It’s that time of year again! We are wrapping up December and thoughts start to go to what and how we can change in the coming year. As you know, one of the largest resolutions is getting in shape. As you also know, for many, this goal lasts a few weeks or, if lucky, a few months before fizzling out.
I’ve put together some easy ways to get started with fitness so it’s sustainable this year. If you have any of your own, let me know in the comments. We’re in this together!
Think about your why
This is probably one of the most important steps in sustainability. What is making you decide that NOW is the time to change your lifestyle (and it IS a lifestyle change!)? Are you simply doing it because it seems like a good point to reset? Because everyone else is doing it? Is it something you’re actually committed to?
If you aren’t mentally ready to commit to changing your habits or routine, you’re going to fail pretty quickly at this goal. If you don’t know why you’re doing it, you’re going to fail. With no reason to back up your decisions, you’re more likely to fall back into to comfort of a routine you already know.
If you’re not a regular exerciser, don’t book your calendar with five straight days of workouts. You’ll end up sore and miserable. If you aren’t the biggest fan of healthy eating, don’t throw out all the junk food and turn to eating salads every day. Extreme spectrum jumping is not sustainable.
Make SMALL changes. Add 1-2 classes or solo gym time per week so that you can make sure you get it done without feeling too overwhelmed.
Find a way to be held accountable
I often need help staying accountable with things. One of the best ways to do that is to tell people about your goals and ask them to help you.
- Go to the gym with a friend
- Meal prep with a friend
- Find a friend or group of friends with similar goals so you can keep in touch and stay on track with each other via text or other method of communication
I’ve said it before, but I make sure to schedule my workouts on my calendar like they are important appointments (because they are!). I have that time blocked off for me first thing in the morning and I try my hardest not to see clients during that time. It helps that I am a morning exerciser, so there’s not likely other work that will get in the way of a 6 am workout. It’s even more important if you are an evening exerciser to block that time off.
It’s understandable that life comes up and things won’t always work out schedule-wise. If it’s becoming a regular thing, however, you may want to ask yourself how important the goal is to you or if there’s a different time that may be less likely to get interrupted.
One of the main reasons that people give up on their goals in the new year (aside from a lack of clarity as to why) is because the results don’t happen quickly enough. Patience is a hard virtue to have in today’s society as we continue to move faster and faster with media, technology, etc.
Losing weight or reaching other fitness goals takes TIME. This is why real change comes with making it a lifestyle rather than something to work hard at for a couple months and then stop. It took me months to be able to do a pull-up, and this was with consistently working on them every. week. Be patient with yourself, keep working, and before you know it you’ll be farther than you thought you could go!