We’re over a month removed from the new year, and many people have set New Year’s resolutions and already broken them. Likely they have given up for now, and will get “back on track” in a few weeks or months.
If this sounds familiar to you, or you have been struggling with your fitness resolutions to start the year, don’t worry I’ve got you covered.
Of the millions of Americans who set New Year’s resolutions each year, roughly 8% actually stick out the hard times and follow through on their goals. Why is that? Why do so many people feel like they need to set lofty fitness goals each year and then give up at the first sign of adversity?
My expert opinion is that they don’t understand how to set realistic and achievable goals. Keep reading to find out how to set new year’s resolutions that you can actually achieve.
Build on your success from last year
The one thing that most New Year’s resolution goal setters fail to do is to take stock of what accomplishments they reached in the prior year.
Were you able to fit into that dress that you haven’t worn in 10 years? That’s awesome! Keep doing what got you those results. Did you lift more weight last year, than you had since you were in college, or ever? Way to go!
Take stock of your program and make small adjustments to keep making gains.
Fitness trends come and go, and unfortunately they come too often, but the basics (losing weight, building muscle, and being healthy) will always remain.
Make the main focus of your fitness pursuits this year one of the three mentioned above, and you will be on the right path to achieving your New Year’s resolutions.
Law of diminishing returns
The biggest (by far) reason I’ve seen most people give up on their fitness goals and New Year’s resolutions is that they stop progressing quickly.
The human body is like clay, in that it can be molded and shaped how we want it. However, most beginners will see huge progress in the first months or year of their program. After that, the progress come slower and more infrequent. Instead of losing 10 pounds in a month, someone might lose 1 pound every 2 months.
This is called the law of diminishing returns.
This concept, which was originally applied by early economists, means that over time the returns from the same input are smaller. Unfortunately over time, hard work no longer equals huge gains.
Because of this, it is a great idea to occasionally take stock of your fitness program and shift gears to enhance progress. For instance, if you have been in a rapid fat loss phase you may switch to a muscle building phase, or vice versa.
Changing workout programs will help keep progress going longer, although the more fit you become, the less frequent the progress will be.
Don’t lose focus just because the scale doesn’t move like it used to. Remember that you are still building a stronger and healthier body than you had yesterday. New Year’s resolutions should be about long term goals, not short term wants. Keep that in mind and the gains will come over time.
Be realistic with your New Year’s resolutions
The girl on the treadmill next to you is ripped and weighs 115. Or the dude next to you can bench 275, 8 times.
Just because someone else looks super fit and can perform like you want to does not mean that if you worked really hard you will be on that level.
Every body is 100% different. Even identical twins will have different strength levels and body mass compositions.
The key is to set your New Year’s resolutions based on your body, your athletic ability, your schedule, and your life.
If you don’t have a lot of time to workout, like most people, then your goals will need to fit within that time frame. You can accomplish a lot in a 20 minute workout, if you plan accordingly, and have a good workout program.
Another issue is that most people set New Year’s resolutions based on some life event that they “need” to be ready for. While spring break, college reunions, and ex’s wedding’s are great reasons to drop 40 pounds or get jacked, it may not be in the cards for you this year based on your progress from last year.
Did you workout hard last year and lose 10 pounds? Then dropping 30 in the next few months may not be reasonable.
Again, consistency will help you build a strong and healthy physique that will last your whole life, not just a season.
Diet will play a huge role in your goals. If your diet needs an overhaul, check out our 24 Day Challenge program to clean up your diet and get started on a fitter lifestyle.
Have some accountability
Do you have a workout partner? Are you talking to anyone at your office or school about the workouts you have been doing? Have you ever texted your friends to compare workouts that you did that day?
If you do, then congratulations. You have some level of accountability.
If you don’t, then you may consider starting up a relationship with someone at the gym you see when you’re there. Talk to someone about their New Year’s resolutions. Maybe they need some help too. Or ask a friend if they’d like to be your accountability partner. Maybe they need someone to push them but are too embarrassed to ask.
You never know.
You could also hire a personal trainer to give you accountability and take the guesswork out of coming up with your workouts and programs.
I happen to know a pretty good one. Sign Up today!
Give yourself enough time to make progress
The last, but one of the most important, steps to achieving your New Year’s resolutions is to give yourself enough time before you throw in the towel.
We live in a world of instant gratification, but sadly fitness is not fast process. It took you a long time to get out of shape. It will take months or years to get back to where you want to be.
The fastest way to reach your goals is to be realistic, have an effective workout program, get some accountability, dial in your diet, and be patient.
Set realistic New Year’s resolutions, realize that this is a marathon and not a sprint and have some accountability and you will be on the path to a fitter, healthier, more muscular you in the future.