5 Tips on How to Stick to Your New Year Health and Fitness Goal
Deciding to finally break old habits and adopt a healthier lifestyle in 2022 may be one of the best decisions you make. Having health and fitness goals is essential for several reasons. They keep you accountable, broaden your idea of what is possible, and motivate you to push through momentary suffering to achieve long-term results.
The issue is that it's all too easy to get caught up in the frenzy of New Year's resolutions and set goals that are too ambitious, unsustainable, or otherwise unrealistic and unattainable. You then fall short of accomplishing your goals and feel worse about yourself than you did before you began.
However, with the right motivation, essential information, and a few pointers, you can stick to your health and fitness goals long enough to achieve them. Encourage yourself in the right way and increase your chances of long-term success by following these tips.
Tip 1: Determine Why You Want to be Fit
Being fit and healthy requires dedication and consistency. Once you achieve it, you must commit to it by maintaining a better lifestyle. Therefore, before you begin, determine your primary motivation.
Why are you motivated to begin exercising? Is it to stave off health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity? Are you preparing to race in a challenging marathon? Or do you just want to fit into those skinny jeans?
Making lifestyle changes because you want to become healthier is an example of intrinsic motivation wherein you choose to do something because you find it rewarding. Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, means engaging in a behavior not for inner fulfillment but to gain a reward, such as exercising simply to look great for an upcoming event. Intrinsic motivation makes it easier to commit to long-term goals, but extrinsic motivation is often short-term and won’t motivate you enough when things become difficult.
Identifying your motivation and continually reminding yourself of it can drive you to continue pursuing your goals even when the going gets tough.
Tip 2: Set Realistic Goals
It is a good idea to set goals, but make sure your goals are realistic and attainable. A sensible fitness resolution must be suitable for where you currently are in your physical condition and fitness routine. If you haven't been working out at all, setting a goal of working out five days a week is unrealistic—at least at first. Start slow, create a strong foundation of fitness, and then increase your workout intensity and duration as your fitness improves.
It also helps to be clear and specific about your goals. Instead of just saying, "I want to lose a lot of weight," set a more precise goal, such as "I want to lose 10 pounds by the end of March by exercising for an hour three times a week and following my dietary plan."
Tip 3: Go on a Clean Diet
The rewards of starting and sticking to a fitness journey are well worth the effort. However, your fitness journey will be unsuccessful unless you clean out your diet. If you want to increase your muscle mass and reduce your body fat, you must fuel your body with nutritious meals that will support your workout.
Healthy eating habits are critical if you want to maintain your health and fitness in the long run. Consume a variety of lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, fiber-rich foods, fruits, and vegetables. Reduce or eliminate processed foods, sweets, sodas, and all manner of junk food.
Maintaining a balanced diet may seem difficult on certain days of the month when you get your period. When you're cramping and cranky, you just want a hot fudge sundae to alleviate your discomfort. The problem is that high-carb and sugary foods can negatively affect your insulin levels and contribute to hormonal imbalances.
Tracking your monthly cycle and educating yourself about it may help you avoid indulging in these cravings by preparing healthier alternatives. For instance, you can satisfy your sugar cravings by consuming natural sugars found in fruits. If you must have chocolate, choose dark chocolate with a high cacao content, as this type of chocolate contains antioxidants, calcium, fiber, and magnesium.
Tip 4: Find a Workout Program You Like
Fitness is fun when you choose an activity that you love. There is a wide array of fitness programs to choose from—you can complete easy workouts in the comfort of your home, hit the treadmill at the gym, or sign up for a group program that is both enjoyable and convenient for your schedule.
You can also take your training outdoors where there’s plenty of room to run. Just keep in mind that while working out in the sun has its benefits, you must avoid exercising outside during the hottest hours of the day, typically between 10 A.M. and 3 P.M. Prolonged sun exposure can cause dark spots, skin aging, sunburn, dehydration, and heatstroke.
Tip 5: Build a Support System
Having a supportive community can help you stay motivated, accountable, and on track to achieve your health and fitness goals more quickly than if you do it alone. Finding an encouraging peer group can be as simple as joining a Facebook group of individuals who share your same goals and interests.
If you've decided to go on a fitness journey that you’ve never attempted before, consider working with a personal trainer who can help you overcome any obstacles and guide you with a reliable fitness plan.
Chase Your Goals
Achieving your goals does not have to be a stressful and seemingly insurmountable life decision. When correctly approached, reaching your health and fitness goals may be simple and even enjoyable. Find success and long-term results by taking it one day at a time, staying consistent and motivated, and sticking to a clean diet and workout routine.