It might be a new year, and it might be the time where you think that your fitness goals finally click into place, but it’s also the time where you need to ask yourself if they are really going to happen. Or, as every year has it, are the same mistakes going to creep in and you’ll be back to square one quicker than you know it?
Unfortunately, far too many of us make fantastic-sounding New Year resolutions, only to see them fly up in tatters by the end of January. If you do fall into this group, the only consolation we can offer is that you’re certainly not alone, and we’re going to try and do everything we can to help you pass those first few milestones.
Following on from the above, we have put together the following five points. These points will now look to address some of the common obstacles that hinder the typical person starting a fitness routine in January, and hopefully mean that your short-term plans can be extended indefinitely.
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Don’t forget about the smaller goals
In the process of setting your big goals for the New Year, many people simply forget that these need to split into smaller segments.
Sure, it’s going to be almightily satisfying if you manage to achieve your goal when the end of the year strikes. In the period before then though, things could get frustrating.
Most days you are going to wake up realizing that you’re nowhere near your end goal, and you have a long time before you get anywhere close. In some cases, let’s not forget, that you might have to weight nigh-on twelve months to reach that elusive target. This is why it is crucial to split down the goal into smaller goals, so you can work on the back of the motivation needed to complete them.
As well as the above, some people will decide that a big goal is just too difficult to achieve on its own. For example, if you were to lose 40 pounds in a year, it sounds a huge figure. However, if we were to tell you that you only need to lose between three and four pounds a month, suddenly things start to become easier and your motivation levels should rise as a result.
Remember, when it comes to setting goals, always go with the SMART principle. This is tried-and-tested, and places a big emphasis on everything we have spoken about in this section.
Buy into the era of the selfie
To say that we’re in the era of the selfie would be a gross understatement. For some of us, it’s the photo which actually dominates our day-to-day life.
However, when it comes to fitness they actually serve a very good purpose. For years we have been used to relying on the scales, but now might be the time to ditch this approach and turn to your trusty mobile phone.
By taking regular selfies, you will quickly see visual evidence of where your weight loss journey is heading. This can turn out to be much more revealing as well, for the simple reason that the scale might read higher, even though your fat levels have dropped. A selfie meanwhile can show your tone a little more, and generally make you feel better about yourself.
If you want to take things a little further, don’t hesitate to upload these selfies to social media either. This will immediately provide some accountability to your actions, while there was also a study in 2013 which showed that those people who added their fitness progress to Twitter actually lost more weight than those that didn’t. As such, it’s one of those matters where the science does the talking as well.
It’s time to team up
Going to the gym with your friend might seem a little too social, but there are huge benefits in opting for this approach.
It’s all about having a degree of accountability. When you wake up in the morning, and everything rests on you, you won’t be letting anyone else down when you roll back over and go to sleep. When there’s a buddy waiting at the gym, such actions are far less likely to happen.
This isn’t something which is purely based on theory either. A report in the American Society of Training and Development went as far as saying that by having someone with you during your workout progress you have 95% more chance of reaching your fitness goals. Clearly, this is a monumental difference.
Of course, you’ve got to be quite selective of who your training buddy actually is. If it’s someone who is going to let you down, or someone who will always accept any excuses you throw at them, it’s probably a sign that they are not going to be suitable for this role. Instead, it needs to be someone utterly proactive who is really going to raise your game, and bounce off you.
The 90 day factor
It doesn’t matter who you are, competition tends to bring the best out of people. Of course, you might be the type of person who doesn’t like engaging in competition but even if you do fall into said category, it’s time to battle on and try to agree to this next suggestion.
The basis of it is to schedule some form of competition around 90 days after the turn of the New Year. This is the optimum amount of time to provide yourself with the adequate motivation to plough on and continue with your fitness goals. By having this in the diary, you are far more likely to keep going and attempt to conquer your ambitions.
However, there is a word of caution. It’s recommended to book in this event within the first week of January (or the earliest time possible). If you leave it later, you run the risk of not even having the motivation to book the event, never mind take part in it.
The one big workout a month challenge
If you’ve managed to work out consistently for a few months, you need a round of applause. There’s just one problem with this; you are probably going to start to get burnt out soon. In other words, the workouts which have served you so well over time will soon become boring, forcing you to lose interest and the rut to set in.
As such, a solution is required. You need to try anything and everything to spice your workouts up, just so the boredom factor doesn’t come into play.
One such idea is to invest in one big workout every single month. We don’t mean a heated gym session, or anything else that is remotely similar to your normal surroundings, but rather something that is completely out of the ordinary.
To coin a few examples, it might be rock climbing or an obstacle course. Both of these options have something completely unique about them, whilst challenging your body immensely. At the same time, they aren’t something that you are likely to participate in every week, which is where they can step in and rescue you from your boring routine.