthier lifestyle and zero in on that. That’s what will keep you striving for your goal.
2. Make Specific, Measurable Goals
What does “get in better shape” actually mean? It sounds like a good goal, but it’s not specific; it’s not measurable.
To give yourself the best chance of achieving your goals, make sure they’re specific — something like, “I want to lose 25 pounds in six months,” or “I want to attend fitness classes at least three times a week this year.” Then, make sure you can actively measure your progress toward those goals throughout the year.
3. Start Small and Be Patient
If you’re just getting starting with healthy eating or exercise, start small. It can be tempting to try to make a complete 180 in a few days if you’re set on changing your life, but know that the more you try to change at once, the more likely you are to fail. Sounds harsh, but it’s true.
Health and fitness resolutions are tough for everyone — even for people who go to the gym regularly and eat healthy on the daily. Give yourself grace when you’re first starting out because everyone (and we seriously mean everyone) messes up at some point.
Start with small goals and celebrate when you make progress toward them. As you build momentum, make bigger goals, and always remember to keep celebrating your progress along the way. Even small progress is still progress, and it really does add up over time.
Do you walk your dog on the daily? If you’re just starting with your health and fitness journey, why not turn your dog walks into full-body workouts?
4. Write Down Your Goals
Research says we’re far more likely to achieve our goals when we write them down. So take writing down your resolutions a step further and display those goals prominently. Wherever you spend plenty of time — at work, in your kitchen, in your bathroom — post up some sticky notes with handwritten goals.
The more you see it, the more likely you’ll be to stick with it. And if friends or family ask what you’re doing, tell them! They can help keep you accountable. And perhaps even better, you might just inspire them to build and stick to new healthy habits, too!
5. Build Upon Your Current Habits
If you’ve already been working with a personal trainer or hitting the gym on your own, you no doubt have resolutions you’d like to stick to. And since you’ve already built the habit of working out, try making resolutions that allow you to piggyback off your existing habits.
Maybe you can do two pull-ups right now, but by the end of the year, you’d like to be able to do 10. Perhaps you can do a bodyweight squat now, but you’d like to be able to add 50 or 60 pounds to your squat in the next six months. Since you’re already making fitness a regular habit, you don’t have to create an entirely new one — just modify and uplevel your existing one!
6. Keep Yourself Accountable
Accountability is one of the most important things you can implement to help you stick to your fitness resolutions. When you have someone to hold you accountable, you’re much more likely to take action toward your goals consistently. So find someone who can be your accountability partner!
You can hire a personal trainer (this will definitely keep you on track), find a workout partner, or even get a friend to call or text you once a week to check in on your progress. When you have someone pushing you to be better on a regular basis, you end up pushing yourself harder too.
7. Measure Your Progress Diligently
Regularly measuring your progress gives you something to look forward to; it keeps you on track. You might set out toward your goals with all the enthusiasm in the world, but as you settle in a routine, it’s easy to feel like you're stagnating or sometimes, even going backward. That’s where progress measurement comes in.
Whether you’re measuring that you shaved 20 seconds off your mile time or you’re measuring your waist to determine how many inches you lost, measurement keeps you accountable.
You can quickly and easily see if your efforts are working, and if they’re not, you can adjust. When you consistently measure, you’ll also see if you’re putting in the work to achieve your goals. And again, adjust if you’re not.
8. Remember That Motivation Is Fleeting, Habits Are Not
When you first make a resolution to exercise regularly and eat a healthier diet, your motivation to achieve your goals will likely be sky-high. And that motivation can last quite a while, but at some point, it will wane, so be ready for that. Even elite athletes don’t feel motivated to train or eat healthy all the time, but they do it because they’ve made their lifestyle choices into daily habits.
Motivation comes and goes. Habits, on the other hand, are ingrained, and those habits are what will propel you closer to your goals even on the days when you don’t feel like exercising or eating well. Building these habits requires you to do the hard thing even when you don’t want to, but this is the type of resilience and tenacity building that will allow you to achieve the long-term goals you set.
Remember: Motivation often follows action. So take action first, and you’ll likely find that you get a boost of motivation just from staying committed to yourself and your goals.
9. Find Your Community
Achieving your fitness goals does not have to be a solo endeavor! In fact, treading that path alone may actually be more harmful than helpful. According to one study published in the Journal of Social Sciences, people tend to mimic the exercise and healthy living habits of the people they’re around most. What does that mean for you?
Essentially, it means that if you start spending more time around like-minded individuals who are also making strides toward their health and fitness goals, chances are you’ll make bigger strides, too. Where can you find those people?
There’s no better place than at a gym! At Envision Fitness in Hopkins, MN, we’ve placed an intense focus on building a community of individuals who are all striving to better themselves. We lift each other up each and every day, and if you’d like to join in on the action, we’d love to have you!
Ready to Achieve Your New Year’s Goals? The Personal Trainers at Envision Fitness Can Help!
If you’re ready to set and smash your New Year’s health and fitness resolutions, the personal trainers at Envision Fitness are here to help you do it. We specialize in one-on-one personal training, group exercise classes, athletic training, nutrition coaching, and best of all — fun! Plus, our one-of-a-kind gym community is always ready to help keep you accountable toward your goals.
If you’re ready to change your life, get in touch with our team at Envision Fitness today. You can give us a call at 952-444-2791, schedule a free consultation, or connect with us online to learn more!