The short of it is that it’s no different from fitness at any other point of the year.
There’s something about the end of the year that causes people to look back and reevaluate how the previous 12 months have gone. Did they accomplish the goals they set this time last year? Is there room for improvement? Should they continue what they’re doing or do something different?
One of the first things people focus on is their health. It’s become commonplace to see advertising geared at weight loss and health around the end of each year and I’m sure you already know someone in your life who has made a resolution to “turn things around.”
For me, since fitness is a part of my life and the way I start almost all of my mornings, it’s not something I focus on during any specific time period. It’s part of who I am and my routine. For others, they may feel compelled to change the way they’re living as one year draws to a close and another begins. I believe that there’s no right time to start a fitness plan. If a new year is what gets you moving, so be it. If it doesn’t, that’s fine. You can start at any time on any day.
If fitness is not a regular part of your routine (but you’d like it to be), here are some tips for you going into the new year.
Figure out why you’re focused on fitness
There are many things to focus and improve on each year (or even each day, week, month). What makes fitness the focus? Is it because so many people choose that to change with the start of a new year?
If it’s not something that’s a big deal for you, don’t feel pressured to turn around your life for it. Sure, it’s important, but it’s not worth causing yourself guilt and shame. If you truly want to make it a priority, you will.
Related: What’s Your Why?
Don’t make huge changes
The most successful path to behavioral change is a gradual one. It can be hard to accept that weight loss, strength gain, etc is going to take time, so in order to try and bypass that, we go from no exercise at all to working out five days a week. We completely change our diets and remove all foods we deem “unhealthy.”
All of this shocks the system and we likely aren’t prepared for it. Because of that, a person is much more likely to return to behaviors he or she knows and are comfortable to them. Incrementally changing things like adding one or two days of exercise or swapping out one meal of the day for a healthier one are much more likely to result in more sustainable results.
Set realistic goals
Closely tied to the above point is to not set goals that are unrealistic. Trying to lose 50 pounds overnight is impossible. Registering for a half marathon after never running a mile can seem daunting.
Set small and manageable goals so that when you achieve them, you feel empowered to take on the next one.
Doing something you hate as exercise but that you’ve read is all the rage or will give fast results will likely result in failure. Don’t hop on new trends unless you like them. There are plenty tried and true workouts that don’t involve trampolines or yoga on paddleboards.
Find what you enjoy and you’ll be more likely to continue doing it.