Why do people fall short of their New Year’s resolutions regarding fitness? Is it unwillingness, laziness, or lack of motivation? Usually not. If anything, it is over-ambitiousness. People set lofty, unattainable goals for themselves and become discouraged when they fall short. The key, then, is to set your sights relatively low, at least at first, and set fitness goals for the new year that you know you can achieve. Once you have achieved a simple goal, you can set your sights higher and try for the next step. Here are some ideas for simple, realistically achievable fitness goals you can set for yourself in the new year.
1. Eat Better
Assess what you eat on a regular basis and determine what nutrients you are not getting enough of. Then find a way to incorporate more of that into your diet. For example, if you are not getting enough protein to sustain your lifestyle, you can supplement with protein powder. If you’re missing antioxidants and vitamin C, you can add more fruit into your diet. This is a more achievable goal than eating more vegetables because fruit can satisfy your cravings for sweetness while supplying necessary nutrients.
2. Walk More
If you examine your daily routine, chances are that you will find opportunities to walk more often than you are currently taking advantage of. Maybe you can take the stairs instead of an elevator or extend your daily dog walk by 15 minutes (which your dog will love, by the way). People tend to take walking for granted, but it is one of the best exercises you can do. Adding a few extra steps to your daily routine can make a big difference.
3. Find an Exercise That You Enjoy
Think outside the box when it comes to exercise. You don’t „have to“ go to the gym to lift weights or walk on the treadmill if you don’t enjoy it. The type of movement or activity that you do is less important than just moving and staying active on a daily basis. Therefore, find an activity that you enjoy and find a way to work it into your routine.
For example, maybe you enjoy yoga but don’t have time to take a class. You can take a few minutes away from work every day and practice chair yoga at your desk. Researchers recommend taking a break from sitting to stand or move around for at least one minute out of every 30, and chair yoga may be an effective way to get the activity you need.
4. Try Something New
You may already have an exercise or activity that you enjoy and are interested in working into your daily routine. However, a new year is an opportunity to explore and grow. One of the ways to do this is to try a new activity that has always interested you that you have never gotten around to learning. If you like it, the activity may be something that you can work into your fitness routine. If not, you do not have to continue it.
Choose an activity that interests you and that you genuinely want to try. Do not choose something that doesn’t interest you but that you feel that you „should“ try. Chances are good that you won’t end up sticking with it.
5. Focus on the Positive
Everyone has self-doubt and insecurities. They can be overwhelming at times and have the power to seriously undermine your motivation. To avoid getting bogged down by negativity, try to focus on the positive. Instead of dwelling on all the things that you don’t like about yourself, concentrate on the things that you do like. Instead of beating yourself up over falling short of one of your goals today, focus on how you can do better tomorrow.
Self-improvement is a process that can take a lifetime. In fact, there is always an opportunity for growth. Therefore, don’t try to achieve all your long-term goals in one year. Not only are you setting yourself up for failure but you’re cheating yourself out of a lifetime of learning to become your best self.