You know how this goes. Every year thousands of people make New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight. Maybe you’ve been one of them once. People flock to the gym in those first few weeks after New Year’s day, determined to make this year, the year they do it. And usually by sometime in February, the crowds begin to fade.
This could be for any number of reasons. Some might walk into the gym and have no clue where to start. Some might not find enjoyment in exercise. Or some might get discouraged quickly if they don’t see or feel results right away. Some might not really want it as bad as they thought.
Whatever the reason, many people get set up to fail before they even get started. This is why, come February, the crowds usually fade. If you really want this year to be your year, here are some tips to help you push through. And maybe make it past February:
1. Start with a plan
You have to make a plan. How many days a week do you want to workout? And for how long? What kind of exercise do you want to do? Do you want to take a class, hire a trainer, find a buddy, or workout alone? What days of the week can you fit a workout into your schedule? What time of day do you want to workout? And what about nutrition? See why you need a plan? And once you have a plan, it’s much easier to stay on track. All you have to do is follow the plan.
2. Hire a certified personal trainer
At least, get a certified trainer to give you a proper fitness assessment and teach you some basics. Maintaining proper form and following workouts that are equal to your fitness level are important. Not only does this help prevent injury, but it can prevent you from feeling overwhelmed, getting frustrated, and giving up.
3. If you don’t want to do it, do it anyway
These are the days that separate the people who reach their goals and the people who don’t. That one day you don’t want to get out of bed. You decide to sleep in. Suddenly, that one day turns into sleeping daily. One missed workout won’t ruin your goals. But don’t let one missed workout turn into many. This is why it’s better to just get up and do it anyway, even when you don’t want to. Twenty minutes is always better than zero minutes. A completed workout, at half the effort, is still a completed workout. I’ve had plenty of clients start a workout saying ‘I’ll just do one round today.’ And end up doing the whole thing.
4. Start small and focus on one thing at a time
If you go all out with crazy hard workouts and eating grilled chicken salads three meals a day, well, let’s be real. That’s just not sustainable. If you really want to make this a long term thing, start with one thing you can realistically change. Pick something small, or something that’s not so hard for you to incorporate into your daily routine. Maybe start with fitting in a workout or some kind of movement every day. Maybe start with making your own healthy dinners and making enough so you have leftovers for lunch the next day. Or maybe start with writing down everything you eat and drink. Whatever it may be, start small, and go one at a time.
5. Pick something you might not hate
If you’re going to keep coming back to something, you have to find some enjoyment in it. Everyone is different, which is why there are so many different types of workouts, gyms, and studios out there. Do your homework and research all the different options available in your area or online. If you see something and think ‘I might not hate that’ give it a try. If you do hate it, try something else. And here’s a nutrition hint, too: this tip also applies to food. Don’t eat foods you hate just because it’s healthy. You won’t keep up with healthy eating if you choose foods you despise.
New Year’s resolutions can be really hard to stick to. Putting in a little time and planning before you get started can make a big difference. Making a change in your life takes work and effort. Set yourself up to succeed, do the work, and you will have a better chance of making the changes and getting the results that you want.