10 Practical Tips For Sticking To Your New Year Fitness Resolutions
Posted by Lydia Burdett
While it’s tempting to argue that the turn of the year is just an excuse to put off something you could start now, it’s hard to deny that it feels good to start fresh and set a new year fitness resolution. Maybe you had the best intentions in 2023 but just couldn’t get to grips with your goals and want to give it another go, or maybe you’ve realised that there’s no time quite like the present to get fitter, stronger and healthier. Whichever camp you fall into, deciding that you want to make a change should be the most difficult bit, yet many of us fall down when it comes to actually sticking to our fitness goals.
Making proper progress can be challenging if you haven’t planned how to turn your bright idea into a long-lasting habit, but there are some easy changes you can make and strategies you can adopt to ensure your new year fitness resolutions are a success. Follow these 10 practical tips and you will be seeing progress a-plenty in no time.
Keep Them Realistic
When it comes to new year fitness resolutions, you don’t need to be a record breaker. Setting ambitious goals is admirable but unrealistic expectations can lead to frustration and demotivation so make sure whatever you’re aiming for is actually achievable. Start with small, attainable milestones that lead up to your larger fitness aspiration. This way, you’ll feel like you’re making constant progress rather than feeling stuck in a rut that your main goal is still worlds away.
Work Towards An Event
With a series of small milestones under your belt, working towards an event is another great way to stick to your fitness resolutions. Whether it’s a half marathon, obstacle course race, triathlon or SUP event, having a tangible goal in the near future can provide additional motivation and structure to your routine. The prospect of crossing the finishing line gives your workouts a purpose beyond staying fit and keeps you on track with a set date to work towards.
Create A Schedule
Consistency is key to forming a lasting habit and achieving your fitness goals. Try to seamlessly integrate your workouts into your daily routine so that getting exercise done feels like second nature. You could always exercise before work, or stick to certain days of the week. Whatever suits you, scheduling specific times for exercise will make it all the more likely that you stick to your routine.
Write Them Down
One of the easiest things you can do to help stick to your new year fitness resolutions is to write them down somewhere. This doesn’t have to be on physical paper - you could add your goals to your phone lock screen, schedule reminders or add workouts to your calendar as diary events - but making your goals tangible is a great way to hold yourself accountable. These visual reminders will keep you focused on the journey and give you a bit of a motivational push on days when you don’t really feel like getting up and getting moving.
Train With A Friend
You can’t underestimate the power that training with a buddy can bring. You’re much less likely to skip a session when you have someone counting on you for company, and it’s also much more enjoyable to work out with a friend. This way, exercising quickly becomes a social occasion you look forward to, rather than a necessity you feel no choice but to bolt onto the end of your working day.
Invest In The Right Equipment
You also can’t underestimate the importance of having the right equipment. This doesn’t have to be the most advanced or expensive gear, but rather workout clothes you enjoy wearing and activity-specific accessories that actually do their job properly. Have a think about what might put you off hitting your goals too and invest in equipment that will help you to overcome that. For example, if you’re the type of person who wants to exercise outdoors but hides away at the sight of the rain or the cold, learn how to layer properly and invest in waterproof accessories like a jacket and kit bag to push through the barrier of getting wet!
Keep Things Varied
There’s no harm in mixing up your fitness routine now and again, especially if your goal is focused mainly on getting healthier and stronger as opposed to excelling in one particular pursuit. Even if you’re set on lifting a specific weight or running a certain distance, different types of training will always enhance your overall goal. Plus, having a break from the gym or treadmill is a great way to stop your routine from going stale and keep you motivated. Paddleboarding and open water swimming are fantastic ways to mix things up in the great outdoors and still have many fitness benefits even if they might feel very different to your usual training methods.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Setbacks happen to us all. If you miss a workout or feel like you’ve overindulged, don’t let it derail your entire plan. We all have days where we feel like doing very little, and there’s genuinely no harm in this. Just acknowledge that you don’t want every day to go that way and get back on track for your next session.
Remember To Rest
You don’t need to train or workout every day to see progress. In fact, overtraining can lead to injuries and hinder your long-term progress so it’s incredibly important that you set aside time to have a rest and prevent burnout. If you’re the type of person who simply cannot sit still, go for some active recovery. Head out for a walk or hike with friends, or enjoy less intense exercise like SUP yoga. Just make sure that you are not always going for the highest intensity option - you’ll be surprised how quickly you wear yourself out training this way.
Celebrate Your Progress
Don’t forget to acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small! Whether you reach a weight loss milestone, lift a new personal record, or manage to keep things consistent for an extended period of time, you should be proud of yourself. You could even set different rewards for different milestones, whether that’s a new piece of exercise clothing, an upgrade for your equipment, or a well-earned rest. However you choose to celebrate, setting aside time to recognise your progress will keep you motivated well after the initial buzz of setting a new year fitness resolution has worn off.