It’s officially here – the season of “New Year, New You” and resolutions and big plans for big changes in the next 365 days. One of the biggest categories in which people always plan on improving their lives every time New Year’s Eve rolls around is bettering their health and fitness. It’s a noble resolution and one definitely worth striving for, but where so many fall short and end up disappointed with the results as January gives way to February and the year goes on is in the size of the goals they set. Setting unrealistic goals and giving yourself no road-map to achieve them almost guarantees you’ll fall off the wagon. So how do you avoid it? Here are a few things to consider as you look to improve your health and fitness in the coming year.
New Year, New You?
Oh man, we see this message EVERYWHERE this time of year, and honestly, it may do more harm than good. Newsflash: you don’t need a whole new you to make 2018 the best year yet. Don’t worry about a complete overhaul of yourself. Instead, focus on a few key areas in your health and fitness where you would like to improve and make your resolutions specific to those areas.
Don’t set lofty goals. Don’t get wild and crazy and expect to place in a marathon when the most you’ve ever run is a 10k. Being realistic, but ambitious in your goal-setting is the key to success and progress. Look at the areas you’ve identified where you’d really like to see some change in the next year. Now, consider measurable progress points you can work toward, and figure out how you’ll get there while pushing yourself, but without pushing yourself so hard that you end up facing serious setbacks thanks to injury.
Find Different Reward Systems
We have to bring this one up because we’ve seen it derail some of the best-laid fitness plans time and time again. Don’t reward reaching your fitness goals (or any goals for that matter) with unhealthy food choices and “cheat days.” We’ve always said that a healthy lifestyle doesn’t come from “diets,” it comes from consistent choices and a commitment to choosing foods and exercise routines that help your body work at its highest level. Rewarding yourself with a greasy burger or half a pizza isn’t going to get you where you want to go for two reasons. First, it undoes a lot of the work you put in to get to the point where you could indulge. Second, and perhaps more importantly, it frames healthy food in your mind as something you have to tolerate until you can cross a finish line. There’s no way to sustain a positive, healthy, whole-food based diet when you’re constantly waiting for your next greasy, sugary fix. Whole foods are not the enemy (and hey, neither is the occasional pizza slice), so adjusting your reward system to include something like that book you’ve been wanting to buy or a favorite record is a much better way to benchmark your progress.
Keep it Consistent
Like we mentioned above, consistency is key when it comes to lifestyle change. That’s why setting realistic goals is so important, because you need to be able to make the choices that will help you reach those goals every day without increasing your daily effort too much.
If you are looking to change your health and fitness goals and routines in 2018, check out our classes!. And as always, keep those goals heart-healthy, too. Here’s to your healthiest year yet!