Did you resolve to get healthier in the new year, but still haven’t figured out exactly how you’ll get there? Read Strong Body’s latest article for a short, simple 3-step plan on how to keep and achieve your fitness resolutions in 2016.
How to Stay on Track: A 3-Step Plan to Keep Your Fitness Resolutions in 2016
By Jennifer Trimmier
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to throw out the old (the cookies, sodas and fried chicken) and bring in the new (the fruits, veggies and workout clothes). Resolutions are wonderful, but did you know that nearly 40 percent of well-intentioned people drop their resolutions within the first four weeks of the year? That’s why preparation and planning is so important.
Here’s a 3-step approach to help ensure that you keep your health and wellness resolutions all year long:
1.Create a plan.
There are two rules in this step:
- Keep it simple, and
- write it down.
A good plan will allow you to follow-through while a bad plan or worse, no plan at all, will most likely leave you at the same place in December as you were in January. Books like “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and “Eat that Frog!” speak of planning and goal setting from the very first chapters. In the later, a shocking statistic states
Only about 3 percent of adults have clear, written goals. These people accomplish five and ten times as much as people of equal or better education and ability but who, for whatever reason, have never taken the time to write out exactly what they want.
So, get out the pen and paper or the iPad and get to it. Write down your No. 1 health-related goal for 2016 (we’re keeping it simple, so stick to one). Now set a deadline for when you want this goal to be accomplished. Next, bullet out, down to the very minute details, what you need to do to reach that goal. Post your goals, deadlines, and details somewhere they are visible to you every day (mine are printed in my daily planner, hanging on my closet wall and posted on my refrigerator door) and then do something every day that gets you closer to victory.
2.Track your progress.
Seeing what you’ve accomplished is a great motivator to keep going. Tracking your workouts, meals or other tasks allows you to find what works for you and what doesn’t. Having a record of good days, bad days, and the outcomes of each will help you plot the best course for future success. Free fitness apps such as My Fitness Pal, Livestrong’s My Plate, and LoseIt track food and activity while others like Map My Run and CardioTrainer use GPS to track activity and estimate calories burned. Most of these apps include social integration and allow you to build a positive network that provides accountability and support.
Most of us require external motivation to kick our rear in gear. When there’s a carrot dangling at the end of a rope (or a massage or a new pair of shoes), I’m definitely more likely to stick to my plan. Make it fun and give yourself something tangible to look forward to. Place rewards throughout your plan, not just at the very end. For example, during a 16-week marathon training plan, I allow myself to get a massage if I’ve completed 95 percent of my workouts at the end of six weeks. New shoes are the reward if I make it through 12 weeks. That shiny finisher’s medal and a spa day await me at the finish line!
At first, even this 3-step process may seem hard, but you’ll likely find that getting started is the hardest part. Be sure to revisit your plan and goals periodically and modify them as necessary. All good plans allow for mistakes, re-dos and updates, so go forth without fear and conquer!
Still feel lost and unsure of how to start? Contact a professional to help you. Most personal trainers include goals setting, fitness planning and accountability services in their training sessions. One of the best fitness programs in the city is Camp Gladiator. They offer programs for weight loss as well as muscle gain and help you stay accountable to your goals. Their programs run year round – get a jump start on that resolution and start TODAY! Camp Gladiator certified personal trainers can ensure you’re on the right track and lead you to success.
To request a FREE month of Camp Gladiator personal training visit our website and leave your details: http://strongbodysa.com/sharethecheer/
*FREE month of unlimited boot camp training is valid January 4th-30th, 2016 and valid at all 94 locations in San Antonio.
Jennifer Trimmier is an ACE-certified personal trainer who owns Strong Body San Antonio Fitness & Wellness Coaching. She provides at-home and on-location personal training and wellness coaching for individuals and groups. To learn more, visit www.strongbodysa.com or call 210-445-0448.
*Post revised from originally published article in Natural Awakenings magazine, January 2014