After an unprecedented 2020, you may find yourself ready for a new year, a new start, and a new exercise goal. If you weren’t able to hit your fitness goals last year, that’s more than understandable. Now that it’s 2021, it’s time to put 2020 behind you and focus on what you can accomplish now. The year 2021 will present its own challenges, but you can still achieve ambitious New Year’s fitness resolutions as long as you follow these 10 simple and powerful steps.
1.Know Your Why
Before you even write down your New Year’s fitness resolutions, start by figuring out the why behind what you want to accomplish. If, for example, you want to lose weight, is it because you want to improve your health, or are you trying to reach your goal physique? A strong why will keep you motivated and focused after your initial enthusiasm wears off. Make sure your why truly inspires you. Keep it close to your heart as you figure out your exercise goals.
2.Develop Specific, Measurable Goals
Ever wonder why so many people fail to keep up with resolutions for fitness? One big reason is that they don’t develop specific, measurable goals. For example, a goal to “lose weight” is not specific. How much weight do you want to lose? How long will it take you to lose the weight?
Figure out a specific goal, determine a way to measure it, create a deadline, and, ideally, several milestones along the way. A great goal would be to lose five pounds a month for four months, adding up to 20 pounds lost by April. Other specific goals could be:
- Run three miles in 30 minutes by June 1st
- Perform a set of three back squats at 200 pounds by April
- Do a half-hour of yoga every Tuesday and Thursday before work for the entire year
By making sure your goal is specific and measurable, you can be sure to track it effectively.
3.Make a Plan
Now that you’ve created your New Year’s fitness resolutions, how are you actually going to accomplish your goals? It’s not enough to have resolutions. You need to devise a realistic plan to achieve your goals. Think about what you’ll need to do to meet your New Year’s fitness goals. How can you break down your goals into easy-to-perform steps?
If your goal is to run three miles in 30 minutes by June 1st, what does that training look like? Maybe you should focus first on running a mile without stopping. That may mean committing to running two or three times a week. Pick specific days and times you’ll spend running so that you can build a routine. Break down your goal into smaller goals. How about running one mile in 10 minutes by the end of February?
Focus on creating a steady routine you can achieve each week that will move you toward your goal.
4.Build in Flexibility
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. Things are not always going to work out as planned. Many of the challenges and unpredictability of 2020 will still be present in the early months of 2021. Your kids may have to continue learning remotely. Your hours at work may be inconsistent. Your gym may be closed.
Add flexibility into your New Year’s workout plan. Can’t go to the gym? Start devising home workouts. Kids at home? Invite them to a virtual yoga session with you. Unpredictable work hours? Be prepared to make up workout sessions or create some super-short at-home workouts you can do when you have a little free time.
When you plan for the unexpected, you won’t lose your fitness momentum.
5.Make Your Goal Visible
This tip is super simple yet surprisingly effective. Write down your New Year’s fitness goal and put it somewhere you can regularly see it. Write it on a sticky note and post it on your bathroom mirror. Slap it on the fridge. Make it the screensaver on your phone or computer. Post it on your social media channels. By keeping your goal in front of your eyes, you’ll stay focused and motivated on achieving it. After all, it’s hard to skip a workout when your goal is staring at you from the bathroom mirror.
You’ve probably watched friends and family members start their New Year’s resolutions full of fervor, only to have their excitement fizzle out in a matter of weeks. One of the culprits behind failed New Year’s resolutions are goals that are too ambitious. Sure, running your first marathon might seem exciting on January 1st, but by the middle of March, when you have yet another outdoor run session in the cold, you may have second thoughts.
The best way to achieve your goals is to start small and build on the momentum of accomplishment. Running a marathon is a great goal, but what about signing up for a 5k first? Running three miles is far less intimidating than running 26.2, and crossing the finish line of your first 5k will get you fired up to sign up for a 10k, then a half-marathon. Once you’ve got 13.1 miles under your belt, a full marathon won’t seem so out-of-reach.
7.Work Out at Home
It’s possible that gyms in certain parts of the country will be closed at the beginning of 2021, but don’t let this get in the way of your exercise for your New Year’s resolutions. Instead, commit to performing at-home workouts. You don’t need much space or equipment to get in a satisfying at-home workout. Simply using your bodyweight and increasing the intensity of your reps will give you an excellent workout. In particular, look at High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts that use bodyweight movements. As the weather warms up, hit the sidewalks and trails to stretch your legs.
Want to add more resistance training to your workout? Resistance bands are low-cost and highly effective. Plus, they take up almost no space in your home or office.
The year 2020 forced many to become more adept at using technology in place of face-to-face interactions. Don’t be shy about using technological advances to help you stick to your exercise goals. First, if you aren’t able to go to the gym, check to see if your gym offers online classes or on-demand workouts. EōS Fitness provides a range of on-demand fitness options.
Finally, if you’ve gotten used to virtual happy hours with your coworkers, how about virtual workouts with your gym buddy? Pull up a Zoom meeting or the virtual video software of your preference and do a workout together. Studies show that working out with a partner can help you work out longer.
9.Measure Your Progress
How will you know if you’re on track to achieve your exercise goals if you don’t regularly check your progress? When you are developing your fitness plan, make sure to build in mechanisms to track your progress. That may be as simple as stepping on the scale once a week or once a month. You could also test your capacity by performing a baseline workout or doing a weighted lift to see if you are getting faster or stronger.
Technology also makes it easy to measure your progress. Tons of apps and devices let you track your nutrition, your heart rate during workouts, even the quality of your sleep. Some apps even reward you for meeting specific goals and challenges. For example, the EōS Fitness mobile app keeps users motivated with monthly challenges.
The year 2020 didn’t exactly make it easy to stay positive. Still, the point of creating New Year’s fitness resolutions is that you want to improve your life. So, start the year by believing in yourself and your ability to achieve your goals. Scientific research shows that those who maintain a more positive attitude are more likely to believe they are making good progress on their goals. Remember, 2021 is a new year, and it can be anything that you make of it. Practice self-care, gratitude, and thankfulness for all that you have, and celebrate your progress on your goals.
Your Gym Can Help You Meet Your Resolution to Fitness
Not sure where to start with your New Year’s fitness resolutions? How about at your gym? If your gym is open, sign up for an introductory wellness consultation. Most gyms, including EōS Fitness, offer a complimentary welcome workout to new members. Many gyms can help you track your fitness progress and measure your body fat. They also offer personal training for those who want a fitness plan customized to their goals. Finally, check out the online services your gym offers. Many gyms spent 2020 making their online services, including online workouts and coaching, much more robust.
Good luck with your 2021 New Year’s fitness resolutions. There’s nothing holding you back from the new you!