The Quick Guide to Your Fitness Resolutions
If “getting in shape” has been a resolution you can’t seem to keep, you probably have it as a 2019 resolution too.
There’s nothing like the feeling of a fresh start. It’s like when January 1st rolls around, we are ready to promise to do better, but the majority of us abandon these resolutions before March.
So for this go-round, I need you to start thinking of a different strategy to hit these fitness goals. There are a few tactics that you can learn instead of relying on willpower, discipline, or even motivation that may help you achieve more.
After you check out a few new approaches for your resolution, be sure to check out nine healthy resolutions that could help you lose weight.
Guide to Fitness Resolutions
#1 - Start Now
No matter when you read this, start right now. While Monday and January 1st are both days that many people set goals to start on, getting the jump on it now can be beneficial.
If you can’t immediately start, pick a completely random day. Birthday resolutions are also gaining momentum.
#2 - Try Shorter Resolutions
A year isn’t a long time, but then again it is. No matter what resolutions you have, any major shift you have in mind comes down to what you do today.
This means you need to have an “end of day” approach to your goals.
Ideally, you want to set a resolution that is achievable and doesn’t require perfection. There needs to be something you can do every single day to get closer to that resolution.
Breaking things down into a 24-hour period can help avoid procrastination and it is very helpful for dealing with what happens if you fail a little bit. Tomorrow is a fresh start, so that small misstep doesn’t need to weigh you down.
Come up with a day to day plan of what you need to accomplish to get closer to your goal. For every goal, make sure you do that one thing every day that will get you closer. If you are trying to lose weight, that could be finding new recipes, learning how to cook, or practicing a sport.
#3 - Your Goal Needs an Endpoint
Without getting too deep into setting goals, the ideal goal is going to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. This is why two very common pieces of advice when setting a goal is to make the goal achievable and specific.
But what does that mean?
Instead of saying you want to “eat healthier,” go one step further and commit to one extra serving of vegetables per meal. This gives you a blueprint of what you’re supposed to do, and when. Adding a timeframe or potential endpoint to your goals help you get a sense of progress.
Sure, you’ve eaten a salad today… who cares? If simply opting to eat healthier, you’re going to eventually run out of steam to keep forcing down vegetables.
When you set out to add an extra serving or two of fruit per day, you can start thinking about all of the different choices you have.
To understand your progress, you need to be able to measure how you are doing. It’s really hard to set new goals when you don’t know how you are changing from week to week.
#4 - Count Successes Often
Taking a win feels good. Setting yourself up for some micro successes along your journey will push you to keep going.
Instead of only counting your goal as a win, learn to benchmark your progress as you go. Every time you achieve a certain level of achievement, bask in the glory of your hard work.
It’s a double-edged sword, though.
If you’re one of those people who like to use food as a reward, these micro-wins may not be for you. Once you can get past using food as a reward, you will start catapulting your progress toward your goal. So every time you look in the mirror and you see a new vein pop or a new muscle bulging, take the win.
Clothes fitting better? Win. You broke personal records and feel like you could keep going? Win. Skipped your nightly dessert? Win.
Take the wins and use that as motivation to achieve more.
#5 - Visualize Your Results
If you’ve made it this far into the article, here is where goals are met or missed.
It’s going to take a lot of habit changes and lifestyle choices to reach your fitness goal, but there’s a process to it. That process can take a long time and you will have to break a lot of old habits.
There’s considerable power in being able to visualize your results — as if you’ve already met those goals.
This is where being as specific as possible with your goals comes in. Instead of just picturing a certain number on the scale, go one step further and visualize yourself putting on the clothes you want to wear, zipping up the zipper and having some room to spare, and feeling as good as you look.
Visualization trains your mind the same way working out trains your body. You’ll start craving those images of succeeding.
It sounds like it’s one of those “wish it to be true” scenarios, but it isn’t. The visualizations will pull you to get on your cardio machine at home. It will push you to stop cleaning dishes and do some exercise.
You can’t achieve your goals just by thinking about them — action will be necessary. Visualization just helps guide you along that path.
9 Resolutions That Could Help You Lose Weight
The first go-round with weight loss for me relied on all of the myths I try to debunk in my articles.
You see, you don’t have to go to the gym to slave off those calories you ate. You don’t have to lift until your hands bleed and you don’t need to simply eat salads.
No, you won’t last if you get on a fad diet. No, you really can’t out-exercise a crap diet.
Trust me, I tried it once, and I’ve learned a lot after losing 120 pounds…twice.
So with that, here are nine different resolutions that don’t involve swearing your life away to a gym.
#1 - Try Something New
Walk through the grocery store and pick up a vegetable you’ve never had. Sign up for an exercise class or sport.
Get outside of your comfort zone — it will help you create healthier habits and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
#2 - Think Positive
Studies show all of the negative thinking and chatter in your mind can spike cortisol levels. This can lead to chronic stress and health issues.
Find a mantra that encourages positive thinking that you like saying. It can be something as easy as “I’ve got this” or “I am good enough.” Whatever it is, say it daily and as often as you can.
Mine is “life’s easy.”
#3 - Meditate for 10 Minutes Daily
If you rolled your eyes reading this, I understand. Instead of thinking about sitting in a position that isn’t comfortable, turn your phone off for 10 minutes. If you can unplug and unwind, essentially shutting your mind down, for 10 minutes a day, studies show that it can alleviate anxiety, muscle and joint pain, stress, and much more.
#4 - Learn to Cook
I personally found this to be the best thing I ever put effort into. Cooking is my meditation time and it’s by far the best return on investment I’ve made.
Turning my free time into learning new recipes, learning how to sharpen knives, and practice knife skills have all paid off in 120 pounds lost so far — without really exercising or losing muscle.
Find new flavors, try new food, enjoy life.
#5 - Get Outside More
It’s no secret, studies show that natural light increases your serotonin levels — elevate your mood.
Go outside for at least 10 minutes a day and clear your mind. Getting some sunshine in the morning will help you feel calmer and sleep better.
#6 - Put Yourself First
Your life ultimately goes where your priorities are. You need to let go of that guilt and start giving yourself the time you need to succeed. Don’t be upset if you have to turn down happy hour plans so you can go home and catch up on some sleep.