The new year is here, and with a new year comes new goals for your overall health. Maybe you hit a snag in your training between your Thanksgiving and New Year celebrations, and you want to get back in the saddle. Perhaps you’re looking to hit a personal best this year, and you know that your exercise routine is going to have to jump up to the next level. It could even be that you need to make dramatic changes in your overall health—whatever your motivation, it’s time to get healthy and fit.
One of the best ways to help you achieve your health goals is to set some New Year’s resolutions. The concept of a resolution for the new year is not a new one. History shows that the ancient Babylonians were some of the first people to mark a new year by making resolutions. Although you can be sure that nobody in Babylon was making a resolution to go from the couch to a 5K, the overall principle is a sound one that has worked for thousands of years.
Yet, when it comes to making a resolution for health goals in the new year, many people have a negative impression. According to a recent yougov.com poll, three of the top four most popular New Year’s resolutions for Americans were “exercise more”, “eat healthier”, and “lose weight”. Yet, most of the same people polled expressed frustration with the fact that they didn’t keep to their health goals or get healthier in the new year. In fact, out of the same group of people polled, only 10% reported that they actually kept all of their New Year’s resolutions from the previous year. That number is staggering!
Before we jump to any conclusions about setting health goals, there’s a question that begs to be asked: Is the problem with the resolution itself or with how we try to carry them out? By giving the issue some thought, we’ll probably come to the conclusion that the issue is not with setting health goals. What could be so bad about resolving to get healthy and improve your overall fitness? Instead, the problem comes from not having a solid plan in place to carry out those goals.
If you’re looking to get healthy this year, but you’re afraid that you won’t stick to the goals you’ve made, consider these eight sure-fire ways to hold fast to your New Year’s (or any time of the year, really!) resolutions.
Learn from Your Past
Of course, you want to look to the future, but have you ever considered that the key to your success may actually be in your past? If you’ve had some previous issues keeping your health goals, don’t let that discourage you. Instead, use that failure as fuel to help you get healthy in the present.
There’s an old saying: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Truer words may never have been spoken! If you’ve failed in the past, instead of attempting the same thing over again and simply telling yourself you’ll “try harder”, analyze your failures of the past and build a plan to help you avoid making the same mistakes.
If your goal for the new year is to “get healthy”, you’ve got a problem: how do you know when you’ve finally gotten healthy? Using subjective, unmeasurable phrases such as “exercise more” or “eat better food” are awful health goals because you’ll never know when you’ve achieved them. Because you’ll have no benchmark to hit, you won’t be as dedicated as you should be.
If you want this year to be different, then make specific resolutions that have a quantifiable line of victory. Here are a few areas that you should consider:
- Weight: This is without a doubt the most popular goal, but it’s also the easiest to set. Choose a goal weight and begin working toward it.
- Exercise: How many times a week? Set goals for miles run, weights lifted, or for completing a certain amount of WOD’s per week. Finding some fun exercises will help keep you engaged and on track in this area.
- Nutrition: Do you have a goal for your macros? Are you simply looking to track your caloric intake?
- Types of food: Are you looking to eliminate soda? Perhaps you’re looking to limit your trip to the drive-through to only once a week? Whatever it is, set your number and stick to it!
Write Your Goals Down ...And Chart Them
Now that you have your goals, don’t just assume you’ll remember them. Write them down on an app on your phone, in a journal, or on your computer. For a more visible reminder, write them on a piece of paper and stick it to your fridge. This is an especially good idea for food-related health goals. Use sticky notes or index cards in key areas of your home or office to help remind you of your goals.
Once you’ve got those written down, create some charts to help show your progress towards getting healthier. You can utilize the charting functions of apps like MyFitnessPal or Fitbit (little-known fact: the Fitbit app is free and very useful even if you don’t own a Fitbit!). Use a calendar to mark the days you hit the gym. Utilize a log to mark your weekly weigh-ins or to record the number of inches you’ve lost in your arms, hips, waist, or whatever other parts of the body you’re measuring.
You’re well on your way now to meeting your fitness and health goals. However, some people get discouraged and quit within the first few weeks because they don’t see the results that they’re looking for. It could be that the weight isn’t falling off the scale as quickly as they would like or maybe it’s not dropping at all. Maybe they’re looking at other people at their gym or in their classes and comparing themselves to them. These can be sources of discouragement that could cause people to quit if not properly dealt with.
Don’t forget that if you’re looking to kick unhealthy habits, it takes time for you to get healthy habits reintegrated into your life. Don’t assess your goals by looking at others; patiently compare yourself to your goals and don’t stress!
Find Some Accountability
Trying to keep your health goals on your own isn’t impossible, but it isn’t wise either. We all do better with a bit of encouragement and accountability. Talk to your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, workout buddy, or anyone else who is also trying to get healthy. Share with them your goals and ask them to check up on you periodically.
One of the advantages of using an app to track your progress is that you can often link with other friends who use the same app. This allows you to share nutritional info, workout stats, and other important information that will help you to encourage each other to reach your health goals.
Although nobody wants to mess up when trying to keep their health goals, the fact of the matter is that we’re all human and we don’t always follow through with what we have committed. You may end up eating that burger and fries (with secret sauce, no less!) which was definitely not part of your plan.
Face it, we’re human and we make mistakes. We miss workouts. We eat and drink things that are harmful to our bodies. This is not an excuse to cheat, but simply an admission of fact. So, if you have a bad day, don’t just quit! Forgive yourself and do better tomorrow. Remember you’re trying to start a new healthy lifestyle, and there will be ups and downs along the way.
Utilize the Right Kind of Supplements
If you’re looking to get healthy, consider using supplements to help you reach your health goals. It could be that, in the past, you’ve never considered using workout supplements because you’ve only equated them with hardcore bodybuilders. However, this misconception couldn’t be further from the truth. High-quality workout supplements are an aid to overall health, and they are beneficial no matter what kinds of exercises you do.
For instance, take Bare Performance Nutrition’s Flight pre-workout supplement. Not only is it filled with the very best ingredients to nourish your body, but it also makes your workout more productive by increasing your energy and focus. What’s the end result? You’ll enjoy better nutrition, and your gains will be greater simply from using BPN’s clean, safe formula. You’ll feel—and see!—the difference immediately.
This year CAN be different! You CAN keep your health goals. Let us here at Bare Performance Network help you get into the best shape of your life. Contact us today to see how we can help YOU get healthy!