New Year’s Day has come and gone, and that resolution to get to work on a new exercise routine either has you on the fast track to a successful year, or questioning why you once again chose a commitment that you just can’t keep. But don’t lose hope, it may seem hard to stick to your goals now, but we’ve got some tips to help you get back in the game and turn your ambitions into a reality.
Exercising everyday can be hard, but the benefits are undeniable - it helps you feel good, keeps you healthy, and makes you look great. And while a busy schedule may have you feeling like you’re already pressured for time with other things, carving out 20-30 minutes a day for your health is well worth making the effort.
Here are some tips to get you working out and sticking to it!
Add Your Workout to Your Calendar
Pick a time for each day you plan to work out and mark it on your calendar like any other appointment. Set aside 20-30 minutes and this will be your exercise time. Sometimes simply writing things down (especially on a to-do list with other “chores” for the day) makes it easier to stick to them.
Pick An Exercise You Enjoy
This can be difficult depending on your goals, but there’s always some way to get your exercise in while enjoying your surroundings or taking part in something that you really love. Maybe you like music and nature, and you can put your headphones on and jog on a nature path, or you’re competitive and can find a group that takes part in some type of team-sport in your neighborhood (or join an online competition).
Be Patient and Set Realistic Expectations
If your goal is to lose 20 lbs., or get yourself a set of six-pack abs, that’s great, but realistically it’s not going to happen in a month, or even two months. Don’t weigh yourself every day and don’t stand in front of the mirror looking for results every six hours - these things take time, and rewiring your lifestyle is a process that takes a lot of work. Check your weight every week or two with the expectation that you’ll shed a pound or two (look up the statistics, this is very realistic and the most healthy way to slim down) and don’t stop if you’re not seeing immediate results - in the long run you’ll get the outcome you’re seeking.
Set Short-Term Goals
Patience is everything when starting your new workout routine, but it definitely helps to set some mini goals to keep yourself feeling good and motivated. While losing 10 lbs. next week is not going to happen, adding five extra reps to your bicep curl routine can. Or you can add a half mile to your running routine, 15 seconds to your plank time, etc. These small steps help keep you motivated as you work to achieve your major goals.
Go Easy on Yourself
If you miss a day of exercise because you were feeling under the weather or had an early appointment, whatever it may be, it’s okay. Life happens, and as long as you get back on track then you’re still moving in the right direction. Don’t beat yourself up over a missed session, or because you came down with the flu - it happens to everyone and maintaining a positive attitude and keeping the momentum going is the best way to stick to your goals.
With any new workout routine, it’s always best to speak with a medical professional before getting started. Getting in shape is great but only your doctor can recommend the best approach for you.