Nearly 73 percent of people who make fitness-related New Year’s resolutions give up on them -- with more than half saying their goals or the plan they chose was simply too hard to stick to. In our fast-paced culture, it’s not hard to see why.
If you’re running late from work, you can either pick up fast food or have dinner on the table by 9:00. If you have nothing clean to wear for work Monday morning, you can either spend your Sunday afternoon at the gym or doing laundry.
In other words, after that first week of hitting your goals hard, real-life sets in and challenges your expectations.
However, this year can be different. Instead of making a New Year’s resolution for weight loss, eating healthier, or building lean muscle, make a New Year’s plan for a healthier you. Here are tips (tech tips included) to help you make -- and most importantly keep -- your 2020 fitness goals.
Plan and prep healthy meals you’re excited to eat
What good does buying all that kale do if you can’t stand eating it? True, when preparing healthier meals, some of your favorites need to go out the window for a while, but eating healthy doesn’t mean tasteless, disappointing meals.
Take a trip to your local farmer’s market to find locally sourced, in-season produce that you can turn into mouthwatering healthy meals. Then, dedicate one afternoon to making and preparing these meals for the week ahead. Meal prep will not only save you from stopping for fast food but also save you time and money.
Work out whenever and wherever you can
Exercise doesn’t have to happen at the gym. In fact, it doesn’t have to happen only once a day or a few times a week. Studies show that the more you exercise, the more committed you are to it.
While those trips to the gym or yoga class are important, it’s equally important to incorporate exercise into your habits and routines. Ride your bike to work or the gym, take a walk during your lunch break, or spend a Saturday morning hiking with your dog on a few nearby trails.
Shoot for better, not perfect
The quickest way to fail at achieving a goal is setting one that turns out to be unreachable. It’s inspiring at first to set a goal of losing 50 pounds, but is it realistic? Turns out, setting and focusing on milestones can help you inch your way to that big goal.
Celebrate your wins along the way and feel confident when you do something better, not disappointed when it isn’t perfect. Did you ride your bike one more day this week than last? Great! Did you eat salads for lunch every day at work? Fantastic! What matters more? How much weight you lose or how many real, long-term fitness changes you made?
Get All Kinds of Support -- Human and Digital
Remember, you can find strength in numbers. Working out with a friend, eating healthy meals with your whole family, and tracking your progress with apps are both fun and effective ways to keep your health and fitness resolutions.
If you try to go it alone, you are the only person who can hold you accountable for sticking to your plan.
That’s why teaming up with others who share your goals can put you on track to achieve yours. If you do prefer to work out alone, a fitness tracker or smartwatch can also track progress and keep you motivated.
While a fitness tracker will measure basics as calories burned and how far you run or bike, a smartwatch offers many more features like a touchscreen display and access to your wireless network.
Once you feel like you’ve fallen too far off your path to your goal, it’s hard to stay motivated to continue. The most important thing to remember when making fitness goals is to have fun. New experiences, adventures, and habits are the best part of creating a healthier you.