By Amy Ross
Returning to your exercise regime or embarking on a fitness New Year’s resolution?
80% of New Year fitness resolutions are abandoned within six weeks of the New Year. With the New Year comes ambitious new statements of change and improvement. However these are often repeated statements from the previous year and by the end of February they end up in the 80% of non-completed New Year’s goals. Let’s get you in that 20% success rate and have you smash your 2020 goals!
Regardless of whether you’re new to exercise or a returning exercise enthusiast, fitness goals are important and worth pursuing and achieving. However, after all the festivities even those of us who are regular gym goers may find the return to exercise challenging. Getting back into a routine, or starting a new one, can be challenging after the first few days as your motivation and enthusiasm starts to dwindle.
If you find your motivation decreasing after getting back into exercise, take a moment to set some new habits, and implement skills that will kickstart your 2020 fitness – setting you up for a year of successful training!
We recommend you implement the below steps to ensure a successful routine:
- Write down your goals and tell others, to keep you accountable
- Experiment with different exercises to ensure progression
- Map your way to your big goal with smaller goals
And remember, exercise is an investment into your self-care.
Get out there
First thing’s first, get moving. It doesn’t matter if you have a preferred gym, a home-made gym or a local park you prefer exercising at. The important thing is you put your gear on and get out there!
Make sure when you set your 2020 fitness goals, they are precise – this is important!
They need to be precise when it comes to measuring success and progress, and they have to be timely. A goal like ‘getting fitter’ isn’t going to get you far. You need to be able to objectively see when your fitness goal has been achieved.
If you’re a fitness junkie, don’t settle for what you achieved last year. Aim for bigger and better results. Ask yourself what is important to you to accomplish this year and set that goal early to get you motivated and back into an epic regime.
If you’re an exercise-first-timer or you’re returning after a long time away from exercise you probably already have a goal in mind, like exercising four days out of seven, but it’s important to refine it. Over those four different days aim to target a specific area on your body to achieve maximise results.
There are different tools you can use to achieve your goals like communicating them to your friends and family. This might be a new and scary concept to you, however we guarantee it will be effective. How? Firstly, you get support and encouragement from those around you – how great is that feeling when someone notices a positive change? This is also important when you hit those roadblocks. Secondly, you’re probably less likely to give up on your goal if you’ve already told 10 people your ambition. How awkward when someone asks how you’re tracking with your 2020 fitness goal and you have to tell them you’ve given up? Communicating your goals will help keep you accountable. You might even find sharing your goal might inspire your friends and family to join you, resulting in a workout buddy – how fun would that be!
Access to gyms, trainers, fitness apps, equipment etc can be deemed as a luxury, therefore giving you an excuse not to exercise. Don’t let this be your mentality. Start thinking of exercise like hygiene; you brush your teeth, you shower, you wash your hands, because it’s non-negotiable. It’s for your health. If you can’t get to a gym or equipment, plan a routine that you can do from home with household items, or go to a local park or track. There are always alternative options.
Schedule your daily exercise in, in advance. Intention to exercise is easily overcome by excuses and unexpected commitments. If exercise is part of your daily schedule and considered as an appointment that comes with a personal cancellation fee, you’re more likely to do it.
On this note, make health a primary incentive for exercising. There’s more to exercise than losing weight or ‘looking good’. So even when you’re not as close to your set goal as you’d like, look at the health benefits you have achieved and changes that you have noticed. You may be sleeping better or have more energy throughout the day – that is a major improvement! Keep working for those smaller health benefits, they all contribute to a healthier lifestyle.
One of the biggest reasons for unsuccessful goal fulfilment is that the original goal is too big. This does not mean your big goal is too ambitious, it just means that the end result you want to see is a major step from where you’re currently at. To avoid disappointment, make sure that your big goal is broken down into smaller goals. Celebrate each of the smaller goals you achieve and reflect on your improvement. This will make the end goal less daunting and motivate you to keep going.
If you’re not sure where to start, or unsure of what goals to set, aim to reach our recommended guidelines. These are; 150 minutes (2.5hrs) of moderate to vigorous cardio exercise, and two to three days of resistance training per week – you will notice big changes!
Experiment with Exercise
Whether you already know your favourite way of exercising or if you’re still working it out, don’t get lost doing the same program. Variation is key to mental stimulation! Experimenting also exposes your body to new stressors which allows for adaptation (which is the goal of exercise).
If you have neglected variating exercise routines in the past it is likely that you haven’t enjoyed exercise, resulting in failure to reach your goals. There are endless exercise options, some you may not have even thought would be effective in helping you achieve your goals – Why not give rock-climbing or hiking a go!?. There are so many activities you can do that don’t cost you a cent, and almost too many gyms to choose from! Don’t stop trying until you find what you enjoy. As long as you are creating a healthy stress on your body, you are exercising.
Good luck smashing your 2020 New Year’s resolution, we can’t wait to hear about your progression!