It’s that time of year again. The time where people start thinking about changes they’d like to make and the plans they’ll need to get there. We aren’t going to mention the word since it’s so over-done but you know it rhymes with blesolution.
Instead of that, we’re going to call it a new habit. The other thing that people always try at new years are always so easily broken and forgotten. We want to develop new habits that stick and make real change in our health and fitness.
So instead of a blesolution, we’re here to talk about habits and how to get started in new habits. You may be one of the millions who are looking at their fitness in the new year and if you are, we’ve got 5 tips for starting a new workout habit to help you on your journey.
5 Tips for Starting a New Workout Habit
Tip 1: Set realistic goals
When we are thinking about the news things we are going to focus on in the new year, we tend to get very excited. That excitement can lead us to set lofty goals. We’ve feeling motivated and we know the benefits change will bring us so we have a tendency to really go for it. When it comes to a new workout habit, setting unrealistic goals can lead to failure quickly.
Start small and expand. If you’ve never worked out or it’s been a while, saying “I’m going to the gym 7 days a week!” is not realistic. Start with a smaller goal. 3 days a week for example. You have more flexibility to hit your goal and you’re less likely to overwhelm yourself with unrealistic expectations.
Tip 2: Find an Accountability Partner
Change is hard. Trying to change alone is even harder. Find someone you can talk to about your new workout habit who can support you and hold you accountable to the goals you have set for yourself. Gretchen Rubin wrote a book called “Better than Before” about forming new healthy habits. She says that “You’re more likely to exercise if you’ve made a plan to walk with a friend or scheduled a workout with a personal trainer.” Having someone who cares about us and our goals is a way to help keep us on track even when we don’t want to do it ourselves.
Tip 3: Find an Exercise You Enjoy
If you dread the workout, or dread the thought of going to the gym, the chances that you sustain your new habit are going to be small. Not everyone likes the same things when it comes to working out and luckily there is a huge variety of exercises you can do to get in shape and start a new workout habit.
Do you like lifting weights? Do you like running? Do you like yoga? Do you like Pilates? There are so many ways to exercise and get fit that dreading your workout or not enjoying it shouldn’t be a problem. At Upgrade Group Training for example, we are regularly changing our workouts to offer new challenges, focus on different areas of the body, and prevent your membership from turning into anything but routine.
Tip 4: Track Your Results
When you start on the road to fitness, tracking your results is an important aspect of keeping on track. When you first start, measure where you are starting from. What is your goal? What are you hoping to improve or change? Measuring results helps to keep you focused and helps you to see the results of your hard work.
Whether your goal is losing weight, or gaining muscle, or fitting in to that suit for the summer, tracking your progress along the way helps to keep you on track and see that your hard work is paying off.
Tip 5: Take it Easy on Yourself
Chage is hard. Starting a new habit is hard. You are going to have missteps and failures along the way. Everyone does. Do not beat yourself up over a failure here and there and let it completely derail you. Are you not feeling like going to the gym today? It’s ok to take a day off. Have you worked hard for 2 weeks but the scale hasn’t moved? Don’t beat yourself up. Our bodies are funny things and weight isn’t a true measure. How are you feeling after the 2 weeks? What other improvements do you notice?
The point is that when you start a new workout habit, it’s going to be a bumpy road to your goals. If it were easy to do, everyone would do it and you wouldn’t be looking for tips on how to establish your new habit right? That’s ok and we’ve all been there. Take it easy on yourself and if you have a bad day, come back and get ’em tomorrow.
Starting a new workout habit is a challenge that is well worth the undertaking. It’s going to be hard, it’s going to be frustrating, it’s going to feel like something you want to quit. It’s also going to be rewarding. It’s going to be fun and it’s going to change your life and fitness for the better. Remember to start small, find an accountability partner, find an exercise you enjoy, track your results, and remember most of all, take it easy on yourself.
Welcome to 2023 and we’ll see you!