It might seem early, but the beginning of a new year is right around the corner. That means a whole lot of people will soon be rushing to start their New Year's resolutions. We've found that the most common resolution is to get in shape, so why not start your New Year goals now?
Thinking about January 1st as the start of your get-fit journey is a bit too much of an open-ended goal. Instead of setting a specific start date, get to work now, and think about the date of when you want to have accomplished your goal. Besides, starting on some random date in the future (January 1) makes it too easy to continue a downward slope during the holidays.
Start Now, Even Without a Specific Goal
In order to achieve your goals, you'll need a good plan, but there's no time like the present to start. Even if you're still trying to envision your specific end goal and haven't set up a detailed plan yet, start anyway. Nothing beats the combination of enthusiasm and momentum.
How to Set a Goal You Can Accomplish
Choose something realistic. Don't make such an easy goal that you'll lose interest and not challenge yourself, but whether it's a specific bodyweight, body fat percentage, strength goal, or a particular look you want to achieve, decide exactly what your goal is. Be specific but realistic.
Set a Date. Whether it's a particular event, a vacation, or just a random date, put it on your calendar, and even consider setting up check-in reminders every couple of weeks leading up to that date to make sure you're on track. Don't make it an excessively long plan, however. Pick a date around 10-16 weeks from now so that you don't lose interest, and once you've reached that goal, set your next one!
Make a plan. Choose an exercise routine that's challenging enough to keep you motivated but not so hard that you'll lose interest. Make it something different than you're doing now, and skip using any sort of routine that didn't work for you in the past.
Track your progress. Whether you take notes for yourself or post them online for the world to follow along, the only way you really know you're moving forward is to keep track of your progress. And include photos and/or video, since the mirror has a tendency to lie,” you might feel you're making more or less progress than you really are if going by memory, but photos don't lie. Plus, while a scale can be helpful, the number you see says nothing about your body composition. Just use that as a data point, but don't read too much into it. With your photos, be sure to use the same lighting and location each time.
Set daily alarms or reminders.Set reminders for when to eat and even sneak in some random positive messages or words of inspiration to remind you of your goal. Even a simple ""Focus!"" can go a long way to motivate you if there's a time of day when you normally lose sight of your goal.
Unplug! There's a time and a place to be social, and your workout is neither the time nor the place. It's fine to look at your phone or watch for workout info while you're training, but don't check email or answer calls or text messages during your workout. Be social outside of the gym and focused when you're working on your goal.
As mentioned above, there's no time like the present to start, and waiting for ""tomorrow"" may never happen. Start today, and then use the recommendations above to keep you going. Let us know when you've reached your goal!