5 ways to stick to New Year's fitness resolutions

Are you prone to making ambitious New Year’s fitness resolutions that never quite work out? If so, give these 5 tips a try to avoid the usual pitfalls and make the year ahead a fitness success story.

5 ways to stick to New Year's fitness resolutions

1. Keep it realistic

Transforming from a regular couch potato into a world-class athlete sounds incredible, but this kind of transformation will take more than a year to accomplish. There's nothing wrong with lofty goals, but make sure you keep your resolutions within the realm of the possible – or better yet, the plausible. Think of setting realistic goals as setting yourself up for success, which will likely feed more success in turn.

2. Set intermediate goals

Now that you have established a realistic goal, break it down into smaller intermediate goals spaced throughout the year – maybe monthly or even weekly goals. Think of these as check-in points that help you stay on track and give you lots of small successes to help build momentum. These intermediate goals are also a great way to track your progress. They provide a way of slowly scaling up the intensity of your workouts as your fitness improves.

3. Forgive yourself

Don't beat yourself up about the occasional slip-up in your plan. It happens to everyone, even professional athletes. Instead, build some flexibility into your plan so that if you do occasionally miss a workout or fudge on your diet, you can still get back on track and keep going.

4. Recruit a buddy

One of the best ways to stay on track is to recruit a friend who has similar goals, a similar workout schedule or a sympathetic ear to listen to both your successes and challenges along the way. Just knowing that someone else is aware of your efforts can give you that extra shot of motivation to get you out of bed and into the gym.

5. Reward yourself

Choose some of the intermediate goals you set as chances to celebrate your progress with healthy rewards. Just make sure the rewards reinforce your healthy new habits, not the old habits you're trying to shed. Some examples of rewards that won't derail your resolutions might include going out for a healthy meal, a night out at the movies, a favourite book or a new exercise outfit.

With these 5 simple strategies, you can keep your fitness resolutions shining all year long, rather than allowing them to fizzle out like New Year's fireworks.

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