Ah, January 1st. It’s a symbolic date in which virtually everyone I know anticipates the start of a new beginning in life by announcing goals that may or may not stick more than three months. I love the optimism of the New Year, but it’s easy to get caught up in the rush of making goals that might not be all that realistic. However, when it comes to your fitness or weight loss goals, there’s help. Since this is all a journey, little stops and starts, victories and setbacks are all a part of the plan.
But if you want to keep your fitness journey on a forward motion rather than a dead stop, here are three ways you can keep it moving in 2014.
Just Move. Sounds simple, right? Almost too simple? Well, it’s true. Even if you just hop on a treadmill or take a walk, or just do some burpees. It’s better than nothing and it’ll get you into a habit of moving and working out. This is especially true on days you don’t want to work out. Sometimes the hardest thing about a workout is showing up. If you would rather go home and slide into bed, give yourself 5 minutes. If you still don’t want to workout after 5 minutes, end the workout. (You probably won’t want to stop once you’ve started.)
Hold Yourself Accountable. This can come in a variety of ways. You can join a community (like our Racing Team!), download apps like MyFitnessPal or Fitbit, or grab a buddy. Even just texting a friend and saying, “Hey, these are my goals, this is what I’ve accomplished, and this is what I want to work on” is a way to keep yourself accountable. I even saw someone say that they “tipped” themselves a dollar each team they worked out. After $100 workouts, they went out and rewarded themselves. Whatever works!
Remind Yourself of Your Goals. Sometimes, when I talk to people about their fitness goals, I’m told that the main goal is to weigh or look like they did in high school. This usually means a great deal of weight has to come off. I mean, if I wanted to weigh as much as I did in high school, we’re talking 50 pounds or so. 50 pounds is a LOT. And if that’s my only goal, it’s going to be hard to stay motivated over the course of the time it will take to lose that weight in a healthy way. You have to break up your goals into smaller ones that help keep you on track for the big pie-in-the-sky goal. Try for losing a certain amount of body weight first, like 5%. Once you’ve achieved that goal, you can reassess and continue making smaller goals that will add up to accomplish your bigger goal.
Be True to Your Own Fitness Journey. I think this one is extremely important, because journeys aren’t one size fits all. Some people love to run. I ABHOR RUNNING. If you put a soccer ball in front of me, hey, now we’re talking. But if you’re like, “Hey, Madeleine! Go run from here to there! FOR FUN!” I am going to hate you and I am probably not going to do it. And if I’ve learned anything over the course of 2013, I’ve learned that if I am not on fire to do something fitness related, I’m probably not going to do it. Sad, but true, and that’s my own fitness struggle for 2014. But if getting out of bed to go kickboxing or cycling is your thing, do it. It doesn’t have to be HIIT cross training to be “right” for you. Dancing for an hour in your favorite Zumba class is ALWAYS going to be better than sitting at home because you don’t want to do crossfit.