Now that the weather is warming up, a lot of us are thinking about warm weather, beaches, and (gulp) swimsuits. And if you’re like the majority of us who made fitness resolutions at the start of the new year, then you’re probably wishing you had worked a little harder on your fitness goals during the first few months of the year. But never fear—just as how it’s never too late to start your day over, it’s never too late in the year to renew your New Year’s resolutions.
So, in case you’re looking to renew your New Year’s resolution to get fit this spring, here is a brief guide to renewing your fitness resolution.
Make your goal specific and measurable.
Many of us make a general goal at the beginning of the year that sounds something like this: “I’m going to lose weight this year...somehow.” The problem with this type of goal that it is not specific, so making the transition from goal to action is very difficult. Moreover, this type of goal isn’t measurable, so you can’t even know whether or not you’ve achieved it at some point during the year. So, when renewing your resolution to get fit, be sure to make that goal specific and measurable. Maybe your goal will be “to lose five pounds per month by working out for 30 minutes five times a week.” Once you set a goal like this, follow up by creating an action plan, such as which workouts you plan to do on which days of the week.
Designate a specific time to work out.
Many people approach a new workout plan by saying that they are simply going to “find time” every day to do it. With this approach, however, you’ll usually end up squeezing those workouts in late in the evening, or just skipping them altogether. If you really want your fitness resolution to stick, be sure to assign a specific time for it in your daily routine from the get-go. Much like how you have to create a budget for your paycheck before it comes (more on that here), you need to “budget” your day before it hits so that you spend it wisely. You can work out whenever works best for you, be it before work, right after work, or during your lunch break. This article has some great tips on getting that daily workout in, even when you have a desk job.
Do something new every two weeks.
Much of the time, people lose steam on keeping their fitness resolutions simply because they get bored. The same workout regimen simply gets old after doing it over and over. The solution? Plan out your fitness regimen in two-week increments, committing to one workout regimen for the first two weeks, another regimen for the next two weeks, and so forth. You can alternate between two different workout programs, jump around to several different workout programs, or whatever you like. The benefits here are that you’re less likely to get bored, and you gain exposure to a variety of workout styles. Who knows—maybe you’ll end up finding a workout program that you know you can stick to for the long haul!
Enlist a resolution buddy.
It may be annoying to have someone nagging at you on the daily, asking you if you’ve done your daily workout—but, oh, how much you’ll love that someone after they’ve successfully held you accountable for sticking to your fitness regimen after several weeks! If you don’t have one already, enlist a friend or two you can rely on to hold you accountable for sticking to your fitness goals. Perhaps start a group chat on your phone that you must report to at the end of each day. Or, perhaps you can have a friend text you at your designated workout time to ask if you did your workout. You might even ask a friend to join you for your daily workout.
Work on slowly improving your diet.
Obviously, you could write an entire blog post alone on which foods are best for achieving your fitness goals. But for now, suffice it to say that you should be eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet if you really want to achieve your fitness goals. You don’t have to take an all-or-nothing approach, either; just start out slow! If you aren’t proud of how you eat currently, start listening to your body after you exercise. Exercise has a way of weaning out cravings for unhealthy foods and instead urging you to eat healthy foods. Include more and more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, and supplement them with lean meats (or another source of protein) and whole grains for sustained energy. If you need to, start keeping a food journal where you record what you eat daily. You’ll likely be surprised at the things you snack on during the day, and it can motivate you to change how you eat if you need to.