By Junior Leoso
You don’t need superpowers or an iron will to commit to being healthier this upcoming year. Whether your goal is to do 10 push-ups, run a marathon, or simply take the stairs more often—you can get there! Check out these five tips to help you stick to your 2017 fitness goals.
FIGURE OUT YOUR WHY
A steady gym habit can result in a lean and toned physique, but superficial goals may lose their appeal after endless weeks of diet and exercise. Instead, try viewing your workouts and fitness activities as a direct path to health and happiness. Regular exercise has unexpected benefits including boosting your libido and overall energy, lowering cholesterol, and even increasing happiness. Bringing some deeper intentions to your workout can make all the difference in sticking to your goals.
Before hitting the gym, ask yourself some of these questions, for example: Why did you make this resolution? What do you want to achieve? Developing answers that elicit a powerful emotional response can help motivate your goals.
MAKE YOUR GOAL A POSITIVE ACTION
“People often will just set a weight-loss goal, but they don’t have a good plan on how to get there,” says Junior Leoso, CPT and Owner of Pacific Beach Training. Without a detailed and positively motivating plan, you’re likely to go back to previous eating and exercise patterns.
Set a goal that is “specific, measurable, realistic, and trackable,” Junior says. “Attending group training classes 3 times a week for one hour each, or replace one meal eating out with a meal that is cooked with natural foods once a week,” says Jenna Rubin, CSCS from Pacific Beach Training.
Focus on changes that you can make a part of your lifestyle seamlessly so you’ll be able to sustain them for the long haul.
TAKE IT ONE WEEK AT A TIME
Resolving to do 10,000 pushups in a year is pretty intimidating. But 192 push-ups every week… Well, maybe that’s still pretty scary. But breaking it down to 28 per day looks a lot more manageable, right? A goal that’s either far in the future or far out of your comfort zone can be tough to start, so break the resolution down into achievable steps.
Better yet, give yourself several small resolutions throughout the year. For instance, instead of aiming to add 80 pounds to your bench press in a year, aim to add five pounds per week. Easier, right?
When you achieve your goals — running a marathon, holding a headstand, the first week you managed to run 30 minutes a day—treat yourself!
Choose a reward that won’t undo your hard work: a weekend getaway, a beach day, a mani-pedi, a massage (they’re GREAT for you!), some new fitness swag, or a movie date. Regular rewards when you achieve your goals can help you reach those milestones faster than you previously thought possible.
ENROLL YOUR FRIENDS IN ACTIVITIES FOR ACCOUNTABILITY
Focus on one or two areas and team up with a fitness and/or weight-loss companion—a friend, relative, or personal trainer—who will make sure you stick to the plan. “It is much easier to go to a fitness class every day at 6:15 a.m. if you know a friend is waiting for you,” Rubin says.