Proven ways for sticking to your New Year fitness resolutions
According to research, most people give up on their New Year goals by the fourth Thursday in January
In the week between Christmas and New Year, motivation to realise your fitness resolutions is usually very high. You've probably had the date set firmly in sight for some time, seeing it as an ample opportunity to burn off the festive food and drink.
However, when that initial motivation wanes, life can get in the way and leave those resolutions dead in the water before the month is out.
To ensure your fitness resolutions come to fruition, body transformation specialists Ultimate Performance have helped to provide a four-point plan of action. With this attainable advice, you'll find it easier to stick to your New Year fitness resolutions and achieve the results you want.
1. Always set a SMART goal
The trouble with most fitness resolutions? They're too fuzzy, non-specific or just over-ambitious.
Just saying 'I want to lose some weight', or 'I want to build muscle' will get you nowhere fast.
The best way to realise your resolution is to set a SMART goal - one that is:
Take the goal of 'I want to lose some body fat.' A better goal following the SMART principle would be:
'I want to lose 15kg (specific) of body fat in 15 weeks (measurable, achievable, time-bound), so I can turn up to my 25th birthday looking in the best shape of my life.'
Once you've set your goal and you have a specific time-frame, write it down, stick it somewhere you'll see every day to keep it front of mind, and make it a number one priority in your life.
Some examples of where to stick the written goal include on your bathroom mirror or inside your wardrobe.
For the SMART goal to succeed, commit to your meal plan and schedule workouts in your weekly schedule as if they are important work meetings.
2. Create the right habits
Consistency is key when it comes to achieving your New Year fitness resolutions. Finding that consistency comes down to building good habits into your lifestyle and daily routine.
Regardless of your specific goal, there are a number of habits that all successful fitness goals follow.
- Eat every two to four hours.
- Every meal should contain protein
- Eat vegetables with each meal
- Eat a mix of healthy fats daily
- Stick to lower-GI carbs, ideally after training and/or before bed
- Drink a minimum of three litres of water per day
These key habits are easily tailored to your individual resolution. For instance, those looking to build muscle may require a slightly higher number of carbohydrates and calories per day.
3. Hold yourself accountable
Once you've set your goals and created good habits, you need to stay accountable to your plan.
Hiring an experienced personal trainer is the most obvious method - having a professional overseeing your progress can help you achieve great results.
But another easy and effective method is simply to tell your family, friends, or followers on social media what you're trying to achieve. This will instantly make you more accountable and more likely to stick to your New Year goals.
Find a great training partner who is just as driven and as motivated as you to achieve results.
If you're not feeling in the mood to train after a hard day at work but your training partner is, you're going to be less likely to let them down by not showing up.
Equally, if you struggle with sticking to a diet, find yourself a 'diet partner' - someone who is on the same journey as you, or just a family member who is willing to keep you accountable.
At the end of each day, message your diet partner with the following information:
- Morning bodyweight [e.g. 80kg]
- Daily step total [e.g. 12,000 steps]
- Training summary [e.g. lower body workout]
- Food diary of the day
4. Set performance goals in the gym
If you're going to maintain progress towards your fitness resolution and keep going to the gym, training needs to be fun and have a focus.
Regularly setting yourself a performance goal is a great way of providing the continue when motivation may be low.
You can set your '15kg in 15 weeks' weight loss goal, but add in extra performance goals such as 'I want to be able to bench press 80kg by week 6' or 'perform 10 bodyweight pull-ups with perfect form by week 15'.
Creating these micro-goals will give you small wins week-by-week which will keep you motivated and more likely to push on to achieve your end goal.
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