New Years resolutions have started to get a bad wrap in the health, wellness, and fitness industries. Some people lump them into the same category as “Monday” and “Tomorrow” and all of the other psychological deadlines that we set for ourselves to justify the unhealthy choices that we are making today.
Others think that since most people do not stick to their resolutions, there is no point in setting them in the first place.
However, we think that New Years resolutions are a great way to kick old habits, set intentions, and get back on track after the holidays. Even if you do not end up sticking to your resolution long term, the simple act of setting a resolution forces you to look at your habits, identify areas where you would like to see improvements, and come up with at least a preliminary plan to make a change.
Trying and failing is always better than not trying at all.
We have a few tips to help you step into 2018 on the right foot — And hopefully keep that momentum going into your healthiest, happiest year yet.
Pick a fitness challenge with an end date.
The cliché and vague resolutions like “getting back into shape” and “eating clean” are what tend to get most people into trouble. With no real way of tracking the outcome of these goals and no real endpoint, it is pretty easy to see why people who set these types of resolutions easily fall off the wagon.
Instead, why not choose something that is fun, track-able, and has an end date? Some great examples are:
- Sign up to run a charity 5k or 10k in February or March.
- Be able to do an unassisted pull up by March 1st
- Be able to do 30 pushups without stopping by February 15th
- Master a yoga pose you currently cannot do by April 1st
Obviously, your goal will be determined by your current level of fitness and your interests. It does not really matter what the goal is, as long as it is something that you will need to work towards.
Training towards it will help you to establish new habits, and once your end date arrives, you will be able to celebrate your progress and set new goals. Having short-term goals, instead of thinking about having to stick to something for the whole year, is a lot less daunting and much more rewarding. Just be sure to give yourself a realistic timeline to achieve what you are setting out to do.
Resolve to try out a new fitness trend this year.
A lot of people do not like going to the gym, or running, or doing whatever fitness activities they have always done. Does that sound like you? Maybe the reason you find it hard to stick with a fitness routine is that you just haven’t found your thing yet. Well, 2018 is a new year! So it is time to get out there, experiment, and find your thing!
Even for those of you who don’t mind the usual routines, you may be surprised by how much you like rock climbing, or pole dancing, or acro-yoga, or CrossFit.
Our brains crave novelty, so the best way to stay motivated and have fun while getting fit is to try new things.
Recruit a buddy to take on your fitness challenge with you.
No matter what the challenge is, studies show that we are much more likely to stick to habit changes when we have someone to do it with.
Having a friend along for the ride is not only more fun, it provides you with more accountability and motivation on those days when you don’t feel like doing it anymore. As an added bonus, you will have someone to celebrate with when you do reach your goal!
Rackow, Pamela, Urte Scholz, and Rainer Hornung. “Received social support and exercising: An intervention study to test the enabling hypothesis.” British journal of health psychology 20.4 (2015): 763-776.