Year after year, much of the population makes the same New Year’s resolutions as they did the year before, such as get in shape and eat better — then falls off the resolution wagon before they even reach February. Is it even possible to keep New Year’s health and fitness resolutions? In a word, yes! Forgo the lofty resolutions and focus on a daily plan to achieve milestones along the way, says Sammie Kennedy, CEO and creator of Booty Camp Fitness.
The Journal of Psychology reports that by January 7, 22 percent of New Year’s resolvers have given up on their goal. By March, more than half of the individuals surveyed fell off of the resolution wagon.
“We often set lofty resolutions, which lead to us getting discouraged when we figure out how much work it will actually take,” says Booty Camp Fitness founder Sammie Kennedy. A better strategy is to make sure your fitness resolution is something you can incorporate into your lifestyle. Make a commitment to take small steps every day that work toward a bigger goal, she says.
Create a daily goal to start
“I always encourage my clients to create a daily goal and build toward a four-week goal, an eight-week goal and then a longer-term goal, say, six months,” she says. A slight change to your routine eventually leads to bigger changes and is more manageable and achievable.
An example of a daily goal would be to drink two liters of water, or to replace one meal with a large salad. Knowing why this is beneficial will also make this a doable step you can feel good about. Two liters of water daily will help flush toxins, carry nutrients and help the body stay hydrated. Replacing one meal with a large salad doesn’t need to be a sacrifice; made with good ingredients and healthy fats, it can be incredibly satisfying.
Top 4 tips to stick to resolutions
Here are Kennedy’s top four tips for sticking to a fitness resolution:
Create a clear vision
Make a dream board or vision board as a reminder of what you are working toward. This could be as simple as setting a motivating photograph as your telephone wallpaper so that you can be inspired each time you check your social media or calendar.
Schedule for success
Book your workouts into your calendar. Make a point of designating that time for you to exercise and reach your goal. You wouldn’t cancel on a client, friend or boss, so keep your appointments with yourself, too.
A great way to gain momentum and receive positive feedback is to track your success. If weight loss is your goal, measure key areas of your body, such as your waist, hips, butt and thighs. Re-measuring every four weeks or so can help to keep you moving forward and reinforce your progress. Don’t worry too much about the scale, though, as your exercise program may reduce your body fat while helping you gain muscle tone; muscle weighs more than fat.
Find a support system
Having friends and family on board and aware of your goals will make a difference. The only key piece of advice here is to choose people who will be “on board” with your goal-setting and help remind you of your goals in a supportive and positive manner.