Most of us have ambitions to lose weight, get stronger, and generally improve fitness, but the unfortunate truth is that many never make them come true. While some people start off strong by changing their diets and hitting the gym hard, many others don’t make it to the gym in the first place.
If you manage to begin your fitness journey, the first few weeks will see your motivation at an all-time high, but soon enough, you may start your skipping workouts and eating unhealthily once more. To help you stick to your fitness resolutions, here are thirteen effective strategies.
1. Write Down Your Goals
It’s difficult to be successful in something unless you know exactly what it is that you want to accomplish. Because of this, you should grab a pen and paper and write down the goals that you want to meet. These should be both specific and measurable.
Wanting to “lose weight” or “get stronger” is admirable, but these resolutions are so vague that you’re unlikely to be successful. Instead, you have to think in terms of time and weight, as well as other crucial components.
2. Give Exercise A Purpose
Wanting to improve your health for you is ideal, but, when it’s only yourself that you’re letting down, it can be easy to become demotivated, especially when you don’t enjoy the exercises that you do. To remedy this, you should give your training another purpose.
If you adopted a puppy, for example, you would need to stay active, as they require exercise to stay healthy too. Many also find competition to be an effective means of motivation, so consider signing up for a race.
3. Buy New Workout Clothes
There are few things that motivate you to stick to your new healthy lifestyle quite like a matching wardrobe. Although you don’t necessarily need expensive clothes and shoes to keep fit, they can make exercise a little more comfortable, which means that you’ll enjoy it more.
Plus, no one wants to buy costly garments that they’re never going to wear, so you’ll be more willing to head to the gym. Paying for classes and exercise equipment can also motivate you for the same reason.
4. Choose Exercises You Enjoy
Despite the common belief, exercise doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, if you choose the right activity, you can actually have a lot of fun with it. When you enjoy working out, you’ll want to do it more often, so make sure that you look for an exercise that you genuinely enjoy. Though some people like the gym, many others don’t, so consider swimming, cycling, or dancing instead. You can even mix up your activities now and then, so you never do one for long enough to get bored.
5. Start With Baby Steps
When you’ve lived a fairly unhealthy lifestyle for quite some time, completely changing your habits overnight can prove to be counterproductive. Instead of improving your fitness, you could wear yourself out, or, worse still, give yourself an injury.
Either way, it would completely derail whatever progress you might have made. If you want to get fit, then you need to be in it for the long run, starting with baby steps, and slowly making things more challenging over time.
6. Bring A Friend Along
When the little demon on your shoulder tells you to sleep in instead of hitting the gym, a workout buddy can put you back on the right path. It’s much easier to bail on exercise when you do so alone, rather than with a friend. For this reason, you should speak to loved ones and even your colleagues to see if any of them want to improve their fitness with you.
If none of them does, then join groups online to find a fellow fitness enthusiast. Their achievements will push you further.
7. Commit To Ten Minutes
There are going to be days when a workout is the last thing that you’ll want to do. When these days come, you need only commit to doing ten minutes of solid exercise. This is very little time in the grand scheme of things, but will still have a positive impact on your body and mood.
Those who have done this trick before know that once you’ve started, you’re likely to keep going, even once the ten minutes are up. However, even if you don’t, that short time is better than nothing.
8. Tell Others Your Plans
It’s much easier to stay fit and healthy when you have a supportive community cheering you on, congratulating your successes, and calling you out on your failures. With that in mind, you should consider starting a blog or Instagram account following your progress.
By updating regularly and using the most popular Instagram hashtags, you’ll find it much easier to build your following. The more people that know about your goals, the more likely you are to stick at them.
9. Ask For Professional Help
Being unsure of how to do certain exercises or workouts is no excuse to write them off completely. If there’s something that you’re curious about, then book a quick session with a personal trainer. They will be able to answer any of your questions, clear up the confusion, and help you to prevent injury.
These professionals are there to help you, so don’t be embarrassed about asking for advice. There is also a lot to learn through workout videos and articles online.
10. Schedule Workouts First Thing
The later in the day you plan your workouts, the higher the chance that something will come up preventing you from going through with them. For this reason, you should instead schedule exercise for first thing in the morning.
This can be a challenge at first, but you’ll soon get used to the active start. In fact, you may even look forward to it and the energy boost that it provides. Laying out gym clothes before you go to sleep can make it easier to get moving the next day.
11. Create Space At Home
While some people love the experience of heading to the gym, others completely dread the task. This is especially true when your local fitness centre is in an inconvenient location. To keep you from using this as an excuse to bail on exercise, you should create a space to workout at home. Depending on your needs, this area could be as simple as an empty corner of a room.
Just make sure that it isn’t in your bedroom, as this can make it difficult for you to get to sleep at night.
12. Reward Your Hard Work
Attaching your workouts to some sort of reward can lead to powerful results. Because of this, you should find some way to treat yourself when you meet a goal or target. Just make sure that this reward isn’t going to ruin your progress. Allowing yourself to skip workouts or binge on junk food will likely cause an increase in this unhealthy behaviour, as you create a mindset that this is something you want.
Other rewards, however, like a massage, can be extremely beneficial.
13. Live In The Present
We all make mistakes now and then. Even after spending weeks or months working on your fitness, you may slip up and find yourself missing the gym to polish off a packet of biscuits and a box set. When this happens, you need to learn to forgive yourself. Instead of focusing on the things that you did wrong, you should leave this guilt in the past and live in the present instead. There’s no reason to give up on your healthy lifestyle when you can get back to it right away.
Sticking with your fitness resolutions can be a challenge, but it’s one you should find a little easier with the advice above.