Did you know January is always the busiest time of the year for gyms? After a holiday season of eating, drinking, and being merry, many gyms see 25 percent more members join in January than at any other time of the year. Regardless of all that enthusiasm, gym attendance is usually back to its normal, pre-New Year level by mid-February.
The reason being is that most people will break their resolutions before the year is out (a third won’t even make it to the end of January). But you don’t need superpowers or an iron will to stick with those 2016 resolutions to get healthy and fit. Whether your goal is to do push-ups on your toes, run 6 laps of the beach, or to just to make getting up at sunrise to workout part of your daily ritual, you can accomplish it, no sweat (okay, maybe a little sweat). Check out the tips I put together to have the fittest year yet, from January all the way through the year!
- Write It and Measure It
Resolutions should be both specific and measurable — a recent study found that setting broad, vague (and therefore tough to achieve) goals can make people depressed. Writing down goals is one of the best ways to accomplish them, and so is figuring out the exact steps needed to get there. Choosing a more specific result, breaking down the goal’s components (like specific exercises and stretches), and keeping a regular checklist will help solidify the task and keep you on track. Try to make resolutions that follow the SMART model: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused, and Time-bound.
- Make Resolutions Manageable
A resolution shouldn’t be a fantasy. If you’ve never lifted weights before, attempting to hit the weight bench seven days per week is probably setting yourself up for disappointment. For most people, overturning a lifetime of habits can’t happen overnight — even if that night is December 31. The reason is partly physiological; the brain just likes comfortable old habits over new, different ones. The key to sustainable resolutions is to make changes smaller and more gradual. That’s the best way to approach all fitness resolutions — slow and steady wins the race.
- Break Up the Goal
Resolving to do 10,000 burpees in 2016 is pretty intimidating. But 192 burpees every week… okay, that’s still pretty scary. 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, or better yet, give yourself several smaller resolutions throughout the year. Seems much easier, doesn’t it?
- Treat Yo’ Self!
When you hit those hard-earned benchmarks — fifty laps of the pool, holding a plank for more than a minute, the perfect pushup, the first week you managed to jog 30 minutes a day — treat yo’ self! Choose a reward that won’t undo your hard work, like a mani-pedi, a massage, some new fitness swag, or a movie date. Regular treats can help you reach those milestones faster than you previously thought possible.
- Question Your Motives
A steady exercise habit can result in six-pack abs and bikini bodies, but superficial goals may lose their appeal after endless weeks of diet and exercise. Instead, try framing fitness as a direct path to health and happiness. Regular exercise has unexpected benefits including lowering cholesterol, slowing the aging process, boosting overall energy, and even increasing happiness. Bringing some deeper intentions to your workout can make all the difference in sticking to your goals. Before hitting your next workout, ask yourself some tough questions, like: Why did you make this resolution? What do you want to achieve? Developing answers that elicit a deep and powerful emotional response can help motivate your goals.
- Ask for Help
Not knowing how to do a certain exercise is no excuse to write it off completely. If you’re curious about new techniques, or find some exercises that are too intimidating book a session with a personal trainer to clear up confusion and help prevent injury, and learn to love your new moves. Trainers and instructors are there to help, so don’t be self-conscious about asking for advice.
- Keep Things Interesting
If your resolution is to exercise consistently three or four times per week, it’s time to think beyond the treadmill and the weight rack. Even for experienced gym rats, sticking to one or two types of exercise can get a little mind numbing. Experiment with outdoor group training, kettlebells, kickboxing and everything in between. The more variety in your exercise program, the more fun it will be to follow, and the more likely you’ll find something you absolutely love. The best way to test-drive a new form of exercise is to take a group class or book a session with a personal trainer — think of the extra cost as an investment in your health. Just remember to take care when trying new workouts, since incorrect technique can result in major resolution-breakers like injury or burnout.
- Keep a Schedule
Time management is super important for accomplishing any goal, and fitness is no exception. Research suggests that early morning exercise may be best — it’s a great way to fit a workout into a busy day, and it may encourage healthier eating and more movement throughout the day. But if waking up early is your idea of cruel and unusual torture, then sweating at 6 am is probably not a sustainable system. Make your fitness routine work for you: Pick a time of day when you have energy, schedule a workout, and rinse and repeat.
- Hold Yourself Accountable
Stay on track by putting your money where your mouth is: Pay in advance for an exercise program that demands attendance (like our 8 week challenge!). If working out with a group class isn’t your style, why not try semi-private personal training with friends or your partner to stay accountable. Knowing that someone’s waiting for you at the park can help prevent skipping workouts (or sleeping through them), and it’s a lot more fun than going it alone. Plus, according to some studies, sweating with a buddy improves results
10. Reevaluate Resolutions Often
How many people resolve to finish a marathon, only to realize they kind of hate distance running? Or decide to take up kickboxing and quickly learn they don’t particularly enjoy being punched? A lot of things seem like fun from a distance, but might not be a good fit in reality. If this happens to you, it’s time to switch gears and pick a different resolution. Remember all paths that lead to health are good ones.
So there you have it! Now that you are armed with the right strategies and mindset NOTHING can stand in your way of success this year! And to ensure you start your year off with STRUCTURE, ACCOUNTABILTY and SUPPORT we are launching our Bikini ATHLETIX 8 Week Challenge on January 11th. THIS PROGRAM WILL GUARRANTEE RESULTS. For more info see HERE