New Year Fitness Goals
There is no telling how many people will resolve to lose weight, get in shape, and pursue better health and fitness at the turning of the calendar year, but it’s a good bet that the number includes most of the people reading right now. After the marathon eating and loafing characteristic of the holiday season, most of us enter the New Year feeling like sloths, and those few extra pounds around the middle are not helping the situation.
This might not be quite enough to motivate you to make a change that will reverse your situation, especially if you’re feeling a little depressed about it already. So here are just a few tips that will help you to find the motivation you need to set goals and improve your health and fitness in the coming year.
Oh, man, you can practically hear the scale groaning under you already, post-holiday feasting. Numbers don’t lie, so if you’re actually willing to hop on the scale and take a peek it could be just the motivation you need to get back to the gym. The trick here is not to let the number on the scale dictate your emotional state. Instead, use the number you see to help you set goals, stay aware, and practice positive reinforcement.
When the number goes up a little, remind yourself that it’s due to the second helping of dessert you had and use that knowledge to make changes. Try to avoid checking the readout daily, as well; obsessive tracking can do more harm than good.
Like the scale, your full-length mirror can be a tool for good or for evil, depending on your mental state. When you see something you don’t like in the mirror, put up a motivational post-it note with a plan to fix it, such as “do 10 more crunches today” or “take carrots to work instead of potato chips”. Soon you’ll start to like what you see reflected in the mirror a lot more.
Nothing will bring on the post-holiday despair like looking through your closet and realizing that nothing fits but your baggy sweats. However, you can use your ill-fitting garments for motivation. By wearing the pants that are a little too snug you can remind yourself that you don’t need another cookie or that it’s time to hit the gym. And there’s no better motivation than the feeling of pride (and comfort) that results when your clothes start to show a little wiggle room.
There are all kinds of programs designed to help you lose weight, get fit, and improve your overall health, not only with products and practices for the purpose, but also motivational strategies meant to keep you on track. In most cases this takes the form of support groups, either in person or online. Having a community of like-minded individuals on hand to complain with, get advice from, and even tap for workout buddies can be a major boon where motivation is concerned. Also, many such programs breed accountability.
Studies have shown that parents tend to live longer than adults that don’t have kids, and this may have something to do with the fact that parents try harder to achieve optimum levels of health so that they can be around longer for their kids. This aspect of human nature may just be the key to motivating yourself to undertake better health practices in the coming year.
Left to our own devices we will often choose to be comfortable and complacent. But when we’re worried about how our deteriorating health could affect the people that love and depend on us, we’re often motivated to improve. It’s kind of a sad commentary on the foibles of modern man, but whatever helps you to put down that chocolate croissant and jump on the treadmill shouldn’t be questioned too deeply.
Use these tips to help motivate yourself to get back into the gym this coming January, whenever it is that you are reading this, use these tips to get back in the gym tomorrow or next week. The sooner the better. Start with a generic full body routine to learn the ways of fitness, then evolve from there. Once you make that first move to find a plan and stick to it, you’ll have a much better chance of getting healthy.