It’s that time of year again. Time to focus on New Year’s resolutions to start the new decade off right. These goals are easy to set, but sometimes can be hard to stick with. This may be why many people who make resolutions in January, give up by February.
If you’re looking for ways to help keep you motivated throughout the year, consider these tips.
- Start small
When motivation is high, it’s easy to plan an unrealistic lifestyle change, like working out every day and cutting out all junk food. If you start small, it’s more maintainable, giving you a greater chance for success. For example, if you are new to working out, consider aiming to work out three days a week as you get started. When three days becomes routine, consider building on your goals. As your small changes become habits, your habits may become your lifestyle.
- Stay accountable
Creating measurable goals is important, but writing them down may make you more likely to achieve them. Writing down specific goals will help keep you accountable and give you actionable steps to accomplish them. You may also want to consider working out with a friend or purchasing a workout program that requires attendance. If you truly can’t make it to the gym, make an effort to add extra movement, like taking the stairs, to your daily routine.
Check with your health plan and employer to see if they offer incentives for staying healthy. For example, UnitedHealthcare’s Gym Check-In program enables participants to earn financial incentives for visiting a fitness facility 12 days or more per month.
- Think holistic health
Simple choices, like drinking water or getting more sleep may help you stay on track with your fitness goals. Mayo Clinic recommends men drink about 15.5 cups of water and women drink 11.5 cups each day. Adults also need seven to nine hours of sleep each night to fully refuel, according to the National Sleep Foundation. These holistic health choices may help you feel your best so you can focus on your fitness.
- Keep it interesting
Doing the same workouts can become a bore, so if you aren’t enjoying it, you may lack motivation to keep going. Experiment with different types of fitness activities, like yoga, rowing or swimming. Mixing it up may help keep it fun and can also work different muscle groups.
- Be kind to yourself
Setting a New Year’s resolution is a great start to improving your fitness, but it can be easy to slip-up and feel discouraged. Just remember that everyone struggles on their path to success, so don’t be too hard on yourself. You’ll find what works best for you.