How to keep your 2018 gym resolution

The New Year is often a time of change with many of us committing to resolutions to achieve some self-improvement. Each year, losing weight and getting healthy is the number one resolution on the list of many individuals.

Gyms across the country report record increases in new memberships and January is their busiest time of the year. Sadly, only an estimated 10% of those who commit to a resolution in the new year maintain it, other than for a few weeks.

So, how can you give your 2018 fitness goals the best chance of success?

Be realistic

After an indulgent holiday period, the tight waistbands on our clothes can be a big motivator to head to the gym, but that initial momentum can get lost quite quickly. As reality kicks in and your work/life balance gets pinched by your fitness goals, it can be easy to lose sight of why you started in the first place.

Set yourself small and achievable goals to help keep you on the right path. Achieving regular milestones is far easier to manage than aiming for something that seems way out of reach.

You might want to make significant changes but remember that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.

Get in the habit

In the same way that bad habits are formed by repetition so are good ones.

Research has shown that it takes two months to make a new activity or behavior an automatic part of our lives.

Instead of committing to a permanent change, make it your goal to stick to your new routine for at least two months. The psychology of this ‘temporary’ approach should make it easier to keep your resolution – after all, your mind thinks it has an ‘exit strategy’. The reality is that if you regularly attend the gym for two months, your new routine should become ingrained as a new habit.

It can be easier to do this if you plan your daily schedule to include your gym time. Set a reminder and treat your appointment at the gym as you would any other important date. If you wouldn’t cancel a business meeting or a dinner engagement, then your ‘date’ with the gym should be no less important.

Get the right gear

Not having the proper equipment or training gear can sometimes present us with the ideal excuse not to head to the gym. If you only have one set of clothes to exercise in and they need a wash, it’s the ideal, guilt-free reason to give yourself the day off. So, don’t let that happen and invest in some new clothes to help keep you motivated.

Not only will the expense of the new kit help you want to make the most out of it, but it’s also nice to have a new outfit to wear from time to time!

Avoid the morning-after burn

Too many of us hit the training too hard, too quickly, and our good intentions can be left to languish as we nurse sore muscles or injuries. Recovering can take time, and all too soon our initial momentum is lost, and we lose the motivation to get back to the gym.

Avoid the morning after aches and leg pains with some copper socks, like those from the store. Also, taking a hot bath after exercise and keeping yourself hydrated will help. A good topical balm can also help, but better still, gradually ease into your new routine instead of burning out too quickly.

Motivate yourself with others

Telling people about your goals is essential. Not only can friends and family provide useful encouragement but the more people you tell, the less likely you are to want to give up on your goals.

Even better, find someone who shares your plans. Having a gym buddy to work alongside you should provide ample motivation to stick to your commitment.

Remind yourself of your goals

If you’ve committed to change for 2018, then there are undoubtedly good reasons for doing so. They could be for weight-loss, improved health or to achieve a particular body shape for a specific occasion.

Whatever your reasons for heading to the gym, make a note of your goals and keep a clear mental image of them in your mind. It can help to make a visual record of your progress as well as your intended goals.

Some people find old photographs of themselves are useful while others find words to be more motivating.

There are also apps that you can download to your smartphone or tablet that send you regular quotes to inspire you.

Committing to change is a positive step in itself, and though nothing worthwhile in life is ever easy, sticking to the path doesn’t have to be hard.

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