Your New Year’s fitness resolution is only as strong as your will power to see it through long after January 1st has passed. The problem most people encounter is losing steam once the novelty of the resolution has worn off. Too many times this happens because people are unrealistic and impractical with the resolutions they make. Consider the following suggestions as you make your resolution for the New Year.
Don’t Focus on the Hard Numbers
“I’m going to lose 10 pounds by summer” and “I’m going to drop two dress sizes in eight weeks” are common fitness resolutions many women make. The problem with these two resolutions is that they’re too fixated on a number. If every week you stand on the scale or try to slide on your skinny jeans to see the progress you’ve made, it’s much easier to become discouraged when you see no evidence of change. By focusing too much on the end result, you lose sight of the behavioral changes you should be making to reach these goals. Instead of creating a fitness resolution with the end result in mind, create one that is more focused on behavioral changes. “I’m going to try one new healthy recipe every week instead of ordering take-out” or “I’m going to take one 30 minute walk five days a week” are better resolutions to make. Why? Because they focus on things you can directly control. At the end of the day, losing 10 pounds for good is only going to happen if you’re leading a healthier lifestyle. You’re bound to stick to a healthier lifestyle if you aren’t constantly discouraged by the number on the scale.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
So you’ve resolved to eat clean in the New Year and indulged in a large bowl of ice cream one week into your resolution. Rather than give up altogether, chalk it up to being human and move on. Better yet, think about what you can do to make the situation better. Add an extra 10 minutes of exercise to your workout tomorrow or eat a large salad for dinner. Slipping up isn’t the end of the world. Focus on the positive instead of the negative: you’ve eaten clean for a whole week!
Start Slowly to Avoid Burnout
When it comes to fitness resolutions, you’re more likely to find long term success if you take it slow. If you start out the New Year by going to the gym for two hours every day or cut out sweets from your diet completely, chances are your resolution isn’t going to last. By the time you see real changes, you’ll be bored and burnt out! This goes back to the idea of focusing your resolution on behavioral changes you honestly think you can manage. Start with a 20 minute workout daily and build up from there. Don’t cut out sweets completely. Allow yourself a small treat every day and slowly scale back. Most people cannot change over night. It takes time to learn to live a healthier lifestyle.
Being practical with your fitness resolution means you’re much more likely to be successful.