You don’t need to start your New Year’s resolutions in January. In fact, you may be better off re-centering after the stresses of the holiday season before diving into a new resolution. We all see the excited exercisers in the gym in January but by mid-February the group fitness classes are less crowded and more treadmills are open. A late start and a well-planned resolution can prevent that dwindling excitement for fitness and prepare you for the year ahead. Here are five simple steps from Lamont White, personal trainer at the Woodridge Park District ARC, to help set those resolutions and stay motivated not just in the beginning of 2017, but through December and into 2018.
Determine Your Readiness. Make sure you are both physically and mentally ready to start a fitness program. Don’t start anything new until you’ve taken the time to recuperate from any injuries. And it’s not just your body that needs to be prepared for a new fitness routine; your mind needs to be ready and willing to make a change.
Create a Plan. Before you start an exercise program, ask yourself three questions: Why am I doing this? What are my goals? How can I reach those goals? Writing your goals down (or inputting them electronically) will make you more accountable and keep you motivated to accomplish your goals.
Get Support. Sticking to your fitness resolutions is hard enough at the best of times but doing it all on your own in can be an uphill struggle. Get your friends and family on board to support your training by offering you encouragement and positive criticism. With a strong support system, the effort of training will soon become less of chore and more enjoyable.
Be Realistic. Take things fairly easy when beginning a new fitness routine. Beginners and even former fitness enthusiasts who fell off the wagon should take small steps early on to prevent burnout. Building a better body requires time so you can’t expect the condition of your body to change overnight.
Stay Positive. Whether you are smashing your goals or you’ve slipped up a few times, stay focused on your goals and celebrate your achievements – big and small.