“Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from Now and make a brand- new ending.”
January 1st seems to be a magical date in some of our lives. Every new year, our desire to get fit and healthy suddenly arises. But somehow that resolve disintegrates as the days, weeks and months go by, and life starts “getting in the way." Staying on track is tough, but it’s not impossible. Whether it's lack of motivation, lack of resources, or we just lose interest, it's time to make a fresh start and figure out ways to finish what you have started.
Here are some tips to help make your 2017 transition to a healthier you more successful:
1. Set SMART Goals-
- S- Specific- Set goals which are specific in nature. A common goal like “get healthy,” is too general. There are so many ways to get healthy. How do you want to do it? Is it losing weight? Start exercising? Stop smoking? Break it down and it will be easier to manage. Example: A general goal would be, “Get in shape.” But a specific goal would say, ‘I will go running thrice a week for 30 minutes’.
- M-Measurable- measuring your goals on a fitness tracker or a fitness app, motivates you to work harder. Whether you're counting your daily steps or the number of calories you've burned, technology can help you challenge yourself to new personal bests every day. Some of the popular apps are: Map My Fitness, Workout trainer, Nike+ Training club.
- A-Achievable- Setting small, attainable goals throughout the year, instead of a singular, overwhelming goal on January 1 can help you reach whatever it is you strive for. By making your resolutions realistic, there is a greater chance that you will keep them throughout the year.
- R- Realistic- Wellness doesn’t happen overnight, so be patient with yourself! Setting up extremely lofty goals and pushing yourself too hard, too fast, you may find it difficult to maintain new habits and end up giving up altogether. Take it day by day and stop obsessing about the past, fantasizing about the future, and instead embrace the present, to make a difference.
- T-Time-bound- Include an end-point. Knowing that you have a deadline motivates you to get started. By limiting the time, you have to accomplish a goal you have a fixed timetable to work with and the sense of urgency that will spur you to keep on track.
2. Get moving in a way you Enjoy
To stay hooked on to your fitness goals, it’s very important to get moving in a way, which excites you. If you find running on a treadmill monotonous, switch it with a more fun Zumba class or a trampoline workout or spinning or a sport you enjoy. If you're already going to the gym regularly but find it hard to stay motivated, try something new to revive your resolve and boost your fitness level. It could be anything, if you enjoy it. Staying fit doesn’t mean punishing your body by doing something you don’t like, rather it’s about celebrating fitness, the path of healthy lifestyle you have opted for. Remember, fitness is not a destination, it’s a way of life and by incorporating workouts you enjoy, you are only moving towards your goals.
3. Buddy Up
Surround yourself with people who inspire you to be more, do more, and have more. Having a good workout buddy, who motivates and supports you will boost your commitment to your fitness goals and your confidence that you can achieve them. It’s one thing bailing on your own workout, but it’s much, much harder to ditch a workout when you know you’re going to be letting your workout buddy down. In addition to this, having a workout partner means you have to plan your workouts in advance to meet each other’s schedules, and once it’s down on paper and scheduled, it’s much more likely that you’re going to follow through with it.
4. Make way for exercise no matter what
This is usually the tricky part. We all have a hectic work life, a busy social life, and often, our fitness resolutions take a back seat when there is a clash between the former and latter. It’s not skipping that ‘one day’ at the gym, it’s about the dedication, the discipline and commitment you have made to tread on the path of a fitter lifestyle. The following ways can help you balance work and working out:
Pick a workout form that you can do almost anywhere, whether you’re traveling or getting home from the office late. High-intensity interval training, Tabata training, bodyweight exercises, and running are all great choices.
Choose Something Over Nothing: You don’t need an hour or even 30 minutes to get a complete, effective workout. The only bad workout is the one, that did not happen. Even 10 minutes of your time can make a difference. With an effective program, and done frequently enough, short and speedy workouts can do wonders to both the body and mind. Squeeze in fitness wherever you are and no matter how much time you have.
Schedule your workouts. Put it in a time slot, then treat it just as you would any other appointment: as non-negotiable. This will make it much more likely that you don't let something else get in the way of your workouts, and eventually help you build a workout habit for life.
5. Make it a Ritual
When you have a ritual, like brushing your teeth and washing your face before bed or having breakfast each day, you no longer have to think about it. You just do it. At this point, the habit becomes so ingrained in your mind there's no longer any decision-making involved.
That's what you want to happen with your workouts. Because when you have to think about whether or not you're going to work out, your clever (and not always helpful) mind is much more likely to come up with excuses. You're too tired, too sore from the previous day's workout, too busy, etc. But if your workout is part of a ritual, all the thinking is taken out of the equation. Your mind and body will expect to work out, and you'll just do it rather than waver about it each day.
So for example, if you decide you want to make it a habit to work out in the morning five days a week, you can create a ritual that includes getting up, brushing your teeth, eating a small bite of breakfast, doing a quick HIIT workout, making a protein shake, and going to work.
6. Invest in some good activewear
When we think about fitness, most of us focus on the big questions: What’s the best workout routine? How can I make the most efficient use of my time at the gym? How do I stay motivated enough to wake up for that 7am class 4 days a week? Gym clothes are lower down on the list of priorities. However, having the right workout gear can be just as important to your fitness routine as staying hydrated and having an awesome playlist. Choosing workout clothes that make you look and feel great will boost your self-assuredness and channel your determination into taking on whatever is coming at you. The best activewear combines functionality and style so that you can fully focus on reaching your personal fitness goals—because you know you look amazing in the process!
7. Do not give up and Believe in yourself
The journey is a difficult one and obstacles are bound to crop up, but you have got to stick to what you have started. Congratulate yourself on every milestone you reach- it might be being regular to the gym for straight 6 days in a week, or being able to run that extra mile or losing a pound. It all happened because of your hard work and consistency, and you do deserve a pat on the back from yourself.
And lastly, ditch the fad diets, eat a well-balanced meal, drink lots of water, have proper sleep and do not starve yourself. Trying to keep your health-conscious New Year’s resolutions may be a struggle in the early days, but persevere and you’ll get the healthy body you crave eventually! After all, ‘Nothing tastes as good as being fit’.