by Jeff Black, ACE-CMES | firstname.lastname@example.org
If this is your first time setting a fitness New Year’s resolution, or you’ve attempted to set New Year’s resolutions many times before, there will typically be one of two directions you will end up heading: You will either make the long-term, meaningful health and fitness changes that you desire, or you will end up ditching your aspirations until the next new year rolls around.
Now is the time to set a new paradigm for success. The basic trick to making a fitness New Year’s resolution permanent is to accept that getting and staying in shape won’t always be easy. But the benefits are worth it. Consider these three tips for how you can continue to stick to your New Year’s resolutions:
- Tip #1: Make Smaller Goals Out of Your Larger Goal
You may have one large goal that you are aiming for, but stopping the goal-setting process there can set you up for failure. A large goal can take many months or even years to achieve. The length of time it takes to reach this large goal can feel overwhelming. Oftentimes, feeling overwhelmed can make us feel more compelled to give up.In addition to your main goal, it is a wise idea to create smaller goals that, when met, provide an immediate feeling of accomplishment and indicate your progression. These smaller goals could be simple ones that bring you closer to your bigger goal. For example: getting to the gym three days this week and working out for at least 60 minutes each time. Each gym visit gives you something to cross off your list in the moment, which can feel more motivating over time than if you were just focused on a single, long-range objective like losing 50 pounds.
- Tip #2: Hire a Fitness Professional or Sign Up for a Group Fitness Program
A great way to commit to exercise is to hire a fitness trainer or to join a group fitness program. Doing this can help you reach your goals effectively. It will also help you stay motivated to go to the gym even when you don’t feel like going (which will happen). You’ll go anyway because your trainer or the fitness instructor is there, waiting for you—not to mention you’ve already paid for the service. Having fitness professionals on your team, even if it’s just once a week or twice a week, helps set you up for success and reflects a commitment to your goals.
- Tip #3: Plan Past January
Finally, map out your commitment to exercise well beyond the first month or two of the New Year. Plan out your entire workout schedule for the rest of the winter and into the spring. You should already know in January that you’ll be busy on Friday mornings in March (and April and May) with a personal-trainer, yoga class or group fitness class.Committing to a schedule so far in advance does mean plans could change. And yes, chances are you’ll miss workouts and eat unhealthy food at times, which is normal. It’s not an indication that you should give up on your goals. It’s just life, so plan to be somewhat flexible. Every new day is a new opportunity to work on your health and fitness resolutions.
Before beginning any physical activity program, please consult with a healthcare provider. For more ideas on types of cardiovascular activity, please contact a certified health and fitness professional.
If you would like to contact Jeff Black, please email him at email@example.com.
Jeff Black is an ACE – Certified Medical Exercise Specialist, an ACE – Certified Health Coach and a NSCA – Certified Personal Trainer. He is a Subject Matter Expert for the American Council on Exercise and works as a freelance personal trainer in Memphis, Tennessee. He specializes in using exercise to manage medical conditions and improve the fitness levels of a wide variety of clients.