10 Tips to Stick with your New Year’s Fitness Resolution

Posted: January 30, 2014 at 11:24 am

George Mason University Recreation Center, Fairfax VA, Architect: Ewing ColeWith the month of January winding down to a close, it is especially important to remember to stick to your New Year’s Resolutions (don’t quit now – it hasn’t even been a month!) It’s easy to join the “Resolutioners'” hype at the beginning of the year, and then get caught up in daily life, resulting in lost motivation, as time goes on. At Mason Recreation, we are here to help you stay on track. Here are some healthy tips to help you stick to your fitness goals this year:

1. MAKE A PLAN – The two most difficult parts of a new commitment consist of the “initiation” and “maintenance” components. Make a plan you can stick to. Accountability to yourself plays an important role in any new commitment. This is important because it will give you a starting point. Your plan can help you stay on track when you’re tempted to derail!

2. SET GOALS – It’s important to find goals to work toward. You can set short-term and long-term goals to assist you in adding structure to your new endeavor. Goal-setting gives your endeavor a purpose and a meaning. If your fitness goal is tied to a meaningful event or idea, you will be more likely to follow through with it.

3. MAKE IT FUN – Long-term sustainability of a new commitment is impacted by the amount of positive experience that it brings to your life. Don’t forget to have fun with it. If an activity is not fun, it will begin to feel like a chore, and will be remedial in nature. Instead, you should focus on fun, preventative strategies, rather than mundane, remedial ones. For example, do not “go on a diet” because diets are temporary.  instead, make set long-term goals to substitute some unhealthy food choices for healthier ones!

4. BREAK IT UP – Make one small change at a time: if you try to change too many new things at once, you may become overwhelmed. It is important to take breaks which allow you to make a recovery. Your workouts will be much more effective if you start fresh!

5. MAKE IT A HABIT – It takes roughly 30 days of repetitive activity to make something a habit. Take your time and see it through to the end. Nothing worthwhile is easy or instant – everything worthwhile takes time! It’s important to be patient with your results.

6. SET LIMITS – Set realistic limitations on your new resolutions. Yes, you can have a “cheat day” where you indulge in a little bit of chocolate cake. Having a little break prevents you from restricting yourself to the point of relapsing and revisiting poor eating habits.

7. THINK POSITIVELY – Positive thinking can be an accompanying habit to your new resolution. If you catch yourself thinking negatively, replace the thought with a positive one. It won’t be foolproof, but it will certainly help that nagging voice at the back of your mind slowing you down.

8. GRAB A PARTNER – Involving others in your new resolutions will force you to be accountable to others, which in turn may make you more likely to follow through on your commitment. People are more likely to do something if they have already verbally committed to it, particularly if it involves another person.

9. BE PROACTIVE – If you’re slipping up, don’t worry – some progress is better than no progress. Revisit your initial goals/plans and make realistic adjustments. It is important to address any issues as they come up in order to prevent severe pitfalls and slumps. It is much easier on your body to pick yourself up after a brief slip-up than a long-term slump!

10. DON’T GIVE UP – Remember, even if it gets tough, you made the resolution for a reason — go into it with a no-excuses, no-quitting mentality, and you will be golden!

Too much to memorize? Easier said than done? It doesn’t have to be complicated – just make a mental note to remember the basic points. These guidelines will aid you in your journey to healthier living in 2014!