Dec28Need Help Sticking to New Years Fitness Goals? Follow These 6 Tips

Oh boy, it’s that time of year again. It’s the new year.

Many gyms and fitness businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic – fortunately here at H4 we’ve been going strong – and perhaps this new year will be just what they need; every time the new year rolls around, gyms are usually flooded with new members looking to make a positive change with their health and fitness.

For many, the goals are usually to gain better body composition, feel healthier, and feel better in one’s own skin. Whatever the goal, intentions are good and motivation is high, at least for a while. Many newcomers to fitness usually jump head first into a fitness routine without a plan, and many unfortunately end up falling off their path. For some, this becomes cyclical; making New Year resolutions, sticking to them for a little while, and then losing motivation for them, only to do it again next year.

Fortunately, we’ve laid out some tips that can help you stick to your New Year’s goals, and keep you in it for the long haul.

#1. Create a plan.

First things first: create a plan. Nothing great is achieved from randomly flailing your arms about.

That’s not the best analogy, but you get the idea. While the intentions are good, jumping straight into a new lifestyle and mindset can be tough without first laying out the groundwork. One awesome thing you can do: enlist the help of fitness professionals, like great team we have at H4 Training (shameless promotion). Having a fit pro in your corner is like having the best plan available. But whether you join a gym, hire a trainer, or start a fitness routine, ask yourself these questions below.

What are my goals? Defining what your goals are is the first step. Define them as clearly as possible; if your goal is weight loss, how much weight would you need to lose to feel more confident or healthier? If you want a positive self-image, what does that entail for you? If you want to be stronger, are there certain strength and athletic feats you want to be able to do, and for what? Find out your goals and why you want to achieve them.

What steps are necessary to get there? Once you know what you want, it may seem daunting to look at the path to get there. It may seem like a long stretch of road, but if you know the steps to getting there then it’s not so bad. For losing 20 pounds, it might mean getting in 2-3 workouts a week and planning meals a bit better. For decreasing ice cream consumption, that might mean limiting ice cream to only once or twice a week. Whatever the goal, figure out the steps necessary to get there and you’re already on your way.

Now that you’ve laid the groundwork, you can start with tip #2.

#2. Start with the baby step goals, and achieve small wins.

Once you know your goals and the steps necessary to get there, you may feel like getting straight to work and try to achieve your goals as fast as possible. While diving in head first might work for some, for many it becomes a matter of too-much-too-soon.

What you should do is tackle the baby steps first. Doing the small and easier stuff first will allow you to rack up small wins, which reinforces your motivation for your big goals and keeps you going, and builds long lasting habits. For example, if your main goal is to lose 50 pounds, then a baby step would be to lose 5 pounds. That may seem like a small number, but 5 pounds lost every month will lead to 50 before the next year even rolls around. If the big goal is 10 pull-ups, aim for 2 pull-ups first. Compound those small wins into your big win, like a snowball.

#3. Take new things slow.

Continuing with the theme of baby steps, the next tip would be to take things slow, working your way into new habits. Pertaining to exercise, you might be inclined to workout like a mad man or woman, but you wouldn’t want to go from a sedentary lifestyle to all of a sudden training 6 days a week; that could lead to injury, burnout, and leave you in a negative mindset.

When it comes to exercise, start with something simple and manageable. Try exercising 2-3 days a week. For better eating habits, try eating just a little healthier – aim for a veggie at every meal, or reducing pop/sugary snacks. Just think of this: wherever you’re at currently, don’t think of the top of the staircase, think of what the next 1 step up would look like and try to achieve that first.

#4. Set up your environment for success.

One more thing you can to is to alter your environment to better suit your goals. It can be disheartening to want to achieve your health & fitness goals with an environment that doesn’t suit them. Start by evaluating your surroundings and ways you can set yourself up for success. Some examples are:

  • Have your gym clothes/bag ready. That way you are ready for a training session right before or after work, and you’re less inclined to skip.
  • Removing certain foods from your kitchen. High calorie foods and snacks can be tempting, so removing them from your kitchen can help; store them somewhere you normally wouldn’t check, or donate them.
  • Having a talk with family and friends. This has to be the biggest one. Having a discussion with loved ones about the changes you’re trying to make and how they can help is important; you don’t have to lay down dictatorial rules, but let them know that you want to change certain habits, that way they are aware of the behavior changes taking place and they can support you along the way.

#5. Have a friend join you.

Whatever your goal, having a friend work alongside you can be beneficial. Chances are someone you know will have similar goals come New Year, especially if it’s health & fitness related.

By joining in this journey together, you both provide motivation for each other and help each other stick to a routine. You can also share small and big wins together, and it’s comforting to have a friend so you don’t feel as intimidated by these obstacles. This is a big reason why small group training works so well here at H4 – the clients love the camaraderie, and they all push themselves with friendly competition.

#6. Stay consistent, even if you feel like you “messed up”.

By far one of the most important things you can do to reach your goals is to stay consistent. Things don’t happen overnight, and lasting health & fitness changes take a little while. Often when people make New Year resolutions, they feel compelled to see it through all the way. If they mess up, they get de-motivated and fall off their routine. This is important to remember: if you mess up, that is OK. Everyone messes up at one point or another; just recognize where you failed, why it happened, and how you can work to prevent from happening again.

Failure can be a good thing – we need to learn that the word is not as negative as it sounds. It can teach us how to be better.

So if you skip a workout when you said you wouldn’t, or eat something you shouldn’t have, don’t worry; just get back on track and try again!