By this time of year, around 80% of us have given up on the New Year’s resolutions we set back in January. This probably doesn’t come as a shock – changing your health habits takes a lot of determination, but it can seem more difficult or downright impossible when you set the bar too high or don’t give yourself the tools to succeed.
But if 80% of people have fallen off the wagon, that means that 20% are still on track, or may have even already accomplished their goals. We salute you – that level of fortitude is seriously superhero status!
In honor of Nation Re-Commitment month, we have some tips to help you achieve your fitness aspirations, whether you’re starting from scratch or setting a completely new set of goals. Ka-pow!
- Revisit what worked and didn’t work
Take a step back and evaluate where you succeeded and where you fell short. Did you set a goal to work out every day, but just didn’t have enough time? Did you resolve to eat healthier, but got sidetracked by unhealthy options while out to dinner with friends? What happened that prevented you from reaching your goal, and how can you fix them? Or, what worked especially well that you can repeat?
- Make your resolutions concrete.
Avoid vague goals, like “I will work out more.” Instead, say something like, “I will start every morning with a 20-minute walk” or “I will attend at least three ILKB classes this week after work.” Being sure that your resolutions are measurable so you can assess daily whether or not you’re on track.
- Don’t wait for motivation to strike
Many people believe that motivation comes before action — “I felt motivated so I went.” But it’s actually the reverse: motivation often follows action! That’s why most people feel super motivated after breaking a sweat, instead of before. Try giving yourself permission to stop exercising after five minutes if you want. We bet that once you get moving, your motivation will have kicked in and you won’t want to stop!
- Catch some ZZZs
Studies show that our willpower is reduced when we don’t have enough sleep. When you’re tired, ghrelin (the hormone that regulates your appetite) goes up, while leptin (the hormone that makes you feel satisfied) goes down. So, even if you eat enough calories, if your body is exhausted, it will still send signals that it’s hungry, which will likely lead you to overeat.
- Be patient
Take a minute to look at how you feel and how your performance is improving before stressing about the number on the scale. Healthy weight loss is only between one and two pounds per week, so give yourself reasonable time to make progress. For example, keep track of how many burpees you can do without stopping to prove to yourself that you’re getting stronger and more fit.
- Gain support
No matter what your goal is, success begins with support. While it’s great to have friends and family who are close to you keep you on track, outside support – like one of your instructors or another member can give you a fresh perspective and open your eyes to new ideas to help meet your goals.