Hopping on the New Year’s Resolution fitness bandwagon may seem cliché — especially if you’ve done it before, only to find yourself on the couch every night come February. Don’t worry, though: you are not alone. Only eight percent of people actually follow through with their New Year’s resolutions by the end of the year,
I Have found these to be very helpful and still applicable a month into the year. – Jay
6 Hacks to Help You Stick to Your New Year’s Fitness Resolutions
Most people don’t achieve their New Year’s fitness goals. Don’t be like them.
By CASSIE LAMBERT FOR MEN’S HEALTH – JANUARY 2, 2018
Even if things did not go according to plan in 2017, the New Year is an opportunity to move forward. Image courtesy of Maria Merenda / EyeEm/ Getty Images
Hopping on the New Year’s Resolution fitness bandwagon may seem cliché — especially if you’ve done it before, only to find yourself on the couch every night come February. Don’t worry, though: you are not alone. Only eight percent of people actually follow through with their New Year’s resolutions by the end of the year, according to research from the University of Scranton.
Even if things did not go according to plan in 2017, the New Year is an opportunity to move forward. We asked some experts to recommend a few fitness hacks you can keep in your back pocket to ensure success.
1 Schedule a race or competition for 90 days after the New Year.
Even if you’re not a competitive person by nature, competition can bring out the best in us. Adding a competitive element to your New Year’s fitness goal helps serve as motivation to follow a strategic, long-term training plan. Signing up for a competition, whether it’s a 5K run or your first Gran Fondo, reinforces our instinctive need to achieve, says Chelsi Day, PsyD, HSPP, a clinical and sport psychologist for Indiana University Athletics. Make sure to set a specific date and sign up for the event within the first week of the New Year, so you’ll be less likely to back out if you start getting the jitters as the event nears.
2 Selfies lead to success.
Don’t use the scale to measure progress: take photos instead. That way, you’ll actually have visual evidence of your weight loss, rather than strictly sticking to numbers on a scale. If you’re feeling particularly brave, share your progress on social media: a 2013 weight loss study from Translational Behavioral Medicine found that participants who shared their progress on Twitter lost more weight than those who kept their results to themselves.
3 Set up mini-goals to hit each month.
There’s nothing wrong with committing to big New Year fitness goals. But you should establish small and specific monthly benchmarks to maintain your motivation throughout the year. This will give you a reason to celebrate incremental progress or success as you move closer to the bigger goal you set for yourself. “If I ask you to eat a steak in one bite, you might be intimidated and pass on ordering the steak,” says Day. “But if you cut the steak into manageable bites, it helps us enjoy it.” For example, if you want to lose 30 pounds, break that up into 3 to 5 pounds per month.
4 Choose an accountability partner.
Whether it is a trainer or a buddy, a workout partner provides a powerful level of support to keep you motivated year-round. In fact, the American Society of Training and Development says that having a regular workout buddy will increase your likelihood of reaching your fitness goal by 95%. Make sure to choose someone who will not accept your excuses or give you a pass when you’re not in the mood to hit the gym.
5 Challenge yourself to an extreme workout.
After you’re settled in your regular routine, tackling the same workout week after week and month and after month may become boring and deplete your fitness mojo. To spice things up, ditch the traditional gym and challenge yourself to one extreme workout per month to keep things interesting. You can take your workout outside and venture into rock climbing or visit a local Ninja Warrior training facility to test your skills on a few obstacles.
6 Learn while you lift.
Start flexing your mental muscles during your workout by listening to a podcast or audiobook. Most podcasts last between 30-60 minutes, which is just enough time to cover a full-body workout. In fact, a study from the American College of Sports Medicine suggests that light exercise paired with learning actually helps you retain more information, compared to just sitting and learning alone. Once you discover a series you love, you’ll look forward to listening to the next episode along with your workout.