You know the drill – New Year’s rolls around and everyone is full of good intentions. The coming year will be better! This year I will ACTUALLY get into an exercise routine, eat more vegetables, get more sleep, insert other good intention here. What if you had the tips to get fit to make 2021 the year that your resolutions lasted beyond February?
Let’s face it, 2020 was a rocky road for many people. We saw our lives change in unprecedented ways. We made adjustments and ditched the status quo. Many people are ready to get back to some sense of routine and feeling empowered in their everyday lives. What better time to create a lasting lifestyle change?
1. DETERMINE YOUR WHY
When making a lifestyle change, it is important to first consider your WHY. Why do you want to make this change? What is the underlying motivating factor? Maybe you want to have more energy to play with your children, prevent or improve chronic disease, lose some excess weight, build strength or endurance, or simply for stress relief. Write down your reasons and place them somewhere that you will see them frequently. A firm belief in why you want to make a change is critical for long- term success and sticking with it when it gets tough.
2. SET SMART GOALS
In order to be successful, it is important to set goals to keep you motivated, as well as have tangible ways to measure success. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound. Taking an accurate assessment of where you are at baseline helps you create SMART goals that are right for you. If you are not currently active, competing in a triathlon next month is not realistic. However, if competing in a triathlon is your ultimate goal, breaking it down into smaller bite-sized chunks to get you there will help you stay motivated throughout your training.
SMART goals must be realistic. If the goal is too lofty, it becomes easy to get discouraged and give up. The time component is
also critical. A goal of “I’m going to exercise more” does not provide specific accountability in regards to what type of exercise, duration or frequency. An example of a solid SMART goal would be “Three days per week, I will run two miles.”
3. GET AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER
Some days you will be motivated and ready to take on the world. Other days, you may want to hit the snooze button and stay cozy in bed. The difference between those who build successful routines and those who trail off is consistency and dedication. Having an accountability partner will help push you to stay on track when motivation is waning. Ideally, your partner will participate in the same or similar activities with you, but this is not required. Simply sharing your goals with a trusted friend or family member and asking them to help you stay accountable will help you stay on track. Some people find that posting on social media is another way for their tribe to support them.
4. CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESSES
Everyone starts somewhere. It is important to not compare yourself to others but only to the earlier stages of your own journey. Setting SMART goals will help you watch your progress over time. Celebrate successes along the way. You have made a commitment to yourself and your health. Praise your efforts that you have persisted and made progress!
Now that you have the secrets to success, what will you do with it? Make 2021 the year that you stick with your commitment to get fit!