You’ve pledged to make a healthy start in the new year. But how are you going to accomplish that?
Setting fitness resolutions can be a tricky task – often, people set goals that are difficult to maintain, try and change their diet within days or expect to see significant weight loss within weeks, and are disappointed when they don’t see results. But fitness resolutions do work.
Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind while planning a fit future:
Make your resolutions goal-oriented
Don’t set open-ended or unrealistic targets like “I’m going to lose weight” or “I’ll make it to the gym more often”. Be more specific with your resolutions, like “I’m going to lose 4 kgs over the next four months” or “I’ll do 150 hours of cardio every week”. It is possible that you could actually lose more weight, which would make you feel that losing weight is easy.
Set realistic goals
While creating the plan, remember to base it on you and not others. Also, goals have to have a why — why do you want to achieve it? You’ve got to be invested. If not, it’s just some words on paper.
Ensure your resolutions are attainable. Saying “I will make it to the gym 7 days a week all year” when you haven’t set foot in one over the last year is a bit of a stretch. Aim for one or two goals that are sensible and attainable – like “I’m going to fit into that old pair of jeans”, or “I’m going to exercise for 30 minutes 2-3 days per week” and gradually increase throughout the year. Setting goals for the week or month is a good idea. When trying to eat healthier, make small changes, such as eating one fruit per day, and increase as this becomes a daily habit.
Write it down
Jotting down your plan, or using a fitness tracker like Healthifyme makes your goals more tangible. Studies show that keeping a written record of your progress can also help you succeed. Log your weight every week and note what you eat. It doesn’t just help you pinpoint unhealthy patterns, it also helps you see how you adapt to healthier eating patterns, which in turn can be a big motivator!
An app like HealthifyMe, which apart from a lifestyle and exercise diary, even offers actionable insights (analyzes your daily diet and exercise and offers suggestions on how to stay on track) which can be crucial to achieving your goals.
A single goal set far in the future is harder to get motivated for. Most of us are more likely to succeed when we get positive reinforcement during the process of achieving a larger goal.
Which is why it’s important to set short-term check points. Weekly or bi-weekly goals provide a check-in to help correct yourself if you’re off pace or off course. If your long-term resolution seems overwhelming (such as, drop 20 kgs by next year), you can break it down into more short-term, measurable daily or weekly goals (lose a kilo every two weeks). Since you will be able to track your progress on a gradual but consistent basis, you will be able to see yourself succeeding and if not, you can make adjustments to your plan, which is the best way to stay on track.
Make a Pledge to let 2015 be the year you choose to be healthier and Fitter. We will help you make that pledge come true.