*This post was originally a guest post on Samantha's blog.
I'm just going to be honest: As someone who regularly works out, January is the most annoying month of the year. I have my regular gym routine through the winter months, which includes my favorite treadmill and my morning TV shows. Then January hits and all of the sudden my treadmill is being used by someone I've never seen before! And they've not only stolen my treadmill, but they're hogging the TV so can't watch my Boy Meets World reruns!
I grit my teeth and decide not to trip them while reminding myself that in a few weeks, my treadmill will be free again, and the gym will be empty. Why? Because January is the time for resolutions, and according to the statistics, almost half drop out after the first month.
But as much as I am glad to have my treadmill all to myself, I am also sad that so many people had such high hopes for the New Year, only to fall off the wagon after only a few short weeks.
I'm certainly not claiming to be a resolution expert, and I've definitely had good intentions that didn't pan out. But I've been a runner for going on 5 years now, and I want to offer you all a few tips for making a resolution, specifically with regard to fitness, and actually keep it.
1. DON'T make a specific weekly goal for the entire year at once.
In the grand scheme of life, a year is not a long time, but when you're actually doing the daily grind, a year might as well be forever. With that in mind, don't set yourself up for failure by making a ridiculous fitness resolution like "I will run 3 times a week for the whole year." No.
Instead, I've found it easier to start with a more manageable time frame like a month or even two weeks, as silly as that may sound. Doing this makes your goal appear less daunting. You may not be able to keep up something for 52 weeks, but you can surely do TWO, right? And then just one more after than. And one more after that...
All of the sudden, it's a habit!
Your smaller weekly goals should ultimately help you work toward #2:
2. DO make one large fitness goal for the year.
If you're a runner (or a wanna-be runner), this could be something like run a 5k. Or run a 10k, a half marathon, etc. Maybe your goal is to weigh a certain amount or be able to bench press a certain amount or fit into a certain pair of jeans.
3. DON'T keep your resolution to yourself.
Have a goal to hit the gym twice a week? Tell someone about it! Accountability is key. Find a friend to go to the gym with. Sign up to be part of a running group. Join a class at the gym. Working out is much more fun if you have someone to talk about it with.
At the very, very least, check out #4:
4. DO keep a schedule on your fridge.
I post my running schedule on my fridge, and it helps motivate me to see all the checkmarks where I crossed off my workouts. It's easy to "forget" about a workout or sleep in, but having a calendar within sight keeps you focused on your goals, specifically whatever you have as your larger goal (see #2).
Those are just a few dos and don'ts for resolutions. Fitness especially is something a lot of people want to be better at, but it's hard to get into the habit. The best thing to do is to remember to stay focused on your goals and give yourself a break if you mess up. Just because you've missed one or two workouts doesn't mean you should stop!
Did you make a fitness resolution this year? What are you going to do to make sure you follow through with it? Any other tips to add about what's worked for you?