January is less than a month away. Are you starting to think about what your New Year’s health and fitness resolutions will be? Or are you someone who — knowing your bad track record — has decided to stop making them, altogether?
The problem with New Year’s resolutions isn’t that they set people up for failure. We just tend to approach them the wrong way. If you’re looking for tips to making your New Year’s resolutions a little more achievable this year, look no further.
Tip #1: Don’t keep making the same old resolutions.
The popular definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If you couldn’t keep your resolutions last year, chances are strong you won’t be able to this year, either.
This doesn’t mean you’re a failure; it just means you need to re-examine your old resolutions and set goals that are a better fit for you. As you re-formulate your resolutions, strive for “want” instead of “should” and “be” instead of “do.”
Tip #2: Be realistic.
One of the main reasons we fail to honor our resolutions for the fitness gym or in our daily eating habits is that we don’t set goals that factor in the realities of everyday life —the ebb and flow of motivation, sick days, injuries, busy days, and everything in between.
Since you know you’re going to face challenges, set the bar low (especially if you’ve failed to keep or reach your resolutions in the past). Don’t think of it as copping out — think of it as a success insurance plan!
Tip #3: Be specific.
Many people make their resolutions extremely vague — things like “eat healthier food,” or “lose weight” or “exercise more.” They think this increases their chances of achieving. In reality, it makes it easier to get lazy and harder to feel like you accomplished something. What does “more” mean? What does “healthier” mean?
The more detailed and focused you can make your resolutions, the better. For example, instead of “eat healthier food” you could decide to eat one more serving of vegetables a day or cook a meal using only natural ingredients scratch once a week. Instead of “workout more” you could set up a weekly schedule with a trainer or an accountability partner at your fitness center.
Tip #4: Equip yourself with the right tools.
Success is dependent on determination, consistency, and picking yourself back up when you fail, but having the right tools and gear can provide a lot of help along the way. Think about which tools would be most useful to help you achieve your resolutions.
Are you prepping meals? Invest in recipe planning tools and food containers. Are you going to be spending more quality time at the fitness center? Think about technology that can help you track your calorie burn, heart rate, reps, or mileage. Even something as simple taking a bottle with you everywhere to help you achieve that “drink more water” resolution can make a big difference.
Tip #5: Get good training and nutrition advice.
Tools are helpful — if you know how to use them. If you’re new to the next resolution on your fitness journey or don’t know much about what good nutrition looks like, do some research and ask for advice. Fit friends, gym personnel and trainers, and therapists or medical professionals are all good sources to turn to.
Don’t get overwhelmed or disillusioned by setting New Year’s resolutions this year. Use these tips to set yourself up to not only meet, but exceed, your health and fitness resolutions.