It's almost that time of year again: the time for new beginnings, fresh starts, and resolutions!
Setting New Year fitness goals is a great way to start the year, however, sticking to those goals and achieving them is the hard part. Your motivation may dwindle throughout the year, but don't let that stop you from reaching your fitness goals!
In this article, we'll discuss the essential tips and strategies you need to know to make your New Year's fitness resolutions achievable and sustainable. So, if you're ready to get serious about your fitness goals, let's get started!
Make a plan to achieve your goals
Everyone sets their fitness goals for the new year, which is great, but most neglect to make a plan on how they're going to achieve those goals. So, if you haven't already outline a plan!
You can start by creating a fitness goal checklist. You can set a deadline for achieving your goals and include a checklist of things you need to do to make them happen. This can be a great way to hold yourself accountable and track your progress. A few ideas of what to include in your checklist/plan include buying the appropriate workout supplements for your goals, setting your workout routine, scheduling your workouts, etc.
It's important to be realistic while you're making your plan. If you set extremely lofty goals that are almost impossible to achieve, you're not setting yourself up for success. Instead, aim to set attainable and realistic goals that you can actually achieve. This way, you'll be more likely to succeed and stay motivated and focused on your fitness goals.
Set mini-goals along the way
As mentioned earlier, you want to set attainable and realistic goals. Aside from setting your big fitness goal, like lose weight or build muscle, set mini-goals that will help you achieve your big goal! These are also known as micro goals. These micro goals will help you map out a plan on how to achieve your big goal and they will even help you build self discipline - they key to achieving New Year fitness goals!
You can set weekly or daily micro goals that will help you stay on track with your New Year's resolutions. A few examples of micro goals related to health and fitness include...
- Track your macronutrients five times a week.
- Plan your meals every Sunday.
- Go on a 30 minute walk after dinner.
- Hit a PR on a compound exercise.
Set a schedule that works for you
This one goes hand-in-hand with your plan! Everyone's schedules are different. Some work, go to school (or both), have kids, etc. So, don't start working out five or six times a week just because someone else is, start slow and do what works for you.
If you're a busier individual aim to workout 3 times a week. This can look like three full-body weight training sessions and a few short cardio sessions outside of that. If you have more time then try for 4-5 times a week. The point is, set a schedule that works for you!
We suggest creating a calendar (on your phone or one you keep in your planner) were you're able to actually schedule what days you'll be working out, the specific times, and even what you'll be working out on that day. This will help keep you accountable and help you commit to it. It's important to remember, though, that you may need to adjust your fitness schedule and goals as needed. This is normal, and it's important to be flexible so that you can keep moving forward towards your goals and achieve them.
Adjust your goals as time goes on
Sometimes as time goes on you may realize you don't actually want to achieve the goals you've originally set or you already achieved your goal and want to set another one. Maybe you started with wanting to lose weight, but fell in love with weight lifting and want to focus now on building muscle. That's okay! You can always adjust your goals as needed.
Every few weeks, or months, reflect on your goals and think about how you can adjust them to better suit your current needs. Reassessing your goals is part of the process, so don't be afraid to make changes!
Create a workout plan that you enjoy
To achieve your goals, you want it to be enjoyable along the way! The last thing you want is to dread going to the gym every time you have a scheduled workouts. There maybe some days you don't feel like going to the gym, but dreading it every time can be a sign that you're not doing workouts you enjoy. Fitness can be fun, you just have to find what you like most.
That said, create a workout plan based around your interests and fitness goals. If your goal is weight loss, but you can't stand doing an hour of cardio then find something else! Strength training is not only great for building strength or muscle, it's also great for fat loss, so that's an option. Or try a fun fitness class like Zumba or HIIT. Find what you like best and create your workout plan around that!
Another way to make your fitness journey more enjoyable is by including workouts that don't necessarily involve going to the gym. There will be days you won't want to go to the gym. If you have a scheduled workout for the day, adjust it (remember, you planned for setbacks like this) to a fun physical activity. Like going on a hike with a friend, playing a sport you love, going for a swim, etc. This will help make your fitness journey fun and will help you stick to your fitness New Year's resolutions so you can achieve them!
Keep track of your progress
As you work towards achieving your fitness goals, it's important to keep track of your progress. This is a great way to stay motivated and focused on your goals. It can also be a great way to identify what areas you may need to adjust or improve so that you can continue to make progress.
There are many ways to keep track of your progress. You can keep a fitness journal that includes the weight you've lifted, reps, sets, or the miles you ran. It can also include monthly weigh ins which can include specific measurements and body fat percentage. Pick what you want to track that will help you stay on top of your goals, and make sure to track the positive and negative progress so that you're not missing out on valuable information that can help you adjust and improve your progress.
Don't be too hard on yourself
A fitness journey isn't linear. What this means is that your journey is going to have ups and downs. During those downs, don't be too hard on yourself. Missing a workout or not eating perfect one day isn't going to halt all your progress! Instead of giving into those bad days and giving up altogether, move forward the next day.
Another thing, try not to be overly strict. The key is to stay on track, but also balance it with things you enjoy. You don't always have to say no to going out to brunch or dinner, you can skip a workout to go out with your friends! Doing these things will actually help your fitness journey. Being overly strict and saying no to everything will only lead to being burnt out which can lead to giving up on your fitness journey altogether!
Make 2024 they year you accomplish your New Year fitness resolutions! It might be tough, but by following the above tips you'll be able to have an easier and more enjoyable fitness journey that is prepared for anything that life may throw at you!
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