Seven awesome ways to help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions

Write down those resolutions, but also put them somewhere you can easily access and review them every week if not daily.  - Metro Creative Services photo
Write down those resolutions, but also put them somewhere you can easily access and review them every week if not daily.
— image credit: Metro Creative Services photo

New Year’s is a time of great expectations! Filled with energy, emotion and the opportunity to turn the page and start fresh we make resolutions with the exuberance of a teenager and the accountability of a repeat offender!

Some of you may be the most disciplined high-achiever, but most people could benefit from some tips to keep them on track and running smoothly right through the new year.

Here's an how-to guide to help you stick to your resolutions:

1. Write down those resolutions – obviously – but also put them somewhere you can easily access and review them every week if not daily.

Remember: “out of sight, out of mind” is really not what you want. Pin these up and be able to see them as you work. You will subliminally make them a priority and find that you’re making your way towards success without even knowing you’re trying! Sometimes all you need is one word to trigger the memory of your goal, so don’t post entire paragraphs, keep it short and succinct!

2. Be specific but also make your goals measurable, so you can actually gauge your progress quantitatively, not just qualitatively.

Although it sounds much more easily achievable,  it’s not enough for you to look for general improvement. Be specific: How much weight do you want to lose? When do you want to lose this by? How are you going to achieve that? Which tools are you going to use?

3. Spread out your resolutions across 12 months and set a different goal for each month.

Most importantly specify why this goal is important to you. For instance, in month #1 you may want to increase your flexibility while in month #3 you’ll want to start seeing tangible results to the tune of some 5% abdominal fat reduction and 10% increase in hamstring strength. Have fun with it. Having a different ‘why’ each month creates a bit of a theme, so why not post a picture that evokes that very goal? That way, it will stay with you all month long.

4. Schedule realistically but also set fall-back times.

You will inevitably have to make adjustments to your schedule. Some are temporary, others permanent, but you should always have alternatives so you don’t ever feel like you’re falling behind!

5. Have a back-up fitness program for low energy or time-restricted days.

Watch your form and execution. If you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions, switch to your “Maintenance Program” for that workout and still get good value from the time and effort spent. Your time is precious. Make sure you use it to get ahead every day!

6. Get the right equipment. Need gloves, straps, a belt, shoes or a new app? Get them. No excuses.

Don’t wait to get the basic equipment you really need. Chances are you won’t need a all-in-one gym or suspension cabling to get a good workout, so spend the money wisely on the equipment you’ll depend on, and use it to give it your best shot, every time!

7. Build a safety net by anticipating de-motivators.

Think about things that will bring you down or cause you to skip workouts, then find safeguards to anticipate and prevent them. Encourage a buddy to join in, prepare nutritious meals and snacks ahead of time, make sure there are consequences to skipping, and write it all down somewhere where you won’t miss it.

These simple tips may seem trivial, but they’re so infrequently followed and so poorly understood that they might as well be secrets. Remember that success is all about having that winning mindset and it can be contagious. Demonstrate your dedication to your goals and others will be inspired to do the same. So keep your resolutions to yourself but go public with your successes. Tweet them, update your Facebook and let others enjoy your accomplishments. You’ll find them to be a great way to stay motivated, especially as you see others around you adopt your ‘winning mindset’.  Happy New Year!

Nadyne Rousseau is a BCRPA certified personal trainer, weight trainer, group fitness leader, prenatal and postnatal fitness specialist and owner of Fit 4 Two-Richmond.

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