With 2016 coming to a close, you’re probably busy at work brainstorming a set of New Year’s resolutions. And while the old joke goes that gyms are packed on Jan. 1 only to turn into ghost towns a week later, studies show that 8% of people actually stick to their New Year’s resolutions and reap the rewards of all their hard work. Here are our top 10 tips for joining the Elite 8 and making your goals a reality. Bring on 2017!
1. Short-term goals = Long-term results
People who break their resolutions into smaller tasks typically have more success. Rather than make your resolution a broad one like “Finish my first 5K,” fragment that resolution into a more manageable “Run three miles this week” and build on your goal from there. You’ll be crossing the finish line before you know it.
2. Focus on the journey, not the outcome
If you stick to resolutions that you actually have control over, you’ll have a better guarantee of success. You can want to lose 15 pounds, but you can’t magically force them off. Instead, stick to a resolution like ‘I’ll go to the gym five days a week and fill half my plate with veggies at every meal.’
3. Fit your resolution into your schedule
We’re all super busy. So, schedule gym sessions into your calendar just like you would work meeting or a haircut. You can even set an alert on your phone that goes off 30 minutes before you’re supposed to hit the gym. Setting those reminders will make it harder for you to brush off your appointment with yourself.
4. Use the buddy system
Everything is more fun with a friend. Enlist a workout buddy, or find a friend who also shares a fitness resolution, and exercise together whether it be a daily walk around the block or a weekly fitness class. By having a partner in crime, you’ll enjoy looking forward to get exercise and will be determined not to let them down.
5. Share your goals
Shout your resolutions from the rooftop, and you’ll be more likely to keep them. It’s called ‘social accountability.’ Plus, with Facebook at your fingertips, you can tell hundreds of people at a time!
6. Keep a log
Tracking your progress daily keeps your resolution top of mind. If your goal is to incorporate more veggies into your diet and avoid processed sugar, write down everything you eat. It will help you see where you’re slipping up and where you’re kicking butt. Plus, knowing you have to write down what you eat will make it that much harder for you to scarf down those 12 Oreos…
7. Get an app
Technology can be blamed for making us couch potatoes, but it can also be used as a tool to whip yourself into shape. For every resolution that exists, there’s an app for that. Great fitness and diet apps include: Couch to 5K; Zombies, Run!; Fitnnet; Sworkit; Fooducate; ShopWell; and mySugr. Happy app-ing!
8. Celebrate victories
You’ve earned it! Just make sure the rewards you choose don’t work against your goal (like not going to the gym all week because you hit your goal of going five times the week before). Think of a way you can treat yourself, like taking a long, relaxing bubble bath every week you reach your fitness goal. It’s a positive reward that will actually help make a healthier, happier you.
9. Reassess your resolutions
If something just isn’t working, then it’s OK to modify your resolution. After all, resolutions are about self-improvement, not perfection. If you can’t run 15 miles a week, you tried. Reduce it to 10 miles and keep trying. That’s 520 miles you’ll have run by the end of the year, and that’s something to be darn proud of.
10. Never give up
Don’t throw in the towel because of one setback, or even 10 setbacks. It happens. If getting fit was that easy, it wouldn’t be everyone’s go-to resolution year after year. Remember, little mistakes aren’t a reason to give up on big goals. Forgive yourself and push forward, and you’ll meet your goals in no time.
What are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2017? Post them in the comments!