Tips to Keep Your New Years Fitness Resolution

January 24, 2018

new years fireworksThe new year is perfect to make plans for a better you.

Make the best of the coming twelve months. Now it’s time to make a plan to keep those fitness resolutions.

We have the best of intentions when it’s time to ring in the new year. But here we are, a few weeks into 2018, and many of us are already watching our best laid plans fall by the wayside. By the time next December 31st roles around, most people have to start all over again.

It doesn’t have to be that way! The right tools, a few new habits and a solid plan keeps your new year fitness resolution from turning into a distant memory. Here are ten tips for making this the year you celebrate success!


10. Make it visual

vision board

Human beings are visual creatures, so why not use that connection to help you stick to your fitness goals? Making a vision board is a good way to increase the odds that you’ll stick to those workout and healthy lifestyle plans throughout the year. You can make yours with magazine pictures and poster board, in a sketch book, or in digital form online.

A word of caution: stay away from pictures of what media labels “perfect bodies.” Remember that most of those images are edited or are unrealistic unless you have a personal trainer and endless hours to spend at the gym. Instead, pick images of what you want to be able to do when you’re more in shape, whether that’s a vacation, a day at the beach or a backpacking trip in the mountains. For maximum impact, keep your vision board in a place where you’ll see it often.

9. Enlist a friend

women walking with dogs

Getting fit all alone is a recipe for failure. We’re really good at making excuses for ourselves, or procrastinating. But if you have a friend or two sharing the process, you’re far more likely to stick to your resolutions and make that trip to the gym, pick the salad instead of the pizza, or skip the short drive when a walk will work instead. Get together to walk your dogs, or to take the babies out in their strollers. It’s all easier with a friend or two along.

8. Get the right gear

waist pack fitness gear

When you’re trying to go from flabby to fit is a whole lot easier if you have the right fitness gear. Get yourself a waist pack and a good pair of shoes if running or biking is part of your plan, make sure you have comfortable workout clothes that fit well and allow you to move freely. If mobility is an issue, look for some of the wonderful adaptive workout gear now on the market.

7. Celebrate small victories

reward and journey tags

You stuck to your healthy eating plan even during the office party. You got up and went for a walk every morning this week. You remembered to take your supplements all weekend. Now give yourself credit for each small step along the way to better health. It might seem like a small thing compared to your year-long goals, but remember that each tiny piece comes together to get you closer to where you want to be next New Year’s Eve.

6. Pick the right rewards

habit tracker for rewards

Picking the right rewards might be one of the most important elements of resolution success. Sure, we’re allegedly adults (well, maybe some of us!), but we still react to rewards and prizes. We just need to make sure they’re the right kinds of rewards. Not food. Not skipping a workout. Not that extra glass of wine.

Find rewards that support your fitness goals. A new item of clothing or something special for your home. A special activity you love but seldom get to do. Take a page from the bullet journal craze, and make a progress list you check off. Assign a reward to a certain number of checkoffs, then enjoy the treats you earn. It sounds silly, but it works!

5. Mix it up

man and woman in yoga class

Lots of people give up on New Year’s health goals because they get bored. The same circuit at the gym. The same smoothie every morning. The same route for your daily walk or run.

If you want to stick to your plan, plan to spice up your routine with lots of variety. A yoga class one day, a run the next. Smoothies on Monday, but cook a healthy breakfast the next day. Try new classes, new foods, new areas of your city to explore when it’s time to walk or run.

4. Write it down

notebook and pen

It’s so easy to fool ourselves when it comes to food and exercise. In fact, studies show that most people think they eat less and move more than they do. Writing down everything you eat or drink (yes, lattes do have calories, people!) — and that means everything! Write down your workouts, too. Seeing it all on paper not only makes it harder to lie to ourselves, it provides motivation to do better. No one likes seeing all of those donuts and caramel spice lattes right there on the paper in front of them, and it’s tough to pretend that the five minute walk through the grocery store really counts as a workout.

3. Take it with you

Wrist exercise tracker

With all of the mobile exercise tracking devices on the market, there’s no excuse for not knowing exactly how many miles you do (or do not!) walk in you day. Pick a basic one that just tracks and records steps and distance, or opt for a more sophisticated version that counts stairs, shows heart rate, and works even while swimming.

2. Break it down

goals and plans

The secret to goal success is to break down the big goals (lose 20 pounds or drop three sizes) into smaller, measurable steps. Weight loss or better fitness mean eating healthier and moving more, so find smaller goals that fit within those changes. Setting a goal to walk 10,000 steps a day, eat salads for lunch three days a week, or hit the gym every other day for one hour are measurable. That means you can celebrate more successes along the way to achieving your overall plan — a key piece of staying on track and motivated.

1. Be gentle with yourself

eating chocolate cake

We’re human, and that means we’re going to make mistakes. Maybe it was the cake in the lunch room for a coworkers birthday. Or that week where you just didn’t make it out of bed in time to walk before school. It’s okay. There’s no need to beat yourself up for slips and trips along the way. Just start back up from where you were, and keep going.

by Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman

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