With the New Year come New Year’s Resolutions. Many of you will resolve to make a new or renewed commitment to fitness. But, by the end of January, your visits to the gym, runs, rides, and hikes have become “infrequent,” you are on a first name basis with the counter help at the local take out joints, and your New Year’s resolution to stay committed to fitness is just a memory like 2009.
You don’t have to be one of those January to February “fitness unenthusiasts,” Indeed, following a few simple guidelines will help you keep your new or rejuvenated commitment to fitness and put you on a path towards better overall fitness and health.
Set specific goals
o Start off right by setting out definable goals. Make them specific, measurable, and achievable. Plus, define a timeline for the achievement of each goal. Your goals need to be clear and unambiguous so you can easily chart your progress towards them.
·Write it down
o By writing down your goals, you are forced to visualize your success. The physical act of writing goals down creates also can reinforce the commitment on your part. If it’s written down, you can’t ignore (or easily change) that change the goal! Strive to articulate your goals in a positive sense: “I am xxxxx” instead of “I am not xxxx.” And write them down in the present tense: “I am running a Marathon on May 31,” rather than “I will run a Marathon this year.”
·Post your goals
o Post your goal everywhere. Put it next to your bed, on your fridge, on your computer screen, on your cell phone, anywhere and everywhere! This will remind you every time you see it that you have a goal that you are working toward and provide you motivation to get out and run or hit the gym on those days when you really would rather couch it.
· Share your goals
oIf you share your goals with your friends and family, they may offer to help you along your way or at a minimum provide you some motivation to stay committed to your goals.
·Register for a race
· Instead of just thinking about registering for a set for an upcoming month, actually register for it! Registering for a race will not only make your goal a bit more real but also no doubt give you some extra motivation—because you paid for that entry!
·Get a friend involved
oIf you challenge a friend to reach a similar or identical goal, there is a greater likelihood you both will achieve your objectives. Why? Because there is nothing like a little friendly competition!
·Schedule it in
o Treat your workouts like appointments or meetings and schedule them into your busy calendar. If you make time to work out, you will eliminate the excuse that “I don’t have time,” and afterward, you’ll be happy that you created time for yourself. Plus, the consistency of regularly scheduled workouts is critical to the achievement of any health or fitness goal.
·Track your progress
o No matter the goal, track your daily progress. Trying to lose weight? Keep a food journal. Training for a big event? Chart your workouts in the MapMyFitness Training Log. Keeping a log will force you to see what you are doing (or not doing) towards the achievement of your goal. You’ll have to write down if you ate that extra cookie, or if you completely skipped your workout. In contrast, you’ll be proud to enter in the extra miles on the road you put in after work. Essentially, journals and logs make you accountable and can motivate you to keep working hard towards the achievement of your goal.
· Reward yourself
o Reward yourself for reaching your goal. Knowing that there is a reward upon your achievement of your goal will definitely motivate you to work harder toward that goal. Your reward can be any of a number of indulgences: a dinner at a local steak house, a sports massage, a new pair of running shoes or some choice bike parts, or some new workout gear >.
·Make a new workout mix
o Create a new playlist for your run/ride/gym workout. There is nothing like a good mix to motivate you to get out the door and keep you fired up along your workout.
· Set Goals
We’ll repeat it again. Goals are important and help keep you motivated! Set small goals at first, like going to the gym 3x a week, or writing down everything you eat for 3 days. Once you complete these basic goals, try to set out more challenging ones—Spinning® three times a week, doing a local frosty 5K, trying Nordic skiing, etc.
Too often New Year’s resolutions become memories by February 1. Keep the above guidelines in mind over the course of January and you might just find that your new found commitment to fitness stays strong through March, April, May, June…..etc.