8 Ways to Make Your Fitness Resolutions Stick in 2023
With the dawning of another year, how will you make this one different from all the years that came before in terms of your fitness resolutions? If you do what you did before, you’re likely to get what you got before as well. But, if you want this year to be different, to be the year you make some real changes in your fitness and health journey, then it’s time to make some bold moves. Here’s how…
8 Ways to Make Your Fitness Resolutions Stick
Before you begin, you have to decide what you really want. This first step is the most important in your mission to stick with your fitness resolutions. Think about it: if you don’t know very specifically what you want and where you’re going, how will you know when you get there and you achieve it?
Having a solid vision of the fitness outcomes you seek will also help you make decisions in your day-to-day life. When deciding to do or not to do something, think about your goals. Ask yourself, “Will this action bring me closer to or further away from my goals?” Once you know the direction your actions will take you, it’s easier to know what to do.
2. Decide Why You Want It
This will be a powerful motivator to you when you’re feeling the urge to go off plan. Really take some time to hash this out and get to the core reasons why you want to be healthy and fit. For example, maybe it’s about more than looking good at the beach this summer. Maybe it’s really about staying healthy so you can play with your kids, or being a role model to a friend who struggles with their health. Maybe it’s your health that you’re worried about, and you know you need to make changes if you’re going to live a long and happy life.
Whatever the motivation, ask yourself “why” you want to do this. Then continue asking yourself why that is important to you until you uncover the real whys underneath.
3. Write It Down!
This makes it real. When you move something from a nebulous thought out of your head and onto the paper, you are making it into a “thing,” no longer just a thought. Plus, when you write down what you want and why you want it, it will solidify it for you as something important. You can also take out this list and review it often. This will help you stick to your goals and prevent you from faltering when you feel like you’re wavering.
What’s the best way to organize and write down your goals? Try the “S.M.A.R.T.” system of goal setting. What is a SMART goal? It’s a way of writing down your goals that lays them out in a way that’s easier to manage and achieve. Follow this template:
Specific—Making your goals very specific helps you narrow your focus to exactly what you want to achieve. Instead of “I want to get healthier and more fit,” try writing “I choose to exercise at least three to six days per week.”
Measurable—Just like in sports, where everything is measured and monitored, so it should be with your goals. Keep track of your starting point (so you can see how far you’ve come) and then monitor your weekly or bi-weekly progress. For example, get out your calendar and plan your three workouts per week, so you can mark them off as you finish each workout.
Achievable—Your fitness resolutions should be reasonably achievable. No one can workout every day. You need rest days, and sometimes life can get in the way. So, setting a goal to move your body more and exercise just three to five days per week is much more likely to be achieved.
Relevant—Are your fitness goals aligned with your other goals? For example, will your workouts help you gain strength, improve your health stats, or even spend more time with a friend or loved one as you exercise together?
Timebound—Here is where you put it all on a deadline and map out a plan to help you stick to your fitness resolutions by breaking up your goals into manageable, doable chunks.
4. Create a Timeline
Great! So, now you know what you want. You know why you want it. Now it’s time to figure out when this has to happen for you. Is this a goal that you want to achieve in the next three months, six months, or by the end of this year? Take some time to determine a realistic endpoint for your endeavors.
Worth noting: it may be overwhelming if you look at things from this end. However, if you can look at some dates over the next year and create some deadlines for yourseIf, you’ll feel more in control and you’ll have an outline to create your full game plan. For example, maybe you want to be able to do 20 pushups by summer.
Figure out how many you can do now (your starting stats). Subtract that number from your goal number. Say, for example, you can do 2 push-ups and want to do 20. You need to improve by 18 push-ups. Next, see by how many you will need to improve each week to ultimately hit your goal, based on your deadline. So, if you improve by 2 push-ups a week, it will take 9 weeks to hit your goal of 20 pushups. This will provide you with weekly and monthly targets.
Strength is only one goal. Your goal may be to go from the couch to a 5K. Or maybe it’s increased flexibility, and you want to be able to touch your toes, hold a certain yoga pose, or even do the splits by summer. Give yourself some milestones, so you can celebrate your successes along the way.
5. Get Into a Routine
Creating good habits is merely a matter of getting yourself into a series of good routines. It can be a little tough trying new things at first, but stick it out! It takes a few weeks to get used to a new habit, so give yourself some grace as you navigate toward your new parameters.
Decide what you need to do to make your fitness resolutions a reality and then start implementing those changes. It can be a good idea to aim for only one or two changes at most until they are fully ingrained and a normal part of your routine. Once you’re solid, go ahead and add some more good habits.
6. Visualize It
There’s nothing more powerful than your brain and your imagination. Why not harness this power to make your fitness goals your reality this year? Picture exactly what you want in vivid detail. What do you feel like? How do you look? What do you see, how do you feel, what do things smell like, what are you wearing? How are people reacting to you? Do you act differently? Do you carry yourself differently? Imagine all the details and hold that picture in your mind as often as you can.
7. Enlist a Partner
Everything is better with a buddy. Having a friend or partner travel on your fitness journey with you can make a huge difference in how you perceive things and in your ability to stick with the program. You won’t want to let each other down, and you’ll have someone to lean on when the going gets tough. Plus, you might even have a build-in workout partner!
8. Reward Yourself!
Place some “carrots” along your timeline, too, for fun and motivation. Why not treat yourself to some fresh new gym wear or running shoes once you reach a milestone. Or, maybe a massage or getting your hair or nails done is more your style. Heck, maybe it’s a trip you’ve been wanting to take. Whatever you decide, make sure you have some rewards to look forward to as you progress through your deadlines.
Remember, if you don’t want things to be the same way they always have been, then this is your year to break out of the rut and do something different. Ditch all the things that didn’t work for you in the past, and use the tips provided here to make your fitness resolutions stick this year.