New Year, New...Resolution
New Year New….Resolution
It’s 2019 and that time of year again. It’s the time where most of us make new goals for the upcoming year. We set out to leave bad habits from the previous year behind. The changing of the digits signal a fresh start so we get a newfound burst of enthusiasm and gusto to go hard or go home. Regular gym attendance is usually at the top of most people’s resolution list and for good reason. Who doesn’t want to get in shape and be ready for their 2019 summer body!
Many fitness resolutions fall along the lines of “go to the gym for one hour five days a week!” or “lose 50 pounds by March!” Why not, you say? It’s a new year after all and anything is possible. Unfortunately you might not achieve this goal. The good news is, you are not alone. According to U.S. News and World Reports, a whopping 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail and have been abandoned by mid -February. Although these numbers seem daunting there are many ways to break the cycle make a resolution that holds true throughout the year.
Read my 5 tips to keeping your New Year resolution:
1. Be realistic
We set ourselves up with goals that are unrealistic and unattainable in a given timeframe. The reason you haven’t been actively achieving your current goal is because you don’t have the time, motivation, energy, or all of the above. Therefore you should evaluate what changes have occurred at the striking of midnight that would now allow you to achieve this goal. Did your work hours reduce drastically? Do you now have a personal trainer or gym partner that will hold you accountable 100% of the time? If you can’t pinpoint one significant change that would allow you to achieve your current resolution, you should consider changing your target. For this I want to recommend the SMART model for goal setting. It is used in many professional settings and is very effective in setting realistic goals.
S specific M measurable A attainable R relevant T timely
Based on the SMART model I aim to reduce the circumference of my waistline by 5 cm by May 2019. That goal is more reasonable than “I want a 6-pack by the summer”. Once the goal is achieved in a very generous timeframe I can move on to my next goal.
2. Slow and steady
When training for a marathon (26.21 miles) experts would recommend you start small. Even a seasoned marathon runner wouldn’t attempt to start their training session with 26.1 mile run. Instead they practice 5K, 10K, and half marathons before going for the long run (How to Train, 2013). If you are jumpstarting your fitness journey consider taking this same approach to training for a marathon. If your goal is to exercise 5 days a week at the gym, start with one day a week. Add days as your begin to maintain the current regimen.
3. Ditch the gym partner
I know it sounds harsh but having a gym partner might hinder your chances of getting to the gym. As adults we lead very busy lives that involve juggling work, kids, relationships, and/or school. The time and energy put into coordinating with another person’s busy schedule could be spent exercising and reaching your fitness goals. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not advocating being antisocial. I’m just suggesting you not put too much emphasis on going with a partner. Be ready to take a solo trip if your friend cannot make it on days you are available. They can always catch up on another day.
4. Multi-gym membership
Imagine this: You are at point A and the gym is 5 miles south while the grocery store is 5 miles north and you only have 3 hours to spare. The location of your gym can make or break your exercise goals when you have errands to run and a million things on your to-do list. The thought of time, gas, and mental energy enlisted into driving south then north might be enough to discourage you from either task. A multi-gym membership is a hack that allows you to visit the location that is in the closest proximity to your chores for the day. In this scenario, you would look for a location closer to the grocery store and spend less time and gas traveling. Gyms such as Blink, Retro-Fitness, and Planet fitness offer extremely inexpensive multi-gym memberships. I can personally tell you this had been a game-changer for my health and fitness goals.
5. Stay home
Is the gym really that magical place we go to get our body back from Facebook’s 10 Year Challenge? Many Americans seem to think so. Not surprisingly the month of January sees the highest enrollment in gym membership and attendance with some gyms seeing increased visitors well into April (might they be the 20% resolution-ers that held on tight?). Gyms also make signing up even more enticing by offering perks such as no enrollment fees.
Either way, not all of us can make it to the gym for various reasons (long work hours, children at home, homework, lack of convenient transportation). Or maybe the thought of leaving your warm house mid-winter to get slapped by the cold air outside is just too much to handle. Whatever your reason is, I hear you.
Staying home to work out can help you work towards previous tips that we’ve reviewed (being realistic and taking it slow). Take a moment to access how many times you can realistically visit the gym given your current schedule. For me, that’s once a week, maybe twice if I’m really ambitious. Knowing this, you plan other workouts at home. Actually planning a workout schedule that incorporates home workouts makes it much easier to achieve than expecting yourself to “just do it”. A quick home workout can be achieved with light weights, a yoga mat, a water bottle, and YouTube. No really, it’s just that simple. Making it a habit is an issue of mind over matter. Just remind yourself that these small and/or short workouts contribute to your overall goals of getting to the gym. The more your do it, the easier it gets.
These are just a few tricks to help achieve your fitness goal. You can incorporate one or all. One is better than none so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t check all the boxes…yet. It’s also ok if you are reading this article well past January 1st. You can pick up from wherever you are and modify your practices. Hopefully these few tips can help set you on the right track and reduce your chances of becoming 80 percent-er.
Part 1: what is your fitness resolution for 2019? If my post has inspired you to consider some changes, please post old and new resolutions!
Part 2: come back in 3 months to give us an update and hopefully inspire others!
Nurse, Health & Wellness Advocate, Fit Mom