By mid-February, the New Year’s champagne has long worn off, but neighborhood gyms are still packed with well-intentioned newbies whose fitness resolutions are to get their bodies back after a month of indulgence. Whether you’re a fitness resolution veteran who has vowed to shave a few minutes off your time, or a newbie who just wants to get a little healthier, you’ve still got a great excuse to refocus. But if your fitness resolutions are starting to flag and you’re finding yourself in front of the television more often than in front of the weight rack, why not make a plan to renew your commitment before you’re completely off the wagon?
Make a Schedule With Someone Else
Even if you know your way around gym, making specific times to work out with a trainer will keep you accountable, according to Ana Nieto, Certified Personal Trainer and Founder of Turtle Shell Health in New York and San Diego. “It’s productive to work on a schedule with a trainer to pump you up for a great, fun workout that keeps you committed to doing something each day,” says Nieto.
Set Realistic Goals
Certified nutritionist and author of Fresh Start Program Tracy Neely says it’s unrealistic to completely change your diet overnight, and those who attempt sudden, radical changes often fall back into bad habits. Instead, “set realistic goals to accomplish every seven days,” says Neely. Those can include beginning each morning with a tall glass of water or including at least one fresh vegetable at every meal. Goals don’t seem so impossible when they’re incremental.
Don’t Let Change Intimidate You
One of the biggest reasons people give up on the gym is intimidation. If you feel like everyone is running laps around you, don’t give up on working out, just try to move at home more until you feel comfortable, says Nieto. Many trainers even offer Skype sessions to build your confidence before you even step foot in a weight room.
Enhance Your Diet Instead of Depriving Yourself
People tend to restrict themselves in the New Year as punishment for overeating during the holidays. But deprivation will only leave you craving unhealthy burgers and fries as a “reward” for time served. Instead, Neely suggests enhancing your meals with green smoothies or grilled vegetables and add fruit for dessert. That way, you’re filling up on healthy foods without the sense of loss that comes from giving up the foods you enjoy.
So make a plan and get back at it. Make a new fitness resolution every morning, be it to visit the gym in the afternoon or just to order a side of squash at lunch. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish one good decision at a time.