Whether we openly admit to making New Year’s resolutions or not, most of us will at least make certain promises to ourselves at the turn of the year.
If one of your commitments is to get fit, lose weight, or shape up, these eight tips compiled by health and fitness website Vivotion.com might just help you stay the course.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and complete health and wellness doesn’t happen overnight, so be realistic, and be patient. For most people, upending a lifetime of habits can’t happen at the click of the fingers. Long-term results are achieved through small, gradual changes, so rather than thinking that you want to get up and start running 5k every morning, work up to it slowly instead of jumping in at the deep end.
If you push too hard, you may find it difficult to maintain new habits and then you’ll end up giving up altogether.
Set small goals
By establishing small benchmarks – perhaps monthly – you’ll be able to maintain your motivation throughout the year. This will give you reason to celebrate small victories and help you realise that you’re moving towards a bigger goal, bit by bit.
Write it down
Instead of simply thinking to yourself “I want to lose weight” or “I want to run a marathon”, think how you’re going to get there. How do you get from point A to point B? When you’ve established what you need to do, day by day, week by week, (see point #2) make sure you write it down. Keeping a regular checklist and something material to refer back to will help solidify the task and keep you on track.
Talk about it
Don’t keep your resolution a secret! Talk to friends and family members who will be there to support you. Even better, it might help you find a buddy who shares your New Year’s resolutions so you can motivate each other.
Keep it fresh
No matter how and when you choose to move your body, it should be enjoyable and for the purpose of celebrating it, not punishing it. Hate the treadmill? Try a Zumba or Bar Method class. If you’re already going to the gym regularly but find it hard to stay motivated, try something new to revive your resolve and boost your fitness level.
Eat real foods
Regardless of your fitness goals, by making sure that your meals are made from fresh, whole, minimally processed ingredients, your body – and mind – is going to reap the benefits. And never, ever starve yourself. Restrictive eating slows down your metabolism and deprivation only leads to cravings and future binges.
Get your beauty sleep
You might not think that prioritizing quality shut-eye actually counts as a fitness resolution, but getting the right amount of sleep is crucial, especially for those with a more active lifestyle. So shut off your phone about an hour before you hit the hay, experiment with relaxing essentials oils, or try out a few soothing yoga poses to ease you into bed.
Celebrate your successes by treating yourself to something you enjoy – but don’t overdo it. Most fitness fans will admit to having a cheat meal or two, but make sure you know when to draw the line. On the other hand, you could reward yourself with new fitness clothing, or by going to the cinema with a friend.
“According to the results of a YouGov poll released earlier this year, the two most popular resolutions made for 2018 were to eat better and exercise more,” says the team at Vivotion.com.
“We expect a similar trend this year – partly because so many people will have fallen off the bandwagon somewhere along the line.
“It’s not easy to overturn a lifetime of unhealthy habits, but by being realistic, eating real foods and getting your beauty sleep, you’ll have a far greater chance of sticking to your resolutions and achieving your goals this year.”