The holidays are over and people have made their resolutions, many to get fit in the new year. The gym parking lots are packed and social media is exploding with before photos claiming this is the year! However, as the weeks (and months) pass the parking lots get quiet and the progress photos slow down. Whether you are brand new to fitness, trying to burn off all those holiday meals, or just trying to make a change in your lifestyle for the better, here are six simple tips to turn your new year’s resolution into results.
Tip #1: Set goals
We know that almost everybody is going to have the goal of weight loss, but challenge yourself to get specific. Break your goal down weekly or even daily. The goals don’t necessarily have to be about the actual amount of weight you’re planning to lose, but more on how you plan to reach your goal.
For example, set a goal of “make it to the gym 3 times this week” or “meal prep on Sunday for lunches throughout the week.” By creating simple, short-term goals, it’s easier to achieve and you’ll have more confidence in your fitness journey.
Tip #2: Write your goals down
It is easy to ignore that little voice in your head that says “get to the gym.” We answer by saying “I can go later” or “I will do double the workout tomorrow.” Inevitably, something comes up and it just doesn’t get done.
Write your goals down and put a checkmark next to them when you accomplish them. One trick is to write them on your bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker. You are bound to look at them every morning and they are easily erased when completed. Or leave them up and see how much progress you have made, how many goals you have accomplished. The more often you see your goals, the more often you will think about them, and chances are, the more successful you will be.
Tip #3: Ask for advice
Seek out a fitness professional or a personal trainer to begin your journey. Most fitness experts got into the industry to help people, and many would be happy to give you advice. Collect their opinions on what they have seen work in other people. Although fitness professionals will usually be the most knowledgeable on nutrition, ask your friends what works for them. The more information you have, the more tools you will have to decide what direction you would like to go. And remember, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Tip #4: Pick a plan and stick to it
Nutrition plans are not one size fits all. Some work better for certain people than others. Try to find one that works with your life and is achievable for you. If it is a plan that you will constantly break the rules on, or “cheat” on, it is not for you. There are hundreds of nutrition plans out there and the only way they work is if you stick to them. Remember, this is a lifestyle change and it must be sustainable for a long time. Nobody knows you better than you do so find one that fits in with your life.
Tip #5: Drink plenty of water
It is colder outside in the winter, and with that, the desire for water can diminish, but we require just as much water in the winter as we do in the summer. Staying hydrated is key to keeping your metabolism running top-notch. A general rule of thumb is to drink at least 50% of your body weight in ounces of water per day if not 100% of your body weight in ounces on days you work out. The two biggest deterrents to physical performance are dehydration and inadequate nutrition. If your body doesn’t have the fuel it needs, it will not perform at the appropriate levels for you to reach your goals. You wouldn’t put regular unleaded in a Ferrari, would you?
Tip #6: Respect the process
This is a marathon, not a sprint. Making a lifestyle change to be healthier is not an easy thing. It’s going to take hard work and time. Remember, your body didn’t get the way it did overnight, so it is going to take some time to change. It takes about 6 weeks of a training program for friends and family to start noticing a change and about 8 weeks for you to start to notice.
The difference does not always come from the scale either, maybe your clothes fit a little better, you have more energy or you are able to lift a little more than you used to. This all means your body is making significant changes to adapt to your new way of living. Don’t get discouraged when the progress slows down, the body gets used to things, which is a perfect time to switch it up. Add an extra day into your routine or add another physical activity like hiking or biking. Challenge yourself and you will be surprised with what you can accomplish.
Take these tips for what they are, “tips” and apply them to make a serious change this year. At FAST we strive to help people with their physical and lifelong goals. Whether it is a massive lifestyle change you want or you just want to move a little better and get more active. Come talk to one of our Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists today to get jump-start your path to living healthier. Schedule a free fitness assessment.