The year has come to an end, and a lot of us are welcoming the new year with an updated list of resolutions that we want to fulfill in the next 365 days. Whether you have brand new goals that you want to achieve, aim to build progress on top of previous goals, or want to try again something that you gave up on earlier in the year, it’s natural to start the year fresh and with really high hopes. But achieving those resolutions is an entirely different thing, and it’s not always as easy as it sounds!
We’ve all been there before, where you’re feeling really energetic and motivated in January, but a few weeks go by and those high spirits start breaking. Accomplishing our resolutions can be tough because life happens and it’s not always in the way that we want it, but there are a few things that we can do to make sure that we stick to our new year goals, and we’ve compiled them into a list so you can begin your new year with the right foot.
Set reasonable goals
Goal setting is the first step to health and fitness resolutions, however, you don’t want to aim too high. Be reasonable about your goals!
Being ambitious is a great thing, but the trick to getting where you want to be is to take it step by step. Let’s say you want to make it a resolution to climb the tallest mountain in your state, which would be a great feat. If you’re already an active person and have experience hiking, then it’s a reasonable goal to have. But what if you’re just a beginner? Should you give up on your new year’s resolution? Well, not at all! Climbing a mountain can be your ultimate goal, but you need to prepare yourself first by setting up smaller milestones, or micro goals. Set smaller goals first, and achieve those before attacking the big one. Plus, it’s a great way to keep your motivation high and build healthy habits. And this goes for any fitness goal - don’t try to run when you can’t walk yet!
If you need help setting reasonable goals, follow the SMART goal method! SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound, and it’s an effective way to make sure that you can realistically achieve your goals. But a reasonable goal isn’t just something that you can physically achieve... Like quitting soda, for example, doesn’t need any physical training, but it can be very difficult for you if you’re used to drinking it every day with every meal.
You need to give your body some time to adjust to the change instead of quitting it right away because that will only make you crave it more. Gradually reduce your consumption without completely depriving yourself of it, and you’ll start seeing progress in your healthy eating journey without struggling too much!
Have an accountability buddy
Sometimes working toward a specific goal can be really tough when you’re alone, but having someone else accompany you in your journey can make everything much easier because you can both motivate each other as you make progress. Whether it’s a gym partner, a yoga buddy, a running group, or even a personal trainer, having other people around you working toward a similar goal will help you stay motivated and excited to get results!
It doesn’t matter if your partner is focusing on losing weight and you’re focusing on building muscle, they can still encourage you and keep you accountable so you don’t get sidetracked, whether it’s by texting you a reminder or by picking you up to go to the gym together. There are even virtual groups that you can join where you can find support and motivation! Of course, being able to reach your goals without any outside help can feel rewarding, but there’s nothing wrong with asking for help when you feel like you could use an extra push, especially if it’s from someone you care about and enjoy spending time with, such as friends and family.
Talk about it
Another way to help you stay motivated is by making your goal a public one - if you feel comfortable doing so. Talk to your family about it, see if they want to join. Tell your friends and coworkers and ask if they have any advice.
By keeping them in the loop about your ambitions, you can treat your goal as someone that’s already part of your life instead of just something that you want to do. There are a lot of people out there that could share the same new year’s resolution, so you could even post about it on social media for extra support!
But even if you prefer to keep it private, you can still talk about it to yourself! Don’t just keep it in your mind. Talk about it out loud, write it down in a journal, or even place sticky notes around your office or in the kitchen to remind yourself of all the small steps that you need to take to achieve your big goal.
Make your resolution become more than a concept by putting it out there, however you prefer to do it, so you can stay motivated instead of possibly forgetting about it by February.
Focus on better, not best
One big mistake that many people make when pursuing their new year goals is striving to be perfect from the start and then getting disappointed when things don’t go as planned. This happens when we set the expectations too high, and we focus more on the final result than actually getting better in the process. Your main focus should be on improving, not mastering, because it could lead to frustration and eventually quitting!
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be the best of the best, but remember that you need to build your way up first, so make it a priority to enjoy the process and get healthier throughout your journey on this new year, consistently aiming to be better than you were yesterday. After all, there’s no point in doing anything if you don’t truly enjoy it, so don’t obsess over small things and start seeing the big picture!
Track your progress
If there’s anything that will keep you motivated throughout your journey is visually seeing your progress, but progress isn’t always physical! Week 1 and 3 of strength training might not look too different physically, but you can definitely see the progress when you take a look at your training log and see how much weight you’re lifting now compared to what you were lifting on the first day. Tracking your progress will allow you to notice all the small changes you’ve made, from increased reps, weight, etc. This will encourage you to keep going so you can keep improving and making progress!
You can track your progress in a journal or in your notes app by just writing down what you do in a day, like how many minutes you ran, or how many push-ups you were able to do. Another option is getting a tracking app! An app that’s specifically designed to help you track your progress will save you a lot of time when inputting any new data, and a nice interface will make the process a lot more enjoyable. For example, our Fit With Iulia app not only gives you weekly workouts, it also gives you a space to track your progress - and it's so easy to do so! All you have to do once you start your workout is swipe up on any exercise and enter the number of reps and sets performed and the amount of weight used!
Make it fun
Difficulty can be a downside when trying to achieve your health and fitness resolutions, but so can boredom. You might have a perfectly achievable goal in mind that you can work your way up to in little time, but if it gets boring you won’t want to keep going, even if the journey looks easier than others. So try to make it fun!
Make up small challenges or games that you can accomplish while making progress toward the ultimate goal, or reward yourself when completing a milestone. A reward could look like anything that you would enjoy, like buying a new set of workout clothes or fitness gear. Staying focused is important, but you also need to enjoy yourself during your journey, so always try to keep it fun!
This one might be obvious, but don’t give up on your resolutions! Yes, it can be frustrating when you’re not able to achieve your goals in the timeframe that you originally set, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to achieve them in the long run.
After all, a little progress is still progress, so be flexible and allow for setbacks to happen because they help you grow and learn! Whether you’re trying to maintain a healthy weight, trying to lose weight by following a weight loss plan or doing more physical activity in general, the process can be long and even difficult at times, but in the end, you’ll be glad you kept trying. Because… Why start again next year if you still have the rest of the year left? Patience is a virtue that pays well, so be gentle with yourself and start all over again if necessary - just don’t give up!
In summary, accomplishing your new year fitness resolutions can seem challenging after a while, but by keeping these tips in mind you’ll be able to have an easier time - both with your goals and with yourself. Just remember to be patient, flexible, and reasonable, and you’ll have a completely checked-off resolutions list by the end of the year!
Need an effective workout plan? Or something to help keep you on track?
Fit With Iulia can help!
Iulia personally puts together goal-focused weekly workout plans to help you get the best results for your fitness journey. Aside from fitness plans, you'll have access to macro tracking, a space to track workout progress (so you can practice progressive overload), track your own personal progress, and so much more!
Try your first workout for free by downloading the Fit With Iulia app, choosing a goal, and starting your first workout with Iulia – no subscription required!