6 Tips to Help You Stick to Your Health Goals
New year, new health goals? You may also need new ways to make your efforts stick. You won't feel the same amount of motivation every day.
Luckily, motivation isn't what gets results — discipline and consistency do. With the right tricks up your sleeve, you can push through the slumps and ensure you don't give up.
Keep reading for six ideas for how to stick to your health and fitness goals in the New Year.
1. Use Tools to Track Progress Toward Your New Year Health Goals
Having objective data showing your progress can keep you going when your subjective perspective isn't helping. There are many tools you can use depending on your New Year fitness goals. For example, if you want to get in shape, a heart rate monitor can help you track your fitness level over time. If you want to lose weight, checking the scale isn't the best help because muscle mass weighs more than fat. However, smartwatches and even smartphone apps like Google Fit can track the calories you burn during a workout.
You can also use fitness trackers to log your workout in terms of targets like weight lifted or distance run. The benefit of using technology instead of pen and paper is you can run analytics with the data and get a clear picture of your progress made.
2. Get a Personal Trainer or Health Coach
Do you have specific New Year health goals like shaping your physique or being able to run a 10k race? A personal trainer can build a tailored program to help streamline your efforts. Besides pushing you harder than you might push yourself, a personal trainer offers loads of knowledge you can put to use.
If you feel like you have your workouts down but need help sticking with your nutrition goals, consider teaming up with a health coach to get you on track for 2022. Like personal trainers, health coaches can provide a wealth of knowledge and prescribe a program tailored to your goals. They can recommend the right supplements, help you plan nutritious meals, train you on calorie counting and weigh in on your workout regimen.
3. Join a Fitness Class
Signing up for a regular fitness class is a great way to mix up your workout routine while boosting motivation. Scientific studies have documented improved fitness outcomes for people exercising with others compared to those exercising alone. Researchers have primarily attributed the psychological benefits of social interaction to better physical performance during workouts. You also take home new skills to better your workouts, whether you try kettlebell training, Pilates, or circuit training. Make sure the class you join challenges you to push your limits.
4. Grow a Support Network
Even if you don't join a fitness class or work with a coach, you can still team up with an accountability partner working toward their own health goals. Sharing your goals with friends or family members can boost your motivation to follow through. Having someone who checks in about your healthy eating and workout routine from time to time helps reinforce the commitments you've made to yourself.
Just knowing you're not alone in your undertaking can go a long way in getting you through tough times on your fitness journey. When you can celebrate your wins with people in the same boat, you also have more to look forward to.
5. Create Rewards for Benchmarks Reached
When you have health goals you want to achieve, doing the work consistently is the most important aspect. Besides the tips mentioned so far, avoiding burnout is key to staying consistent. Creating rewards for pre-determined milestones reached helps you pace yourself. When you always have a visible step in front of you, it's easier to take action.
The milestones or benchmarks on the way to your fitness goals can be small improvements like moving up to lifting a heavier set of weights. It could be an extra mile you run or completing an extra circuit in high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Whether the reward is getting a massage, taking time out of your schedule to enjoy a movie, or buying your favorite food, make sure it's something you anticipate with pleasure.
6. Nurture Your Mindset
It's no secret that following through with your New Years' resolutions requires you to be... well — resolute. Upping your health and fitness level also means developing your determination and mental stamina. To keep mind over matter and avoid wavering on your goals, it's important you take the time to nurture your mindset for success.
Pick up a book on a topic like goal setting or attaining a successful mindset for inspiration. Keep a journal to help you stay mindful, self-reflect, and manage stress. When you notice excuses creep up, write about them and remind yourself why you want to achieve your goals. Guilting yourself doesn't work! If you tend to beat yourself up over a setback, focus instead on the solution and preventing setbacks going forward. Finally, avoid comparing yourself to others by calibrating to your past.
Final Tips for Reaching Your New Year Health Goals in 2022
If you haven't already, be sure to write down or type out your health and fitness goals for 2022. Keep your written commitments somewhere you'll see them, like on your refrigerator. You also need visible signs of your progress. Take a picture of what your body looks like at the start of the year. Remember to take a snapshot once a month or every week so you can witness the results of your hard work.
Enjoy the journey, and don't forget to reward your achievements!