The New Year has come and gone and so have the resolutions of countless individuals. For many, New Year’s fitness resolutions are some of the quickest ones to fall off the radar. If you struggle with staying on track with fitness goals (or even forgetting them entirely over time), it’s important to make an effort to stay focused. Here are some tips and strategies to help you stay on track with your fitness goals far beyond January 1st.
1. Create a List of Fitness Benefits
Going for a run at the end of a long day at work can feel like a drag. Hitting the gym before sunrise can feel impossible. Taking a midday break for a workout routine can be overwhelming. This antagonistic relationship with working out can quickly undermine your determination to stay in shape.
One of the easiest ways to counteract a negative relationship with fitness is to regularly remind yourself why getting in shape is beneficial to your body, mind, and soul.
With this in mind, come up with a list of fitness benefits that are personal to you. This list should start with basics, like maintaining your physical body. However, you should look further than that.
For instance, working out can help you sleep better at night. A good fitness regimen can prolong your life expectancy. Exercising regularly can be instrumental in reducing your anxiety and managing stress. By maintaining a positive perspective, you can stay motivated and even excited about working toward your fitness goals.
2. Do Your Research
Knowledge is power, especially when you’re talking about physical fitness. Don’t just head to the gym and follow basic workout recommendations. Take the time to research what activities are best for you. This research should include your personal physical condition, your schedule, your natural strengths, and even your interests. You can use your research to tailor your workouts for maximum productivity each and every time you work up a sweat. This will naturally lead to better results, which can help you stay motivated and focused on your fitness goals.
3. Stay Body-Positive
Everyone’s fitness journey has its ups and downs. The former can be exhilarating. However, the latter can be absolutely deflating. Gaining weight, suffering an injury, and other setbacks can make you want to throw in the towel.
This is where the ability to stay body-positive is crucial. From Instagram to brand ambassadors, the beauty industry has been navigating body positivity for a while now, and the same mindset should be applied at the gym as well. If you focus on insecurities about your physique, it’s easy to become dissatisfied and discouraged.
Instead, remember that your body is part of who you are. It’s a critical piece of your story that has led you to fight for your fitness. This attitude naturally helps you stay satisfied with the journey to your fitness goals and not just the goals themselves.
4. Set Multiple Goals
The concept of “fitness goals” is often boiled down to a single, vague, unachievable level of Herculean physique. When this is the case, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed as you plod along toward your infinitely out-of-reach fitness objectives.
Instead, take the time to set SMART goals. These are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based objectives. They should be for both the short- and long-term. Short-term objectives provide small steps that you can focus on as you go along. Long-term goals give you a larger target to steer toward, helping you stay patient, disciplined, and hardworking in the process. Setting a step goal for the day can work as a short term daily goal that helps you achieve the longer-term goal of overall fitness. Consider adding hiking or walking into your fitness plan as a low impact way to reach your goals.
5. Track Your Progress
It can be difficult to reach a goal if you have no idea how far along you are in achieving it. This is why tracking your progress is essential. This doesn’t just have to revolve around obsessing over your weight, either. On the contrary, feel free to ditch your scale if it’s doing more harm than good.
However, it’s still important to find metrics that you can track. These could be trips to the gym, calories burned, daily time spent exercising, or any other applicable target that you can use a fitness tracker or other app to measure.
6. Get an Accountability Partner
Finally, make sure that you have an accountability partner to help you stay focused. This can be someone who shares the same goals and engages in similar activities as you. However, even if you simply confide with a loved one or a third party who is committed to checking in on your progress, it will still do a world of good. Having that extra level of accountability can keep a fire under your butt even when you’re tempted to ease up or stop entirely.
Staying on Track
There are many ways you can stay on track with your fitness goals. The crucial first step is making a commitment to do so in the first place. If you’re not willing to stay on track, no amount of accountability or positivity is going to keep you going when things get tough.
So take this opportunity to seriously commit to your health and fitness. Then review the suggestions above and find ways that you can keep yourself on the straight and narrow as you work toward a healthier future.
Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. Since finishing college he is trying his hand at being a freelance writer. He enjoys writing on a variety of topics but health and wellness topics are his favorite. When he isn’t writing you can find him traveling, hiking, or gaming.