In 2019, the fitness tracking app Strava compiled data on 31.5 million activities and declared the second Friday in January to be “Quitter’s Day.” This is the day, at least according to Strava, when most people quit their New Year’s fitness resolutions. Now that Quitters Day has come and gone for 2021, are you still making progress on your resolutions for fitness? If you’ve found that your motivation is beginning to ebb, take a look at these nine great ways to recommit to your fitness goals.
1. Re-Engage with Your Why
Why do you want to complete a 10k or start strength training? Is it to improve your overall health, set a good example for your children, or gain more self-confidence?
Don’t just come up with your why and then tuck that idea into the back of your mind. Your why is a powerful motivating force. Re-engage with it, especially when your initial enthusiasm for New Year’s fitness goals begins to wear off. Write your why on a sticky note and put it on the bathroom mirror. Say your why out loud each night. Keep it front and center so that you remember why you’re putting in the work.
2. Reassess Your Fitness Goals
Your specific fitness and exercise goals seemed like a good idea as the new year crept closer. However, now that you’ve settled back into your post-holiday routine, are those goals still the right ones? After pursuing your fitness goals for a few weeks, take a step back and reassess. Are your goals too challenging? Are they too easy? Are you coming to realize that they aren’t the right goals at all? Maybe you need to clarify your goals. Instead of losing five pounds a month, it may be more reasonable to commit to going to the gym three times a week and batching your meals each Sunday.
It’s okay to change your goals. If you’re feeling worn down, scale back a little. If your goals turned out to be too easy, crank up the challenge. Remember, the right goals are ones that push you a little outside your comfort zone yet remain achievable.
3. Revise Your Fitness Plan
You likely developed a plan to implement your New Year’s fitness resolutions. Did you want to work out three times a week? Your plan should clarify on which days you would work out and at what times so that you had a clear road map to achieving your goals.
Now that you have a few weeks under your belt, how is the plan going? Oftentimes, when the rubber meets the road, you’ll discover new challenges that you didn’t anticipate. Maybe it was your intention to work out first thing in the morning, but you’ve missed several workouts because the kids needed help with their homework. Or maybe you planned to run each weekend, but it’s been difficult to go outside because of freezing temperatures.
Now is the time to revise your fitness plan; it needs to work within the reality of your life. Switch your workouts to lunchtime or the evenings instead of in the morning. Buy a gym membership so you can run indoors during the colder months. Make sure your fitness plan takes your life into consideration.
4. What’s Next?
Rather than burden yourself with one big and intimidating goal, EōS Fitness suggests trying to break your fitness goals into smaller, achievable stepping stones. Want to run a marathon? Start by first running a mile without stopping. Smaller goals are more approachable and achievable and allow you to see a clear path to your overall, large goal.
If you took this advice, you may be getting close to achieving your first small goal, or you may have even put it in the rearview mirror. Great job! So, what’s next? The key to this process is to line up a row of increasingly challenging goals that build upon each other. Make sure you have your next few exercise goals in place so that you have a target to reach. Can you now run a mile with ease? It might be time to sign up for your first 5k race (3.1 miles) and to begin building up more mileage. Keep increasing the challenge so that you continue making progress.
5. Vary Your Workouts
If your New Year’s fitness goal was simply to begin working out, you might notice something after a few weeks. The New Year’s workouts will get easier. What once felt extremely challenging is now doable. When you put your body under a certain load, it will gradually adapt to it.
Many new exercisers make the mistake of performing the same fitness routine over and over. Not only will this repetition cause your progress to stall, but you’ll likely begin to feel bored by doing the same thing each day. The answer is to continually vary your fitness routine. Writing for ACE Fitness, Cedric X. Bryant suggests varying your workout routine by boosting the intensity of your current routine (i.e., moving faster, performing more reps, or lifting more weight), cross-training (trying different types of exercise), or changing the sequence of your workout routine.
If you aren’t sure how to mix things up with your fitness, try a different cardio machine, switch from resistance machines to free weights, sign up for a fitness class, or try out virtual reality fitness.
6. Keep Tracking Your Stats
Tracking your stats is an excellent way to stay motivated and to ensure you are making progress. This can include keeping a food journal, writing down all your workouts, and even using apps or wearables to track your sleep, steps, heart rate, etc. While tracking your fitness goals can initially be exciting, you may lose interest in tracking over time, especially if you begin to feel like you can manage your goal progress without tracking.
Don’t get lazy! It’s so easy to slowly drift away from good behavior when you aren’t keeping a sharp eye on the numbers. If you stop tracking your calories, even adding a small amount to each meal could add up to hundreds of excess calories a month and freeze or even reverse your progress.
Find a tracking method that works for you and stick with it. Check out this article on the best fitness apps for 2021 by Very Well Fit.
7. Don’t Let Setbacks Slow You Down
Did you miss a day at the gym or demolish half a pint of ice cream after a seriously stressful day? These things happen. From first-time exercisers to bodybuilding pros, everyone experiences bad days, loss of momentum, and setbacks.
The key is not to let the setback sabotage your goal. Maybe you had a bad day, a bad week, or a bad month, but you can always start again. Achieving a goal is a journey, and fitness is about building habits that you follow most of the time (read: not all the time).
Expect setbacks. When they happen, acknowledge them but don’t dwell on them. Give yourself grace. Then, the next day, go after your exercise goals again.
8. Celebrate Your Wins
Each day that you take the steps you need to achieve your goals is a day worth celebrating. Take the time each day to congratulate yourself on changing your life for the better. When you hit a milestone, enjoy the feeling and remind yourself of how far you’ve come. Share your success with family and friends and reward yourself, maybe with your favorite meal, a relaxing bubble bath, or even a donation to your favorite charity.
The more you acknowledge and celebrate your successes, the more empowered and motivated you will feel.
9. Ask for Help
Now, more than ever, we need to be willing to ask for help. If you are struggling with motivation or find you aren’t sure how to complete your New Year’s fitness dreams, reach out to those who can help you. Ask your partner or best friend to hold you accountable for weekly or monthly goals. If you have someone in your life that also has a fitness goal, work out together. Better yet, if someone in your life is already where you want to be in your fitness, ask them how they did it or even go to the gym and work out with them. Finally, if you need the ultimate accountability partner, hire a personal trainer. You can even hire a virtual personal trainer if you are not yet ready to go to the gym.
Sticking with your New Year’s fitness resolution isn’t supposed to be easy. Yet, by continually reassessing your goals and plans, remembering your why, expecting setbacks, and celebrating your wins, you can get there. Remember, fitness is a journey, so focus on moving a few steps toward your fitness goal each day. EōS Fitness can help. Find the closest EōS Fitness to you.