Most of us started contemplating what our New Year’s resolutions would be around October/early November – when the anticipation and excitement of Thanksgiving and Christmas overshadowed thinking about the changes you’ll need to make come January 1st, 2022. Not to say that change isn’t a good thing! But now the fun is over (minus New Year’s Eve), and it’s time to start getting serious about your goals and wants with a fresh start to a new year.
In 2020, about one in four Americans made New Year’s resolutions. The most common commitment, you ask? Exercising more, improving their diet, and losing weight were what people committed to the most, with saving money following closely behind. It is no surprise that health was on top of everyone’s mind in 2020 which followed into 2021. We all had to analyze how at risk our immune systems were and reassess the costs of our unhealthy habits.
The new year is the perfect time to shoot towards better habits or work on a lifestyle change. York Barbell has compiled crucial tips and strategies to stick to your new years fitness resolutions. Unfortunately, according to the U.S. News & World Report, the failure rate for resolutions is around 80%. To ensure this is not your reality, it’s best to do the work required to prepare for your resolution and to set yourself up for success as much as possible.
How to Stick to New Year Fitness Resolutions
1. Train for Something- Schedule in Advance
Runners and Bodybuilders alike are continually training for the next race or competition. They pinpoint an event well in advance to train for, which helps hold them accountable even when that event may be several months away. They do this for two reasons: 1) It helps with motivation to have a competition you’re training for and 2) The sense of accomplishment and contentment they feel after the event they’ve been working towards is over. Afterward, a person will typically reflect on what worked and what didn’t; and schedule the next race or competition.
In the next event, they’ll see if they can better themselves or they’ll take on a newer challenge. This is a way to hold yourself accountable, especially if you enjoy competition and are motivated by other people. Whatever your new year fitness resolution, odds are there’s a way for you to set up an accountability/motivation booster in advance.
2. Keep Yourself Motivated- But, How?!
There are a couple ways to keep yourself motivated and on track (which is easier said, than done). One way is to take progress pictures. Although a common practice, there are different ways to capture progress in pictures. Some people suggest high-resolution, high-quality pictures, from all different angles, with different poses, a couple times a week. This is a little more work, however, this method may be worth it for those in bodybuilding or for those that are working on very specific looks. We suggest starting with an image from the front, back, and side at the beginning, at least 1-2 middle ground progress pictures (which could be timed with when you feel like you’re slacking off) and then a front, back, and side picture at the end of your journey or when you’ve almost finished your goal.
Remember that when you’re just starting out with the first couple workouts or first couple days of eating right, the results won’t show right away. However, if you stick with it, after at least a week or two, visible improvements should be present. That’s when you snap another pic!
Remember Why You Started
Another way to keep yourself motivated is to remind yourself of your ‘Why.’ Your ‘Why’ is the reason behind your commitment or resolution. Write yourself a letter that explains your reasons and makes you remember ‘Why’ you started. This will help alleviate potential roadblocks. Especially, if you speak to things that could get in the way of your goals and what things you’d want to hear to stay focused.
Change Up Your Routine
One more way in which you can stay motivated is to vary your workouts. Of course, you should stick to your favorites and/or what works for you to achieve your desired results. However, despite it being your “favorite,” you can still get tired of it after a while. If you feel yourself getting tired of your workout routine, change it up! Go on a hike or take a class that interests you, such as yoga, kickboxing, zumba, etc. Or, perhaps, you use personal free weights that you have at your disposal, and pop in a fitness DVD, like P90x. How you change up your routine doesn’t necessarily matter, just as long as it breaks up the monotony of your usual routine and serves as a fun, active alternative.
3. Find an Accountability Partner- Verbal or Physical
When aiming towards your goals and new year fitness resolutions, it’s important to hold yourself accountable in more ways than one so you have the best chance of sticking to it. A common form of accountability is by telling a loved one, close friend, or coworker about your goals. Speaking them into existence will definitely not hurt, but rather help- the person you told becomes a part of your journey and acts as a confidant to check- in with about your progress. Use this accountability partner as someone you could lean on for advice or encouragement. And, if you’re lucky enough, you could potentially find someone that has similar new year fitness resolutions and offers to workout or go on a diet with you so that you can both achieve your goals.
4. Set Goals- Keep Your Actions Focused
A lack of goals leads to unfocused actions. The more focused and specific your goals are, the least likely you are to get off track. When your goals are attainable, realistic, and timely, you set reasonable expectations for yourself to meet. Goals will help your actions align with what you’re trying to achieve. They assist in making you think about what you want to accomplish and when. Try coming up with 3-5 short-term goals. Then, if you fall short on 1 or 2, you can carry them over to the next time period, while still checking off 1, 2, or 3 you’ve already accomplished this far. Make sure to write down your goals in a place you’ll see on a daily basis. This will ensure you’re reminded of your goals and will be a visual representation of what you’re attempting to hold yourself accountable to.
Start Preparing & Setting Yourself Up for Success
The most important thing about setting a new goal, commitment, or in this case, new year fitness resolutions, is to take the necessary steps to prepare yourself. Prepare for roadblocks and set yourself up for success as much as possible before you start. As the old saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail by design.” If you’re serious about sticking to your goals, don’t neglect the planning and preparation that’s vital to your success.
Now, go get ready! Happy goal-setting and planning! And, Happy New Year from the strongest name in fitness, your friends at York Barbell!