Most people have the best intentions when they create new fitness goals at the beginning of each year. According to a 2017 CNN article, a full one-quarter of people who make resolutions on January 1 intend to improve their overall health by losing weight and toning their muscles. Unfortunately, those who break their resolutions far outnumber those who keep them. This probably sounds discouraging, but it doesn’t have to be the case with you. By following these tips and sticking with a firm resolve to improve your health, you could be in a much better position at this time next year.
Use a Fitness Tracker for Motivation and Accountability
Competitiveness is part of the human condition, even when the competition is only with ourselves. Wearing a fitness tracker makes it easy to challenge yourself. You ran four miles yesterday? Try for five today. What is even better about these devices is that manufacturers constantly add new features. You can learn interesting things about your own habits when you commit to wearing a fitness tracker every day. Some of these include:
• Heart rate at rest and during activity
• How many hours you sleep each night and how restless you are during sleep
• Number of steps walked, miles walked, or stairs climbed in a day
• Calories burned during exercise
• How much of the day you spent in active motion
People often assume they’re more active than they really are. Wearing a fitness tracker can be enlightening because it provides visual proof of how active or inactive you are throughout the course of each day. Once you meet a goal, such as walking 10,000 steps each day consistently, set the bar a little higher so you can challenge yourself continually. The more you invest in a fitness tracker, the greater feedback it offers you. Most sync with an online program as well as allow you to print your workout statistics.
Improve Your Health with Help from Your Friends
If you asked around in your circle of friends, you would likely find at least one who is trying to lose weight, tone up, or just improve his or her well-being. Assuming this person is willing, ask him or her to serve as your accountability partner. You would be surprised at how much more motivated you feel to stick with your new fitness routine when you know that you must tell someone that you skipped exercising or ate at McDonald’s three days in a row. Group fitness activities, such as joining a walking group or a weight loss content, can be effective accountability strategies as well.
Give Yourself a Non-Food Reward
When you stop to think about it, the only reason most people go to work is for the reward of receiving a paycheck. It’s important to reward yourself for your fitness efforts also. This is especially true if you have a lot of weight to lose and might not see the results of your efforts for months. You can reward yourself in small and large ways for meeting goals. For example, buy yourself a shirt one size smaller when you have lost 10 pounds and book a vacation once you have achieved a 50-pound weight loss.
Challenge Negative Thoughts
Creating and sticking to a new workout routine often comes down to a battle between the mind and the body. Realistically, you know that you must exercise and eat right to enjoy optimal health. You’re also human and will come up with excuses for why you don’t want to put in the effort.
Decide from the start that you will challenge every excuse and do what you set out to do anyway. When you give in one time, it’s that much easier to skip your fitness routine the next time. Fortunately, the opposite is also true. Every time you exercise, it can make you want to do it more. May this be the year that you stick to your fitness resolutions not only for the year, but for a lifetime.