What was your New Year’s Resolution for 2022? If you’re like most people, you probably either resolved to lose weight or increase your level of fitness. Yet studies show only 8% – 9% of people actually stick to their resolutions.
So, how can you make your resolution stick? “Start with achievable goals, then slowly and gradually build up healthier habits until they become part of your lifestyle,” says Jonathan Davalos, health and fitness lead at Atlantic Health System’s Chambers Center for Well-Being.
These 6 tips can help you stay motivated all year long:
1. Overcome the “lazies”. We all get lazy at times. But if you work with a personal trainer like Davalos, the best way to battle the “lazies” is to make a workout schedule and stay with it. “ Write it down on a calendar, reserving those 30 or 60 minutes each week for fitness will help you stay on the right path.” Davalos says.
2. Don’t overcommit. Unrealistic goals cause many New Year’s Resolutions to fall by the wayside in spring—or sooner. For example, let’s say a 65-year-old woman sets a goal to lose 20 pounds in two months. That’s not likely to happen. “But by simply committing to lose some weight each month—even if it’s just 1 or 2 pounds—you’ll build good habits on top of one another and set yourself up for longer-term success,” Davalos says.
3. Look for small wins. Maybe you started your personal training in January. In February, the number on the scale may still be the same. But that doesn’t mean your training regimen isn’t working. Instead, look for areas where training already makes you feel better. Some telltale signs you’re on the right track: your calves look more defined, you feel muscles you couldn’t feel before, or you can carry heavier bags of groceries. “If you have aesthetic goals, I encourage doing the ‘mirror test,’” Davalos says. “Look in the mirror and find something that looks better now than it did previously.”
4. Reboot your fitness assessment. All new personal fitness clients at the Chambers Center for Well-Being receive a fitness assessment. It gives you a baseline for your personal plan by letting you know your current level of fitness, your body composition (muscle mass vs. fat mass), your hydration status and other important data. Getting reassessed two-to-three months into your program can help you see where you’ve improved—and let you know what’s next—so you can keep up your momentum well into spring and summer.
5. Use a wearable. Nearly 30% of U.S. adults now use a personal fitness tracker. These wearable devices from companies like Fitbit, Garmin, Apple, Amazon or Google will help you track your heart rate, calories, daily step count and sometimes even your blood oxygen level. “Seeing that you’re burning more calories or improving your step count on your wearable can give you an extra bit of inspiration to achieve your goals,” Davalos says.
Go beyond your scheduled appointments. During a personal training session, clients typically focus on strength training. In between appointments, you can improve your overall fitness by doing some cardiovascular exercise—walking, running, aerobics, stair climbing and the like.