New Year, New Goals? Tips for Staying on Track
By VIDA Guest Blogger Danielle Pastula
Alright, we’re in mid-January now, so the crazy crowds at the gym are starting to dwindle down as people find their routines and stop with the every-single-day working out New Year’s resolution madness.
But that’s not to say all goals have gone out the window.
At this point you’re probably realizing what areas you’re going to have the hardest time with when it comes to meeting and succeeding at your goals, and you might have already gotten a taste of failure or what it feels like to let yourself down.
Well, as you would guess, we’re not going to coddle you or let you continue carrying on a pity party. We’re going to give you the honest-to-goodness truth on what it’s going to take to see your goals realized so that you can look back at 2016 a year from now and feel accomplished, healthier and like the goal-crushing badass we know you are.
Let’s get started:
1.) Pump the Brakes
If you’ve worked out 14 days straight since January 1st, well, congratulations, you’ve stuck to your resolution for 2 weeks.
Not easy by any means, but it’s also not smart.
When you dive in head first to a new exercise regimen without room for proper rest, you’re going to hit a wall where you become burnt out, overwhelmed, injured, or all three.
This might be the time where you argue how real gym rats work out 7 days a week, but before you get too lost in the comparison game, you have to understand that someone you see working out 7 days a week has worked their way up to that point, they didn’t jump from zero to gym hero in a matter of a week. (They also may not be working out 7 days a week like you think they are.)
The most CRUCIAL thing you need to know is that your body needs rest days and you need to give time for your body to recover from the tough workouts you’ve been putting it through.
So, before you burn yourself out, pump the brakes for a second, revaluate your workout schedule and make sure you’re starting off reasonably and come up with a timeline where you can start to increase your frequency and duration.
This will help protect you from that burn out that affects so many people with a New Year’s goal of getting healthier and then dropping it off by March.
2.) Change Your Language
We’ve referred to your goal to become healthier in the new year as a resolution because that’s the terminology most people use when it comes to fitness changes in January, but we’re going to stop saying that from here on out because it’s destructive.
When you look at your aim to become healthier as a “New Year’s resolution” you’re not only giving yourself a limited-time capacity on your behavior change, but you’re also overshooting your promise to yourself, which is setting you up for failure.
“New Year’s resolution” implies that this is a first-quarter-of-the-year thing instead of a lifestyle change simply because of the way society has deemed January 1st as being the ideal day to set a new goal. It’s not. Every single day of the year is a great day to start a new goal.
On the flip side, when you set the lofty goal of “I’m going to finally get healthy, workout and lose weight this year,” you’ve set your view too long range and it’s going to be upsetting when you feel like you haven’t made as much progress as you’d hoped for in just a month’s time.
For both of those reasons you need to stop thinking about “New Year’s resolutions” and start asking yourself, “What’s a healthier choice I can make today?” Or “What new thing can I do or try this week to support healthier habits?”
Talk about your goals on a day by day / week by week basis and you’ll be able to get a better grip on actually making new habits stick.
3.) Realize the Adult Mentality
This one is really simple, but too many people forget about it: we all do things we don’t want to do.
Pay bills, empty the garbage, dropping our kids off at school when it’s 20 degrees outside, the list goes on, but we have to do these things or else bad stuff happens. It’s the same for working out and eating healthfully. If you don’t do it you’ll gain weight, obtain health issues, feel terrible on a daily basis, etc.
Yet, despite these things, people treat exercise and nutrition as if it’s optional. It’s not.
Don’t take care of yourself and you’re only robbing you and your loved ones of having a happy and fulfilling life, no big deal, right?
Be an adult and do the work, even when you don’t feel like it.
4.) Give Yourself a Break
Finally, you have to learn how to be nice to yourself. This isn’t to excuse you from doing the things you don’t want to do, like we mentioned above, but you also need to know how to listen to what your body is telling you.
For example, if you’re going through a personal hardship and find it too difficult to stick to your routine for a couple weeks, that’s fine. If you have the flu, please, please, please don’t try to workout.
Give yourself a couple week break and then make it a priority to get back to your routine by a certain date and put it in your calendar.
You will only cause harm to your health in the long run if you don’t learn how to listen to your body and mind when they’re telling you to take a break. There’s no shame it.
We know all this sounds easy when you’re reading about it in a blog post, but we promise, start integrating these tips and you’ll see it’ll actually become easier to stick to your goals as time progresses.
And if you’re really having trouble staying accountable, talk to your membership consultants, group fitness instructors or trainers. The VIDA team is here to help you reach your goals and live your healthiest life, there’s no need to go it alone!