Remember that ‘new year, new me’ determination you felt on January first? If you are finding that your resolve isn’t quite as resilient mid-month, you aren’t alone. In fact, according to U.S. News & World Report, a whopping 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. Here are four strategies to help you resist the urge to quit and stick to your get-fit goals.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Start each week ready with the right resources to set you up for success – this includes your food, exercise, and sleep intentions. Apps like MyFitnessPal are great for tracking your meals and movement. I talk about how My Fitness Pal can help you stick to your resolutions here. Schedule alerts/reminders for yourself to get your water or steps in and block the time on your calendar for exercise and bedtime, just as you would for a doctor’s appointment or work meeting. You will be more apt to stick to a regular schedule if you can account for the time in advance. Keep healthy, convenient snacks like Hacked Snacks protein bites or rice crispy cakes on tap at all times. Meal prep ahead of time as much as possible, and when eating out, make sure to sneak a peek at the menu beforehand so you walk in with a smart food strategy.
Take a Bite-Size Approach
Getting a handle on your eating and fitness habits can feel overwhelming, especially when you are trying to focus on everything at once. Set mini-goals for yourself each week like trying one new healthy food recipe or checking out that exercise class you’ve been eyeing (online or in the gym). For great recipes and snack ideas, check out my blog. You can even start out super-simple, like making it your mission to hit your daily water target. Small modifications often build up to big changes.
Remember Your Big Picture
You should absolutely take it one day, one meal, one workout, at a time, but always remain focused on your ‘why’. This is about mindset and training your brain to think long-term. Your ‘why’ should be a measurable objective and guided by experiences which drive your progress. This is how positive, sustainable change is achieved – continued dedication toward a definitive goal. Let’s say you are ultimately striving to shed fat and build muscle. That becomes your guiding principle and you need to set milestones along the way to check-in and measure your ongoing progress and make sure you are staying the course.
I cannot stress the importance of being accountable when you embark on any lifestyle overhaul. Find a workout buddy, check in regularly with a fitness coach, or join an online support community – whatever works best for you. Just be sure you are sharing your plans, progress, and challenges with someone else who can help guide and motivate you to keep going towards your goal, particularly when your willpower wanes. A study on accountability found a 65% success rate for those who commit to someone else that they will complete a particular goal. That rate soars to 95% for those who set a specific accountability appointment with someone else to check-in on their goal progress. Do not go it alone. Get yourself a solid support system, stat!