If you’re like most people, you’ve probably made a few New Year’s resolutions. As winter digs in, however, you may be losing steam and motivation to keep these goals. Since you’re here on this particular blog, at least one of those goals was probably to get fit, increase your fitness level, or get healthy. Here are 8 great tips to stick with your resolutions and crush your fitness goals for 2018!
How can you avoid giving up on your fitness resolutions?
Remember your reasons for coming up with your fitness resolution in the first place. If your resolution is to lose weight and get healthier, do you feel any pressure to actually go out and lose the weight and stick to your goal? If your goal is a goal that’s important to you, you’ll be motivated and more likely to stick to it. A University of Pennsylvania study found that healthy competition online leads to motivated people. When we find workout partners that give us a fun, positive challenge, we enjoy working towards our health and wellness goal more.1 Try Pacer’s Events function to join distance and group challenges. You’ll get amazing positive motivation to achieve your goals!
Setting lofty goals to overhaul your entire lifestyle sounds fantastic, but you’re much less likely to keep going if you’re overwhelmed by the resolution. Pick one or two achievable and manageable goals, and work on those. The Mayo Clinic suggests using “SMART” goal setting to help. Goals should be: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Trackable. Pacer has you covered on the “Trackable” part, so make sure to track your results as you progress on your daily walk to fitness.2 Pacer also helps you create measurable goals by recording steps, distance, and other statistics you can use to set specific goals.
“Losing weight” and “getting fit” would be great results, but you’re more likely to achieve your goals if they are more specific. It would be great to “lose weight,” but “lose 15 pounds by June 1st” is a better resolution and one you are more likely to adhere to. “Eat more vegetables” would also be a great result, but “eat at least 5 servings of vegetables per day” is measurable and gives you something specific to work with. You’ll also be able to track your progress as you move towards your specific, measurable goal and you’ll feel great when you know you achieved it!
Have a Strategy
You may have heard the saying that a goal without a plan is just a dream. It’s not just a saying – it’s actually true! If your goals is to eat at least five servings of vegetables per day, create a strategy like going to the grocery store every Sunday evening and stocking up on vegetables to take to work each day of the week. You won’t have to feel stressed or have to scramble every day to try to find vegetables because you already know what you need to do. In addition to reducing stress, a solid strategy keeps you on target because it’s much easier to simply follow the steps you’ve already decided.
One of the best ways to ensure you keep at your goals is to not let setbacks derail your progress! All is never lost – if you slip up, just get back on track as soon as you are able. Life happens, and if your goals are so rigid that they don’t allow for setbacks, then the chances of you sticking with them are pretty slim. Prepare yourself ahead of time for the inevitable slip-up, because it’s what you do AFTER the slip-up that determines whether or not you’re successful. According to the Harvard Business Review, “research shows that when people work with a positive mind-set, performance on nearly every level—productivity, creativity, engagement—improves.”3 For instance, if you get busy or catch a cold and miss your step goals for a week, just get back to walking more as soon as you’re able! Don’t get discouraged, because fitness is a marathon, not a sprint!
Look at your goals as commitments rather than resolutions. When you commit to something, you treat it as if it’s a non-negotiable agreement with yourself. Just like your job is a commitment, you should think of your goals as commitments as well. We don’t usually succeed by only going to work “when we feel like it,” so think the same way about your goals.
Join a Group
A University of Aberdeen study “found that finding a new exercise companion increased the amount of exercise people took. This was increased even more when the new partner was emotionally supportive.”3 Not everyone has a workout buddy in their neighborhood or even on their social media friend list. Pacer Groups are a great way to find amazing exercise companions that will give you support and motivation no matter where you are! Just knowing that other people are doing the same workouts that you’re doing can give you a push to succeed. The Aberdeen study found that you don’t actually have to work out together to see the benefits, because “it is more important to encourage each other than doing the actual activity together.”
Track your progress
Tracking your progress is an amazing motivator because you can see how much better you’re doing and how close to your goal you’re getting. It can also help you make adjustments and improvements if you start getting off course. If your goal is to become more active (10,000 steps per day, anyone?), lose weight, or just get healthier, you can easily track how you’re doing with Pacer! You’ll see how you’re progressing towards your goals, and you can reach out to your fellow Pacers for support or with questions. With a positive, supportive community like Pacer’s, achieving your goals is within your reach!