It’s the new year, which means a new and improved you, right? Your ambition is through the roof, your motivation is on fire, and you have defined and set your goals and intentions, but what is the next step to pursue these plans for yourself? It’s easy to become overwhelmed and discouraged, change and “new” can be scary.
Despite the good intentions, the thought of getting up early, stepping into a new environment without familiar faces, and “missing out” on social events or drinks with friends can easily dissuade someone from the crucial first steps of building a new routing and habits.
I have been there, feeling like a lost puppy navigating a new facility, like it’s your first day at a new school. Trying to remain consistent and push through these feeling can be rather daunting. However, I am here to tell you the benefits once you reach this consistency are endless and POSSIBLE for anyone at any experience level.
One of the most frequently asked questions I receive from clients is “Where do I start and when does it become easier?”. The generic answer… stick to the schedule and once it becomes a habit it will become easier. Simple, right? But we all know life doesn’t work that way. Take it from me-, I have twins, my marriage, my family, my social life, I run multiple businesses and let’s not forget the unplanned circumstances life throws at you to maintain. Whatever the case may be for you- I’m going to cover 5 crucial steps for building a successful new routine.
Without further ado, here are my five top tips for doing just that. I promise it’ll be well worth it.
1. Find your “Why”.
This may be hands down the most important step. Without this, you may find your enthusiasm for health and wellness short-lived and not taken as seriously as it should. When goals are tied to seasons or specific goals like a vacation or wedding, once these have come and gone-so has your motivation.
Some things to ask yourself: “Who am I doing this for?”, “What do I expect to come from this?”, “What short term and long term goals am I working towards?”. Write your goals down on a post-it for a reminder of what you are working towards. These should be realistic and achievable.
2. Pick a specific start date.
Look at your calendar and pick a date that will work for you to get started. Write it down it your planner, put it in your phone calendar, and treat it like you would a doctor appointment. Dedicating a specific time will help you mentally prepare and help you properly manage your time to accommodate for the new changes to come. If you just tell yourself “I’ll start going to the gym this week”, this time can easily be filled with other daily tasks and before you know your week has come to an end.
3. Create your accountability.
Make a statement to your significant other, friends, family, or co-workers of what you want to achieve. Pick people you know will be supportive and cheer you on from the sidelines to keep you accountable. Post on social media and include updates on days you’re feeling “off”, I personally LOVE seeing the change my peers make and always make sure to throw some extra encouragement their way, every dog has their day right? Knowing that someone is rooting for you can be extra motivation you need to keep going.
Have you heard the phrase “ Fail to plan, plan to fail?”. The same goes for building new habits, especially with fitness and nutrition! Walking into a gym blindly without a plan will most likely leave you wandering around with a lack of focus and unfulfilled feeling when you leave. Your routine doesn’t have to change weekly or be complicated. Utilize a trainer to customize a plan specific to your needs so you know exactly what to do when you get there and make the most out of your time. We also live in an era where information from apps, reputable peers/social media accounts, and the internet is readily available. If all else fails is choose a muscle group and choose 4-5 exercises engaging these muscles with 3-4 sets of each exercise. Comfort building routines will come with time.
5. Celebrate your successes.
Who doesn’t like rewards? Humans tend to be very goal-oriented individuals, we thrive on meeting deadlines—it makes you feel accomplished and good about yourself, right? Likewise, you should celebrate all your hard work and accomplishments! It can go a long way and help keep you motivated, especially in the beginning. Even just acknowledging that getting started is an accomplishment itself can give you that boost to keep going.
Don’t wait until you’ve met all the goals to celebrate your accomplishments. It’s worth celebrating every single time you make a choice that’s affiliated with your goal. Take a celebratory selfie, give a pat on the back, new outfit, or even just announce it to your peers. Be proud of each and every step that you take!