2016 is just around the corner, and many of us are already formulating our New Year's resolutions. Although these resolutions are made with the best intentions, only about a quarter of people who make New Year’s resolutions will break them by the end of January. Only about 45 percent of people will keep their resolution for six months, and a mere eight percent will be able to successfully maintain their resolution through the end of the year.
Here are 10 tips to help you make a smart fitness resolution you can keep.
Make it specific and measurable. If your resolution is as unspecific as “lose weight,” chances are you won’t make it very far past January. A more specific goal might be to “lose 15 pounds,” or to “exercise three times a week.” Break your goal into measurable components and keep a checklist to help keep you on track.
Make it manageable. Setting a realistic goal is important if you want to be successful. If you’ve never been to the gym before, making a goal to go to the gym six days a week may be a bit unrealistic. Start by setting a small goal you can achieve gradually. If you accomplish your resolution mid-way through the year, great! Set a new goal and keep going.
Break it up. No matter how big or small your New Year’s resolution may seem, breaking it up into steps or smaller “benchmark” goals will help keep it sustainable. For example, if your goal is to add 40 pounds to your bench press in 2016, focus on the smaller goal of adding 3.3 pounds per month.
Keep a schedule. “I have no time!” This is one of the biggest reasons people struggle to keep their New Year’s resolutions. Between juggling kids, work and social commitments, it’s easy to get caught up in life and forget about your goals. Set aside time in your schedule each day or week to work toward your resolution.
Find accountability. If you want to accomplish your goals, tell someone else what you’re striving for. If nobody else knows your resolution, it will be much easier to walk away when you have an off day (or week or month). Find a friend or loved one you trust to check in on you and hold you accountable. Even better, find someone who has set a similar resolution and will work toward your goals with you.
Sleep. If you want to be healthy, your body needs sleep. Adults should get between six and eight hours of sleep every night. Lack of sleep will result in unhealthy cravings, poor physical performance, reduced mental stamina, reduced immunity and weight gain. It can also lead to an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
Fuel your body. Nutrition is key. Start your day with a healthy breakfast (think protein, whole grains and a piece of fruit) to help you wake up and energize you for the day. Eat a light snack before your workout and a full meal within two hours of your workout. Staying hydrated is also essential. Aim to drink half an ounce of water for each pound you weigh every day. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking two to three glasses of water two to three hours before your workout; one-half to one cup of water during your workout; and two to three cups after your workout for every pound of weight lost during the workout.
Take a break. Taking time to rest is just as important as making time for regular exercise. Most fitness experts recommend giving your muscles at least 24 hours of rest between a weight-lifting workout. Rest days don’t mean you don’t have to do anything, though. Go for a swim, take a walk or ride your bike.
Celebrate. When you reach milestones along the way, take some time to celebrate your achievement. Doing so will help you stay focused on the benchmark goals you’ve set along the way, rather than getting bogged down by your larger end goal. Celebrating small milestones gives you motivation to keep going.
Is your 2016 New Year’s resolution to lose weight? You don’t have to do it alone. Check out our fitness programs to help kick start your healthy new year.
Posted: 12/30/2015 by
Filed under: fitness, goals, resolutions