Each year, to no surprise, the most popular New Year’s resolution is to improve one’s health and get in better shape. How do you succeed with this resolution? What are the keys to getting started, and more importantly, maintaining that focus throughout the year to stay in shape?
Here are 5 tips to help you succeed with your New Year’s resolutions in 2023 and beyond.
1. Pick an activity you enjoy
When choosing a way to exercise, find an activity you will enjoy. By liking what you do, you will increase your chances that you will stick with that activity. For example, my goal is to complete 30 minutes of cardio exercise three days per week. I do not enjoy running, especially indoors on a treadmill. If my workout plan was 30 minutes on a treadmill, the likelihood of following through is low. However, I do enjoy basketball, and am more likely to follow through with my exercise plan by finding a league to join.
2. Find a workout partner
Often times it is easier to exercise in a group or with a partner. So, when possible, choose something you don’t have to do alone. Having that accountability partner will help you keep your commitment on days when you can’t find your own motivation.
3. Don’t bite off more than you can chew
To start off, you need to start – somewhere. Rome was not built in one day, and your goal cannot be to run a marathon tomorrow, especially if you have not exercised in months or even years. If the last time you lifted weights was ten years ago, chances are you are not going to be able to lift the same amount. This is how injuries occur, and injuries will ultimately delay or end your resolution. The best advice is to keep your initial workouts simple and short. If you are starting to run, start with a half mile alternating running with walking. If you want to lift weights, start with very low weights and work your way up. If necessary, consult your physician or physical therapist prior to starting an advanced exercise program.
4. Show up
You can hear the excuses begin piling up in your head already – “I’ll start tomorrow.” “One day off isn’t going to hurt.” “I just can’t find the time.” The list can go on and on, but the reality is, doing something is always better than doing nothing. If you can’t make it to the gym, there are plenty of exercises you can do at home. If twenty minutes is all you can spare – that’s great! Even if you had to break it up into two, ten minute workouts, morning and night. On those days when you think you just can’t, whether you’re at a gym, a class, or at home, put in ten minutes, five minutes – do something!
5. Be patient
Whether your goal is to get in shape, play a new sport, lose weight, or just feel better, remember that it takes time and dedication to reach your goal. There is no quick answer. Don’t get discouraged. If you haven’t met your goal in a few weeks, a month or longer, don’t worry, you’ll get there; just keep working. The best way to get in shape and stay in shape is make regular exercise part of your lifestyle from now on. Don’t think that using a fad diet or exercise program for a short period of time will get the job done.