It’s been a little over a week since the clock struck midnight and we all celebrated the arrival of 2018. With the new year, so came the obligatory resolutions that included everything from saving more money to read more books to the ever popular one, lose weight and get in shape. According to Details.com, 21% of Americans make the resolution to lose weight and 14% of Americans make exercise their priority in the new year. Unfortunately, the novelty usually wears off by February and life gets in the way. We get busy with work and family, it’s raining or it’s a Tuesday. And I better than anyone, a fitness instructor for the last 20 years, see’s this trend at the gym every January. The first week of January my classes are packed with regulars, members I haven’t seen for a couple of months and brand new members who have never taken a fitness class before or been a member of a gym and want to make 2018 the year they get in shape and get healthy. I love it and do everything I can to motivate and keep these members coming. But little, by little, they stop showing up and some I never see again. Now their absence could be a number of things, but what I find is that a lot of people who make fitness their top priority for the new year go about it the wrong way. If you’re one of the 14 or 21 percent mentioned above and are having trouble keeping your fitness resolution, try some of these helpful tips to keep you motivated and on track in 2018!
Making Unrealistic Resolutions
Whether it’s changing your diet or starting a new workout plan, start slow. The biggest mistake I see new members do is come every day the first week of January. While I applaud their efforts and motivation, chances are they’ll get burned out, become sore or overly tired. All these can lead to “Since I’m really sore I’ll take next week off.” That week can lead into two and so on and so forth. If changing your diet is your resolution, don’t make the resolution so tough that it’s not even possible. “I’m cutting out all caffeine, sugar, and carbs in 2018!” We need to be serious and no that’s not going to happen.
Try This Instead:
With a new workout plan, start slow. Whether it’s the gym or running outside start by working out 2-3 days a week, with rest days in between. If your new to the gym, get a guided tour and maybe a consultation with a trainer so you know where everything is in the gym and how it works. It can be very intimidating at first, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you plan on going to the gym right after work, have a workout bag in the car. That way you won’t be distracted by things at home and get stuck there. Working out with a buddy is also a great way to stay on track. You can motivate each other and gossip while you workout.
If changing your diet is your plan for 2018, don’t focus on things you’re going to cut out, but things you’re going to add. So instead of telling yourself, you’re cutting out sugar and carbs, add more fruits, vegetables, and protein. Keeping a food diary is also a great way to keep on track! I eat pretty healthy 90 % of the time, but there are days where I think I ate healthily and then remember I had five cookies during my five trips to my office breakroom. If you write everything down, then you can look back and see what you could tweak for the next day.
Have Conservative Expectations
If you’re expecting to lose 20 pounds in a week then you’re setting yourself up for failure. Just like starting off slow with your workout plan or diet, start off with a small number or a goal amount by a certain date. Two pounds a week is a safe and healthy amount to lose. I see members all the time who workout for a week and don’t see results and give up. Just like anything, it takes time and just because you’re not seeing a difference on the scale, it doesn’t mean that you’re not losing inches. I always say go by how your clothes fit and not what it says on the scale. I personally don’t know how much I weigh and I don’t want to know how much I weigh because I would focus on it constantly.
Have Fun With Your Resolution!
If you hate going to the gym or running then find another form of exercise! I hate running, but I love teaching all sorts of Group X classes! If you like to dance, then try a Zumba class, if you’re competitive then maybe Crossfit will interest you. Either way, there are so many options for exercise that it doesn’t have to be something you dread! If you’re changing your diet, have fun with it and maybe take a healthy options cooking class or have a healthy potluck at work. Again, changing your diet can be fun too and maybe you’ll even find some foods that you love and have never tried before!
Look The Part
For me, if I’m starting anything new I feel more confident if I look the part and feel good about what I’m wearing. If I’m going for an interview, for example, I feel more confident in a dark suit and the same goes for working out. When I teach I want to look professional, athletic and want my clothing to be comfortable and functional. Athleta is always my go-to for quality workout clothes. Their leggings are AMAZING and I swear they make you look more fit than you actually are! If you’re on a budget, Forever 21 has a whole section of trendy workout items that are super affordable and pretty good quality for the price.
Remember it takes time to build a fitness routine and see results. Stay motivated and don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day and “fall off the wagon.” We’re all human and if you stay consistent, you will see results! Good luck and here’s to a healthy 2018!
Photos By: Scott Rinaldi Photography