Staying On-Track with Fitness Goals
How are those New Year resolutions going?
If they’ve fallen to the wayside, don’t feel too bad. A study done by a social network for athletes called Strava has shown that most people lose sight of their resolutions before January even comes to an end; in fact, most people call it quits by January 12th. Fortunately, there’s no rule against picking up where you left off in February, July, or any other time of year: today is always a good day for positive change.
When it comes to fitness goals for the year, having realistic expectations is crucial. Even if you’re keeping up with all your objectives for the day, noticeable change doesn’t happen overnight. Likewise, it’s a good idea to keep these goals small and manageable at first. Pushing yourself too hard in the first few days makes it easy to get burnt out or discouraged. Start out small and gradually work your way up to more substantial challenges. It might help to write down what you want to get done each day (i.e. x amount of sit-ups, y amount of time on the treadmill) and cross things off as you accomplish them. There’s psychological satisfaction that comes from checking items off of lists. Plus, it can add a sense of routine to your fitness journey, which is important for maintaining steady progress.
If you’re having trouble staying motivated, it could be because you’re the only person keeping yourself accountable. When it comes to physical fitness, you are your own boss. This level of self-discipline is understandably hard to master. It might help to get other people involved with or at least aware of your fitness goals. The road to progress is a lot less lonely and difficult if you can find someone else to share the journey with; having a workout buddy makes the process more fun, and it can keep you more honest. If no one in your circle is looking to make the same resolution, consider using social media to share your experience, and post a progress picture every week or two. You’re sure to get some encouragement from the people in your life, and it puts a bit of healthy pressure on you to keep consistent with your updates!
Above all, you have to believe in yourself, keep a positive outlook, and try to make the experience as fun as you can. It’s okay if you don’t accomplish 100% of what you set out to do. If you got halfway there, that’s not failure: that’s effort. Beating yourself up for missing the mark is a quick way to turn the process negative, and that’s when the resolutions start to waver. Treat your future self like a good friend, because at the end of the day, that’s who you’re doing this for.