This time of year, many people set ambitious fitness goals. They start out with the best intentions, but soon their motivation dwindles. They begin to find excuses, and eventually they just give up altogether. I've personally failed numerous fitness resolutions over the years, but in 2019 I was determined to really make a change. Now, after a lot of research and some trial and error, I've found what really works for me. I've worked out regularly for 5 months and counting - which means you can too!
Admittedly, I'm no fitness guru. I'm just a person with a full time job and time consuming responsibilities trying to get healthier.
But I have researched the top reasons people abandon their fitness goals, and I've learned how to combat them. I'm excited about the success I've experienced, and I'm thrilled to share some of what I have learned with the SAS community.
So, let's take a look at some common reasons people abandon their New Year's resolutions, and let's talk about the best ways to persevere!
"I'm not making any progress. I'm never going to reach my goal."
It's very disheartening when you work hard and feel like it's not getting you anywhere. This causes so many people to give up before they've really even begun their fitness journey.
More often than not, this mindset stems from having lofty or poorly defined goals.
To be successful and stick with your resolution, you need to be realistic and specific.
You can still have more ambitious long-term goals. But you need to set smaller, measurable, and more easily obtainable milestones along the way. Doing so will help keep you from feeling overwhelmed by your own ambitions.
For example, specify that you want to lose 50 pounds in a year. Then focus on losing 1 pound a week by making small, manageable changes to your daily routine.
Avoid throwing yourself headfirst into a drastic diet or aggressive workout schedule, as this can be a bit of a shock mentally and physically. Instead, try cutting back on the number of times you eat out during the week. Cook 1 - 2 healthier meals at home. Go to the gym a reasonable number of times for your schedule. Wake up 30 minutes earlier to go for a jog once or twice a week. Find small things you can easily do to start transitioning to a healthier lifestyle.
Start small and build from there. And whenever you make a healthy choice, make a note of it somewhere. It is crucial that you track your progress, so when doubt creeps in you can look back and see how far you've actually come! Personally, I keep a daily planner. I already used it for my job and social planning, so I just started marking the days I worked out or ate a healthy lunch. This was a simple addition to an existing habit that provides constant visual confirmation of my efforts.
Now whenever I reach one of my milestone goals, I highlight the date in my journal and find some small way to celebrate my achievement.
To really stick with your fitness resolutions, you need to establish clear goals with set timelines, and you need to find your own personal tracking and reward system. Once you do, the only thing you're missing is the perfect pair of sneakers to begin your fitness journey!
Tour Mesh LT for women and Journey Mesh LT for men are fabulous options when you're working towards a healthier, more active lifestyle. These sneakers offer cushioned support and enhanced breathability, so you stay cool and dry when you work out. They're designed to keep up with you and your fitness routine, and they're stylish enough for everyday wear!
"I don't have the time or money."
Between work and family responsibilities, your free time and financial resources may be limited. You simply might not have the time or extra cash to spend on a gym membership.
But don't let this discourage you from pursuing your health goals! There are still ways to incorporate healthy habits into your daily routine.
Capitalize on downtime!
No matter how busy your day gets, you will inevitably have small moments of downtime. When you're waiting for the elevator at work, for example. Or you're waiting for the water to boil so you can make dinner.
Most people fill this time by checking their phone.
Instead, try walking or jogging in place. Play some music and dance around the house. Decline to use the elevator and take the stairs instead. While this may not be the most intensive way to work out, improving your daily step count really does make a difference!
Shoes like Marnie and Sporty Lux make this type of active lifestyle a breeze. They're super cute and office-appropriate, and they're comfortable enough to wear around the house. Plus, they provide all the support you need to keep moving and reach your fitness goals!
I recommend you also purchase an inexpensive fitness tracker to wear on your wrist. This will make it easy to follow your progress and celebrate each milestone you reach!
Skip the gym and condense your workout time.
If counting steps isn't the workout you're looking for, consider the following:
Rather than dedicating a large chunk of time to fitness, you can focus on shorter, more intense workouts. For example, 10 minutes of jumping rope equals a 30 minute run. This means you can do the same amount of work in a fraction of the time. Throw in a set of seven minute abs and you've got a great workout in less than 20 minutes!
Studies show that these shorter, higher-intensity workouts can actually burn more calories, get faster results, and increase your lifespan when compared to more drawn out physical activities. Plus, you can easily do this sort of thing at home and avoid gym membership fees.
All you need is a jump rope and a quality pair of sneakers! Tempo for women and Pursuit for men are made to provide advanced comfort and support through even the most intense workouts, making them perfect for these quick fitness sessions!
"I just don't enjoy working out."
Some people love going for a run or hitting the gym. However, many people struggle to find the motivation to work out. It's just not something they enjoy doing.
This lack of motivation causes a lot of people to quit their fitness journeys. In fact, I would say this was the number one reason I gave up on my own fitness resolutions in the past.
Thankfully, there are ways to make your workout time more fun!
Modern technology makes it easy to do multiple things at once, so you can work out and do something more enjoyable at the same time.
Many people listen to audio books while they run, lift weights, etc.
Personally, I get on the treadmill, prop my phone somewhere I can see it, and watch my favorite shows. I actually look forward to working out now, so I can find out what happens next in the series I'm currently binging.
This method has really worked for me, and it may help you keep your fitness resolutions as well! Simply choose a pleasant secondary activity, and you can take your workout from tedious to entertaining!
Choose a workout you do enjoy.
Pumping iron and running laps aren't the only options for getting fit. Sports leagues and fitness classes aren't just for kids and pro athletes. There are many options available to adults today, and most offer free or reduced trial prices. This makes it easy to try different activities until you find something you will happily spend time doing.
For example, I just signed up for an adult soccer league, and my best friend recently joined a kickboxing class!
Work out with a friend.
Perhaps the most obvious way to alleviate boredom when you work out is to do so with a partner. Chances are, you have a friend who is just as interested in improving their health as you are. Reach out to them and ask if they would like to join you on your fitness journey.
Consider gifting them with a new pair of workout shoes, as this may encourage them to say yes!
For more casual physical activities like jogging or low-key biking, I recommend a style like FT Mesh. With advanced comfort features and fun color options, you and your friend will both love the way you look and feel in these shoes.
If your friends are unavailable, pets also make fabulous workout companions!
Don't have a pet? Shelters are constantly looking for fosters and adopters!
Now, be mindful that a pet is a genuine commitment - regardless of whether or not you stick with your fitness resolution. If you do not have the time and love to devote to an animal for the rest of its life, adoption and fostering may not be the right options for you. However, many shelters offer volunteer programs where you can take shelter dogs on walks. This means you can get your steps in and make a difference in your community!
Hopefully this article provided you with some helpful tips and information. If you have additional concerns regarding your fitness journey, I recommend conducting your own research to find a solution that works for you.
From everyone here at SAS, we wish you good luck with your New Year's resolution. Remember, beauty comes in all shapes and sizes! Focus on your health, and keep working towards your goals. Don't give up.
With the right attitude, the right tools, and the right shoes, you've got this!