Coming into the New Year, fitness based resolutions are hands down the most common.
And why shouldn’t they be? Making positive changes to both your health and to your body is an extreme respectable goal, and something that most people should be able to understand completely.
But there is a bit of a kicker.
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, it has been suggested that only 8% of people actually manage to achieve them. Within this, it is also thought that whopping 80% of all New Year’s resolutions are likely to fail completely by the start of February.
In short – the odds are against us.
But they don’t have to be. By making some smart choices we can cause huge improvements in our motivation as we head into the New Year, making it so much easier to stick to our fitness resolutions, while ensuring that we don’t become another failed statistic.
1. Set Small Goals
When it comes to fitness specifically, we have a significant habit of setting large goals. Now while this is for the most part quite a good thing, it can have its downfalls.
Namely the fact that even if we are making significant progress, our key fitness goal is still likely to seem an eternity away.
Which is why we should try and break up our primary goal into smaller, short term goals that are much more easily obtained. This is an extremely simple way to keep track of the progress we are making on a weekly basis, which will do wonders for our motivation.
For example, we might have a goal to lose 20 pounds (unquestionably one of the more common goals heading into the New Year).
We might make our first goal: To eliminate liquid calories from our diet.
The second could be: Make it to the gym at least 3 times per week for the month of January.
The third might be: lose my first 5 pounds.
In doing so we can set realistic goals that actually lead to healthy lifestyle changes – all of which will act as a step towards achieving our larger goal.
2. Commit To a New Exercise Program
One of the best ways to improve motivation is to start a new workout program. There is something seriously enjoyable about stressing the body in new ways, using new exercises, and trialing a completely new routine.
As an added bonus, often doing something different and stressing the body in a different manner will yield immediate results. These visible improvements can provide a further boost of motivation that can cause even larger increases to our training adherence.
With this in mind, it is important that we start an exercise program that is actually suitable to our individual situation. If we can adhere to it completely, then it will be useless to us – so make sure you choose a program that you can stick to.
3. Get Social
Coming into the new year, a sure-fire way to maximize motivation is to find a training buddy who has similar goals to you. Whether it’s another parent who has similar time commitments, or a mate from work – it doesn’t really matter.
The key is to find someone that you can commit to training with at least once per week.
Not only does this keep you accountable, but having someone to push you along does absolute wonders for motivation. Additionally, this can create a little bit of healthy competition which further stokes the desire to succeed.
4. Share Your Goal
Often when we settle on a fitness goal, we have a nasty habit of keeping it quiet – as if we are nervous or embarrassed about what people will think of it.
While this might be an OK way to protect ourselves from disappointment if we don’t achieve our goal as not telling people will act as a bit of fail-safe (because if you don’t achieve it no one will know that you failed), it is not a good way to go.
In fact, I strongly believe that we should tell our friends and family what our goal is, and how we plan on achieving it. This not only places a little bit of pressure on us to actually commit to some healthy lifestyle change, but also provides our loved ones the chance to help us on our fitness journey.
5. Treat Your Workouts Like Appointments
Sometimes a small change in mindset can make the largest difference.
Too many people think of workouts and training sessions as a bit of a luxury – something that they don’t have to do if they don’t feel like it. But by starting to view your workouts as something that can't be missed, you are much more likely to stick to them.
Organize a routine, and do not miss your training sessions – going in with the mindset that you have to attend them is an excellent way to maximize adherence and motivation.
6. Invest In Some New Gear
This may sound a little bit vain, but hear me out for a second.
Buying a new piece of training equipment is a great way to get yourself excited to get back into exercise. This can actually improve motivation in a HUGE way.
And when I say training equipment, it could be anything. A new watch with a GPS tracker, some new gym clothes, running sneakers, or even a new jump rope – it doesn’t really matter – as long as it gets you excited to use it, it is a great option.
7. Put Some Money On It
Now this is arguably the most drastic tip on this list, and it somewhat builds on tip number 4.
Share your training related goals with someone close to you, and give them 200 dollars when you do it. If you reach your goal within the allotted time period, they give you your money back – pretty simple right?
But, if you don’t achieve your goal, they keep the cash.
Which is obviously not ideal.
While this is a little on the serious side, it can honestly do wonders for motivation, and is a trick I have used successfully a number of times myself.
Take Away Message
Maintaining motivation can be a real challenge at times, in which it is hands down the biggest determining factor when it comes to achieving our fitness related goals – but it doesn't have to be.
By using the hacks outlined in this article, you can maximize your motivation and training adherence well into the new year, ensuring you reach your goals as easily as possible.
I hope you enjoyed this article, and if you have any motivation tips we would love it if you shared them – so drop us a comment below.
About The Author
Demmy James is a fitness and nutrition specialist who shares his expertise and knowledge to help people reach their fitness goals. He is also a content contributor for Muscle & Strength.