5 tips to help you actually follow through with your New Year’s fitness resolutions

It’s 12:01am on January 1st and you’ve just promised yourself that this will be the year that you finally start to take better care of yourself. You’ll eat healthier, you’ll exercise more, and who knows, maybe you’ll even take up yoga. So the next day, you sign up at your local gym, you buy new activewear, and you acquire a juicer. Your motivation and resolve is at an all-time high. 

And then life happens. Those 6am wakeup calls start feeling more impossible, those morning runs start getting boring, and you realise that you never even liked juice in the first place. Before you know it, you’re right back where you started.

If this sounds like you, don’t worry – we’ve all been there. You’re not the only one who struggles to follow through with their health-related New Year’s resolutions. Research tells us that more than 80% of people who make resolutions at the start of a new year give up on their goals by February. Ouch.

We’ve all heard the saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Yet every January, hoards of well-intentioned people fall into the same trappings of previous years, making lofty goals in hopes that this year will be different. But the truth is that the approach you used in the past probably failed for a reason, and if you’re hoping to use the same approach for the fifth year in a row, you’re probably going to be left disappointed… for the fifth year in a row. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. With some careful and strategic planning, it’s totally possible for 2021 to be the year that you actually make meaningful changes to your health habits. 

Read on to learn our top 5 tips to help you follow through with your 2021 New Year’s fitness resolutions.

 

1. Start small

The ‘no pain, no gain’ mentality that saturates much of the fitness industry makes it tempting for us to dive straight into big commitments and ambitious goals. However, trying to take on too much at one time can be overwhelming and also, quite frankly, unrealistic. This can in turn erode confidence and weaken your intentions to follow through with your resolutions.

Rather than trying to do everything at once, start your year by building confidence and momentum with smaller, more achievable resolutions. It’s great to have a BHAG (a Big Hairy Audacious Goal), but you’re more likely to achieve it if you use smaller goals as a way to build up to it. For example, if your New Year’s fitness resolution is to run a marathon, start small by resolving to attend your local parkrun every week. These small wins will give you the confidence boost you need to power through the rest of the year. 

 2. Be strategic

When the going gets tough, it’s easy to abandon ship. There’s a reason why the majority of health-related New Year’s resolutions have been ditched come February and March. After January, life starts to get busy again; the kids are back at school, we’re back at work, and the days start getting shorter and cooler.

This is why it’s important to be strategic and realistic with your resolutions. You’re more likely to be successful with your goals if you’ve set yourself up for success. If you’re time poor, don’t sign up for a gym 45 minutes away from your office – instead, sign up for a gym within walking distance from your workplace so that you can go during your lunch breaks. If you’re usually rushed and frantic in the mornings, don’t book a yoga class at 6am  – instead, take into account your work/family/social commitments and then book your classes around them. You’re far more likely to stick to your resolutions if they’re convenient and can be integrated seamlessly into your existing timetable. 

3. Find ways to make it enjoyable

Sticking to a New Year’s fitness resolution shouldn’t feel like some kind of sick punishment for a wrong you committed in a past life. It’s normal to feel unmotivated some days, but exercising shouldn’t feel like torture. If it does, then perhaps consider changing up your activity. With so many different types of exercise on the market now, you’re bound to find something you like with some exploration and experimentation.

Another great way to make exercising more enjoyable is to couple it with another activity that you love. For example, if you’re a social person who enjoys catching up with friends, why not schedule a hike or a run with a friend so that you can complete your workout and have a chat at the same time? If you’re a big foodie who loves to eat out, you could treat yourself to Saturday brunch every week after your Pilates class. If you’re a fan of podcasts, set aside your morning runs as your workout time and podcast time. By finding little ways to up the enjoyment factor of your fitness resolutions, they’ll start to feel less like a chore and more like self-care. 

4. Be patient

On average, it takes about 66 days for a new habit to form. In reality, it takes up to six months for a habit to become a part of your personality, so it’s important to be patient with yourself. The key here is consistency and persistence. You might not notice any changes in two weeks, or even two months, but if you approach your resolutions with patience and diligence, the changes will eventually come around. On the other hand, if you expect huge changes straight away, you’re more likely to throw in the towel once the initial excitement wears off. Remember: slow and steady wins the race.

5. Find someone to keep you accountable

Whether it be a friend or a family member or a personal trainer, it’s essential that you find someone who will keep you accountable and on track to follow through with your plans. It’s much easier to stick to your health and fitness commitments when there are people around you rooting for your success. 

If you’re someone who struggles with accountability, you may want to consider hiring a personal trainer. How many times have we all said to ourselves, “I’m going to wake up tomorrow at 6am and go to the gym before work”, only to sleep in for another hour in the morning? This is where a PT comes in. When working with a personal trainer, you’re much less likely to skip a workout or hit the snooze button or cheat a set because there is someone at the other end who is keeping you accountable for your actions.

 At Jim’s Personal Training, our trainers will keep you on track to follow through with your fitness-related goals. If you want this year to be the year that you follow through with your resolutions, give us a call and we’ll make it happen.