January is here, the fitness industry’s equivalent to Black Friday. Many big box gyms have 25% more members sign up during this month. After a holiday season of overindulging in drinking and eating (maybe not for some of you) everyone is ready to go all out and set the bar high in the New Year. It’s a New Year, a new you and another year to get it right. However, even with all of this hype and enthusiasm, the gym attendance begins to die down by mid February.
Research says that 73% of Canadians who set fitness goals as part of their resolution end of giving up before they meet their goal.
The question is why? Why do people set these lofty goals only to disappoint themselves and quit? People usually are not ready to change their habits, particularly bad habits which accounts for a high rate of failure. Another problem is that people tend to set unrealistic goals and expectations.
How can we make sure to attain our goals and head into the New Year feeling strong and confident with what we set out to accomplish?
Whether your goal is to be able to do 10 push ups, run a 5km race, or a half marathon it is achievable if you have are committed and have a clear cut plan that is realistic.
Follow these 4 tips and prepare to make 2015 your best year yet!
-Make your resolutions manageable
If you’ve never hit the weights in your life before, by saying you’re going to go to the gym 7 days a week is setting yourself up for disappointment. The reason we can’t follow through on these unrealistic goals is that psychologically the brain likes comfortable old habits as opposed to new ones. The key to sustainable lasting results is to make small gradual changes. Doing weight training 3 times a week for 30 mins is realistic and over time you will increase the volume and time of the workout. Slow and steady wins the race!
–Understand your own motives
If your goal is only a superficial one like have a bikini body or nice set of abs, all the dieting and hard work in the gym will lose its appeal after awhile. It is important to have strong reasons and have deeper intentions that will make your workouts much easier to stick to. For example- while on my fitness journey last year, I wanted to feel energetic, happy and inspire others around me. I changed my focus, in the years leading up to this my goals were always about “looking good” i had to really dig within myself to find a more inspiring reason to continue. The reasons behind your goals have to create an emotional intensity within you that has you excited and has the ability to pull you. If you feel like you have to find all your willpower and push yourself to reach your goal, it wont work and the process will be a miserable one.
-Write it down
Once you have decided on your resolutions, make sure to write it down. Alot of people will tell themselves that they will follow through with it not realizing that writing it down has a greater effect. Studies have found that by keeping a written record of your progress can help you succeed. Make a contract with yourself and sign it, post sticky notes on your wall, fridge or on your mirror. Get a logbook and record your workouts, how you feel that day and keep a food journal. By doing this, it will create a greater connection between your thinking self and doing self and makes the resolution appear more real.
-Make it visual
When i was going through my fitness journey, i really found visual reminders to be helpful. I would post fitness photos around my room, and pull out a pair of pants i wanted to fit into. When i trained for the half marathon, i would watch videos of people completing the race; i would then close my eyes and visualize myself crossing the finish line. These are all powerful tools that will help you align yourself with what you set out to achieve. Try something that works for you, by keeping these visuals hanging around, you will have constant reminders to stick to your plan.