Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution, the countdown to a beach holiday or training for an event, most people who set new health and fitness targets usually fail. And it’s simply because those people over commit and underachieve, leading to frustration and exasperation.
They say it takes three months to make a habit, so if you can stick to a new regime that long not only will you achieve your goals, you’ll instil a healthy lifestyle routine for the long term.
Here are seven golden rules to help you succeed where others fail:
1. Be Realistic
Make your goals attainable by setting targets that are realistic and achievable in short time frames.
If you can’t run a mile, a marathon by March is most probably beyond your reach.
Test your fitness and build gradually by aiming to go a little faster, travel a little further and lift a little heavier. The psychology of achieving and even over-achieving will spur you on to your next targets.
2. Plan Ahead
There is always time for exercise, but you need to identify the time that works for your practically and mentally.
If you’re a morning person and able to get up and move before breakfast that’s the time for you. If you have more free time at the weekends make them your workout days.
Try to timetable fitness into your week just as you do work, meal times and social engagements. Make these times a priority over other commitments in so far as is possible. Enter them in your diary as far ahead as you can.
Stick to this for a couple of weeks and your body will start to expect the activity, plus it will be an easier habit to stick to for the long-term.
3. Talk About It
Sharing your goals is a great way to build commitment so don’t keep your fitness goals a secret!
Tell your friends and family who will be there to support your resolve to change yourself for the better or improve your health and nag you if you fall off the wellbeing wagon.
Better still, buddy up with a someone who wants to work out with you so you can support one another along the way.
4. Reward Yourself
Celebrate every success by treating yourself to something you enjoy that is good for you.
Go get a green juice, buy some clothes that you couldn’t wear before or perhaps treat yourself to a massage.
Treats will reinforce your good behaviour and spur you on to the next goal, and the next treat.
5. Track Your Fitness Progress
The results of a new healthy lifestyle will typically follow a period of improvement, followed by a plateau and then improvement again.
As you carry on improving the plateaus can be long lasting so it’s a great idea to track each and every small success so if you’re lacking motivation you can see how far you’ve come.
Keep a journal to help you stay on track or download an app – there are plenty out there.
6. Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Don’t worry if you miss one session. Just start again the next day. If you can’t do an hour, do half an hour. It is always better to do something than nothing.
All the great sports people visualise winning results and you should too. Picture yourself in six months after achieving your goals. How will you look? More importantly, how will you feel? Play out this positive movie in your mind as many times as you can to give yourself some positive reinforcement.
If you need any equipment to help you stick to your fitness resolutions and hit those targets then have a browse through our store.