It's that time of the year again -- time to create some New Year's resolutions around health and fitness. But, if you're like most people, then you probably find that it's challenging sticking to your fitness goals once March arrives. Need some motivation and advice? Here are five hacks for (actually) achieving your New Year's fitness goals:
1. How ready are you?
Before creating fitness goals for the New Year, you should determine how ready you are both physically and mentally. Talk with your PCP about your fitness goals and have them give the go-ahead before embarking. Once you've been physically cleared, reflect on your emotional readiness. How likely are you to stick with a diet and exercise program once you begin? What are the barriers? What strengths can you draw on? You're more likely to stick with your fitness goals long-term if you feel confident in your ability, receive encouragement and support from others, and participate in an exercise that you enjoy.
2. Develop a plan
Once you've assessed your readiness, the next step is to create a plan. Identify when you'll exercise, what type of exercise you'll do, and how much time you'll spend exercising. You should try to exercise at least three times a week for thirty minutes each time to reap the benefits.
3. Find an exercise buddy
Maybe one of your friends also has resolved to start exercising in the New Year. If so, you should begin your fitness journey together. Find an exercise that both of you enjoy, and then schedule a few times each week to work out together. This will increase your chances of sticking with your fitness goals because you'll be able to hold each other accountable and support one another.
4. Start slow
Think of your fitness goals as a lifelong commitment to a healthier lifestyle. This means that you shouldn't overdo it in the beginning. Start slow with low-to-moderate intensity workouts and build up to more intense ones.
5. Be realistic
The number one reason why people fail with New Year's fitness resolutions is that they aren't practical. For example, a realistic goal might be to run a 5K in three months. Start slow and small with your fitness goals and build up to bigger ones as you achieve them.
You can do it!
Remember that, if you try to change too much too quickly, you'll set yourself up for failure. Instead, break your fitness goals into smaller challenges. Be sure to celebrate every accomplishment along the way, too. If you end up falling off the wagon, get back on it and start where you left off. You've got this!