Five Tips To Help You Reach Your New Years Fitness Resolutions
As the calendar rolls around to the New Year many of us set New Year’s resolutions and goals for ourselves. Quite often we start out strong in our quest to reach these goals but unfortunately not all of us reach our goals or complete our resolutions. Why? A variety of reasons that we wont discuss so lets just say life has a way of getting in the way to stay positive. I want to suggest a five-part strategy to help you reach your fitness goals this year.
We are all going to have different goals in the fitness world. Some of us are concerned with losing body fat while others want to increase their strength. Maybe you want to add lean muscle, improve your cardiovascular ability, lower your mile or marathon time and simply look better for the summer. This strategy can be applied to almost any fitness goal because it will help improve your discipline and consistency to help you reach your specific goals.
1) Track Your Nutrition
Almost every fitness goal will require you to properly fuel yourself because your body will operate better with proper nutrition. Gaining weight, losing weight, endurance work, increasing strength levels and just about every fitness goal becomes easier when your body has the proper nutrients and calories to allow you to recover between sessions. Tracking your nutrition with a fitness app is a great way to ensure you are properly fueling yourself. One of the easiest ways to do this for free is to add an app such as My Fitness Pal to your phone or tablet. It can be any app but I’ll suggest MFP because it is free and easy to use. You can set the adjustment on the app for your specific caloric and macronutrient needs. If you don’t know your exact nutritional requirements the app can help you figure that out as it walks you through the set-up. Consistently entering your daily food intake allows you to see how you’re fueling yourself, which macronutrients you need to eat and perhaps how much more you are eating than you should be. This helps educate yourself about nutrition and makes it easier to make corrections.
2) Log Your Exercise
Yes, we will all have different exercises and training routines but we will all get better results if we are consistently challenging ourselves. Logging your exercise allows you to go back and see exactly what you have been doing, what you haven’t been doing and what needs to be done. Log your exercise sessions in a notebook, your phone, your computer or anywhere you want as long as you’ll have the ability to go back and look through it. This is your own personal story of what you’re doing to get where you need to go. Most likely you do this anyway, if only to have something written down to tell you what you need to do on a particular day but keeping a log of what you actually did will help keep you on track and give you a visual example to look through to see what’s working and what’s going wrong.
3) Write your resolutions and goals in your log.
You’re going to look through and write in your log quite a bit. Having your resolutions and goals in your log forces you to see them repeatedly. This helps to keep you focused on what you’re going to do by constantly reminding yourself that you are on a mission to improve yourself. Leave some room between your initial resolutions and goals so you can add additional goals as you start to achieve or surpass what you’ve set out to do.
4) Set up a fitness related Instagram page.
Some of us are more willing to share our personal journey with others and there is no problem setting your IG page to private if you don’t want anyone else to see your pictures. That’s fine but set up an IG page no matter what. The IG app is free and you can delete it at any time if you want. The purpose of having an IG page for this strategy is to provide visual reinforcement as you progress. Post before, during and after pictures of yourself for comparison. Post form videos of your exercises, pictures from the readout on your cardio machines and anything else that shows the work you are putting in. Add some pictures of yourself flexing or just showing yourself. Post pictures of yourself in the gym, on the track, out while you’re running or cycling and doing anything that shows you doing what you need to do to reach your goals. Post pictures of your meals to remind yourself what you’ve been doing to properly fuel yourself. Post pictures of your dog walking with you while you exercise. Post pictures of your friends exercising with you. Post whatever you want to remind yourself that you are doing what it takes. Post, post, post. Again, your IG profile does not have to be public, it can be set on private so only you and your friends can see it or you can make it public and interact with other people attempting to better themselves for support. Our main reason for adding an IG profile is to provide ourselves with visual reinforcement. You can share that with others or keep it private but having the ability to see the hard work you are doing is motivating.
5) Set time aside to review the above once a week.
Looking through the above tips once a week will help you see what you’ve been doing right and wrong so you can make adjustments to keep yourself on track to reach your goals and resolutions. Going through your nutritional intake allows you to see exactly what you’ve been eating and in what quantities. You might not like seeing that at first but reviewing it provides an honest breakdown of your nutritional habits and reminds you what needs to be done. The same thing goes for your exercise logs. This helps you stay consistent and shows you what’s working and what isn’t. It will also let you see exactly what you haven’t been doing by showing the gap on the sessions you missed. Every time you read your goals and resolutions reinforces your desire to achieve what you want to achieve. Seeing those pictures in your IG will remind you of the struggle you’re going through and helps you see the small improvements add up.
This five-part strategy will help keep you motivated and focused as you pursue your goals. It will help increase your discipline, focus and consistency to give you a better chance at being successful. I wish each and every reader the best of luck in 2018 in their quest to reach their goals to improve themselves.