Every year when December hits, we start the same internal monologue. We start thinking about all the things we are going to change when the new year hits, all of the healthy habits we will implement once the holidays are over, and the amazing transformation our body will experience as a result. Once the new year hits, we hit the ground running, with momentum and enthusiasm. We feel unstoppable, at least for the first month, and then reality kicks in, and continuing to work towards our resolution becomes a huge obstacle.

We all know what we need to do to be healthy. The goal then changes from making a resolution to turning that resolution into a habit. The key to setting a resolution in the new year is to avoid falling off of the New Years resolution bandwagon so at the end of the year, you feel accomplished in the achievement of the healthy habits you set forth to integrate into your life at the beginning of the year.

Running out of momentum is to be expected with resolutions. After all, we have all seen how crowded our gyms become after the new year, and conversely how they seem to empty by Valentine’s Day. Instead of being concerned about losing momentum, set yourself up for success by having tools in place to get back on the resolution bandwagon when life catches up with you.

Get Smart Goals

The first, and arguably most important thing to do is to state your goals for the new year. Implementing a fitness routine, or changing your current fitness routine can be a daunting prospect by itself.

(If you are not sure how to begin to even be able to say you have goals for your workouts, please refer to my previous article “Fitness Goals for 2021”). Once your goals are in place, you have to acknowledge them consistently. Make your goals be a part of your existence and reality. Your goal cannot be something that you say to yourself once and then essentially ignore. It needs to be on repeat in your mind throughout your day.

Pro Tip: Write your goal on a Post-It note and put it on your bathroom mirror. Then take it a step further, grab another Post-It note and write something positive on it. It does not have to be complicated, but it does have to resonate with you. Something as simple as “you got this” next to your goal, on a mirror you see multiple times a day will help keep you focused.

If the Post-It note trick does not resonate with you, find something that does. Maybe put out that little black dress you want to be able to fit in to again or those pair of jeans you keep in the depths of your dresser under the guise that “one day” they will fit again.

Measure your progress

Trainer Tip: A lot of us have non-scalable goals. These are goals that are not measured by stepping on a scale. Think along the lines of wanting more energy or being able to sleep better or strength goals. Those goals are equally as valuable as weight loss goals and while harder to measure, it is not impossible. Keep a journal and take note of how you are feeling consistently. It can be daily with just a quick sentence or weekly but keep track of it so you can see your improvement.

Be realistic with your expectations. Resolutions often do not work because we are so excited about them that we are not realistic about how the resolution will work within the parameters of our lives. The ultimate goal is to turn the resolution into a healthy habit and that means setting yourself up for success from the beginning.

Pro Tip: Set incremental goals. If you currently workout 2 days a week and your goal is to consistently workout 4 to 5 days a week, start by increasing your workout days to 3 days a week. Maintain that for at least a month, increase again, do the same until you have reached your goal.

Celebrate your small victories

Do not forget to celebrate your small victories. We can get so caught up in getting to that end goal that we forget all we have given ourselves along the way. Your effort, your consistency, and your drive matters. Take those small victories to heart because they are compiling to become your bigger goal.

Once you get your goals set, you need to make sure to have a plan that will help you continue your forward momentum even when life throws you curveballs. Part of this can be addressed on the front end of things. The more intentional you are with your plan, the better.

Plan out what your workouts will be depending on the day and plan out what time you going to work out. You could go as far as writing it on your calendar or putting a reminder on your phone. Be respectful of the time you have put aside for yourself. Just like you would not cancel on a friend for coffee, or your doctor, your workouts deserve the same respect.

10 Minute Lunch Time Workout

  • Tabata
  • 10 Rounds
  • 20 seconds of work
  • 10 seconds of rest
  • Odd Minutes: Hand to Hand Swings
  • Even Minutes: Renegade Rows
  • After the Tabata Series
  • 2 Minutes of burpees

A year is a long time to stay on top of all of these things. A lot can happen in a year, and even when things in your life seem relatively calm, it can be difficult to continue to want to move forward towards your goals. That motivation will potentially first falter during a workout. It does not take much to get that little negative voice talking to you in your head.

Feel Sluggish

Maybe you could not lift as heavy today or maybe you did not sleep well and feel sluggish during your workout, or maybe you did not go as fast as you would have wanted during an interval. Or maybe all the things on your To-Do List are taking precedence in your mind over what you are doing. Regardless, it is a matter of time before that negative voice starts talking in your head and a matter of time until that voice becomes an excuse.

Staying focused in your workout will help you to stay motivated towards achieving your goals. While that does not mean you will not have negative moments, if you can combat those moments, you will walk away feeling more accomplished, and therefore less likely to quit on yourself. Ultimately, the effort you put into your workouts will be the result you see and that effort is your responsibility. That does not mean that the demands of the day disappear, but it does mean you will have to figure out ways that work the best for you to stay in the present moment.

Here are some of my tricks:

  • Visualize WHY you are doing what you are doing. Picturing that ultimate end goal is sometimes all we need to keep going.
  • Focus on your breath. When the work gets hard, we tend to hold our breath, and when that happens, it creates a visceral feeling of chaos which makes us more likely stop so we can get our breath back. Conversely, focusing on the inhale and exhale of your breath will calm your central nervous system and make your body feel calmer.
  • Focus on your form. The workout is guaranteed to get hard and when it does, our muscle memory can make us put the work into the incorrect areas, causing pain and making us want to quit. Shake it off, bring the work back to the correct places, and keep going.
  • Have a killer playlist, podcast or audio book. Sometimes giving your brain something to sing along with, or a crazy story to listen to is all you need to forget about how hard you are working.

Every Minute on the Minute

  • 10 Minutes
  • 6 lateral lunges
  • 6 thrusters

The biggest thing to remember as you are putting all of these things in place that you are only human and life is still going to happen even while you are creating these healthy habits as a result of your resolution. Be patient with yourself and forgive yourself on the weeks that seem difficult or feel overwhelming.

Creating healthy habits takes time and practice. You are ready for this transformation and completely capable of achieving your resolutions. Stay focused on your goal, remember why you put your resolutions into place, and keep moving forward, before you know it, your resolution will be your reality.