Looking to stick to your New Year fitness resolutions this year? Achieving new fitness goals can be both incredibly rewarding and beneficial for your health and well-being.
Making a New Year fitness resolution is easy, but sticking to it long-term for the rest of the year is much harder.
In this blog post, I’ve taken inspiration from James Clear’s book Atomic Habits to give you practical suggestions that will hopefully help you stick to your New Year’s fitness resolutions.
Change your mindset
Instead of saying I want to lose this amount of weight or I want to be fitter, try instead saying I will be fit and healthy.
“With outcome-based habits, the focus is on what you want to achieve. With identity-based habits, the focus is on who you wish to become.” James Clear
Making exercise a habit is a great investment in your long-term health and if you can make it part of who you are you have a better chance of making your New Year’s fitness resolutions stick.
Set realistic goals for yourself
Start by setting realistic goals that are achievable and measurable. Depending on the type of exercise you plan to engage in, it's important to understand what you need to do to accomplish your desired outcome.
If you want to start running or jogging for an hour every day, then you should plan ahead and set a schedule with the required time.
Change your environment
According to James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits one of the key ingredients to making a habit stick is to make your environment conducive to your new habit.
This may mean removing obstacles, like unhealthy food and temptations. Or it could be able to change your environment to make it easier to do your habit. So if you want to take your vitamins more regularly, you could try putting your vitamins next to your coffee machine.
"Environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behaviour. Change your environment and you can often change your habits.” James Clear
If you want to make fitness a New Year habit, then make your environment conducive to that. For example. if you want to go out for a walk during the day, schedule time in your diary, and get your walking shoes and coat ready by the door the night before.
Make your new fitness habit easy to stick to
Do you need fitness clothing? Are online classes easier than in-person? Do you prefer to be in a large class or one-on-one?
To help your new fitness goals stick make it easy for you to complete by picking an exercise style that suits you.
Knowing that you stick to things better if there are people around you spurring you on means booking group fitness sessions may work best. If you need encouragement and accountability then personal training may work better.
Block-booking exercise classes can also be a great way to help you stick to a new fitness regime.
“In 10 sessions you'll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you'll see the difference, and in 30 sessions you'll have a new body.” Joseph Pilates
Give yourself a reward
Having a reward can help motivate you to complete your exercise.
It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. If you enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning, why not tell yourself you’ll only get a coffee if you go for a morning walk?
A reward can help reinforce your new habit and make it more attractive and more likely to stick.
"What gets rewarded, gets repeated." - James Clear
James Clear explains that it's not just the reward but the anticipation of the reward that will help give you a dopamine (a chemical that makes you feel good) hit.
Don't forget, if you exercise, your body rewards you with endorphins - feel-good hormones as well!
Try mixing up different types of exercises.
Mixing up different activities like running, cycling with more gentle pilates and strength training will help you build whole-body fitness. Adding variety to your exercise will help keep things interesting and enjoyable.
Try mixing high-impact running with low-impact exercises for strength and balance like pilates or Nordic Walking.
If you are into weightlifting, then adding in pilates classes can help you work those neglected muscles and rebalance them.
If you like running, adding pilates can help improve your flexibility and reduce injuries.
“Changes that seem small and unimportant at first will compound into remarkable results if you’re willing to stick with them for years.” James Clear
Track your successes
Seeing how well you’re doing can be a great motivator to keep going. Reaching and smashing milestones will give you a great feeling of accomplishment and the motivation to reach the next milestone.
All this will help you be more consistent and keep your long-term motivation levels high.
At our pilates studios in Hillsborough, Lisburn and Dromore, we offer a wide variety of classes and programs designed specifically to help you stay on track with your fitness goals.
Our experienced instructors are dedicated to helping you meet all of your fitness needs, whether you're looking for a challenging cardio workout or seeking relief from chronic pain.
So why wait? Sign up for one of our Pilates classes that take place in various venues in Lisburn, Hillsborough and Dromore.
Start making strides towards becoming stronger, leaner and more confident in the New Year.