By Crem Frazier, Certified Personal Trainer

Think back to New Year’s Eve- were you excited to make your New Year’s Resolution for 2020? You may have been thinking about it for quite some time. This year, you might be committed to:

  1. Saving more money
  2. Being more organized
  3. Eating healthier
  4. And, of course, at the top of that list is…. EXERCISE!

Sure, that one was on your list of resolutions last year (and the year before that), but this year will be different! Right?

Let’s face it- sticking to resolutions is hard! We all know there’s a lot of pressure in January to get fit and be healthier. In fact, it’s so tough that according to a study conducted by the University of Scranton, just 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals. That means around 80 percent fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions!

Want to beat the odds and maintain the excitement of your New Year’s goals? We have two words: preparation and organization. Start by planning how often you will exercise AND what type of exercise you want to do. Here are our best tips to get you started:

Set realistic goals. It’s important to set realistic goals not only about what you hope to accomplish with your new routine, but to also be comfortable with your starting point.  If your goals are not realistic, you might feel added stress about not hitting progress goals. We don’t want your goals to fall to the wayside due to frustration!

Bring a friend or get support. If sticking to an exercise routine by yourself has been tough for you in the past, try going to the gym with a friend or taking a class for added accountability.  If progress is slow or you’re not exactly sticking to your plan, remember to be easy on yourself. Keep in mind that engaging in consistent activity takes practice. It’s about a lifestyle change, not a one-time New Year’s Resolution. If you fall off the horse, dust yourself off for a fresh start. Each day is a new day to make a change!

Make sure now is the best time to commit to new changes. Determining your readiness is a key factor to your success. If you are not truly ready to make a change, you’ll have a much harder time sticking with a new routine.

Keep in mind that the biggest part of achieving and maintaining the new healthier you is a balanced, nutritious diet. Have you ever heard the saying “you can’t out-exercise a bad diet?”  That’s exactly right.  For example, an average, moderately intense workout will burn 300-400 calories in about an hour. If you decide to eat a couple of donuts after the exercise, in just a few minutes you will consume 720 calories. Not only did all your hard work go to waste, but you have provided your body with several hundred extra calories to store as fat.

So, remember, setting a New Year’s Resolution to exercise regularly is a great start, but it’s only the beginning.  Keep your goal in mind daily and don’t forget to set smaller goals along the way to keep you motivated! Soon your New Year’s Resolution will become your new lifestyle!

Sources: 

Norcross, J. C., Mrykalo, M. S., & Blagys, M. D. (2002). Auld lang Syne: Success predictors, change processes, and self‐reported outcomes of New Year’s resolvers and nonresolvers. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58(4), 397-405. DOI: 10.1002/clp.1151