As New Year’s resolutions gain popularity this time of year, many jump on the bandwagon of losing weight, getting fit and living a healthier lifestyle. While we all can benefit from making these types of positive lifestyle changes, most resolutions fizzle out, unfortunately, before they even have a chance to settle in. So, why does this popular annual pastime of making New Year’s resolutions tend to result in failed attempts, false starts and lackluster efforts?
Well, actually, it’s quite simple.
● Resolution season brings colder temperatures and limited daylight.
● The start of the year is filled with busy life, work and family schedules.
● Doing what you’ve always done is a lot easier than trying something new.
So, what can you do to jump over these common resolution hurdles and finish strong in the quest for resolution success?
Commit to Getting off the Couch and Out the Door
The first step to accomplishing your health and fitness resolutions is to back your goals with a real commitment to succeed. You can’t wish your way to a healthier, leaner, more fit, stronger you. You have to make a real commitment that includes a support structure and lifestyle change focused on meeting your overall health and fitness goals.
One way to create a deeper level of health and fitness commitment is by working out with a group of friends or peers. As the temperatures hover around freezing and the temptation to cuddle in front of the fireplace instead of going to the gym burns strong, it is a lot easier to get yourself off the couch and out the door if you know someone is waiting to workout with you at the gym. This same peer-driven motivation to get you out the door on a cold winter day can be advantageous to your overall fitness when you workout in a group environment as well.
Research indicates that the presence of others around you during a workout session and the effects of competition can have a positive influence on your exertion and fitness performance levels. The dynamics and high energy of working out in a small group setting with a handful of peers and a seasoned personal trainer can push you to work harder than you could have ever imagined, allowing you to enjoy overall improvements in your body’s health and fitness levels.
By incorporating a group fitness routine into your New Year’s resolution goals, you become a part of something bigger than yourself – an environment that is packed full of fitness commitment, motivation and encouragement.
Call in the Accountability Troops
Many New Year’s resolutions fail because people embark on the journey alone and let other items on their life calendar take priority over their goals. Set yourself up for resolution success by wrapping your goals with a strong support system that includes the right professionals and tools to do the job wisely and successfully.
By enlisting the help of a certified personal trainer, you will receive a customized workout that aligns with your body, ability and health/fitness level, as well as your New Year’s goals. A study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research found that those who worked out with personal trainers resulted in greater individual strength, workout intensities and exertion levels during an exercise session. Personal trainers are not only a great resource for holding you accountable to showing up for your workout, but also ensuring that you engage in a valuable workout session that benefits both the mind and body.
Another way to keep yourself accountable to health and fitness goals is by physically scheduling your weekly workouts into your personal, family and professional calendars. If you view your workouts as a serious appointment and dedicate specific time to a physically fit lifestyle, you will be less likely to skip your workouts when life becomes busy.
Furthermore, industry reports continue to find evidence that you don’t have to spend your entire day in the gym to reap the most benefits from your workouts. Short-term, high intensity workouts have been found to be a time efficient and effective approach for burning fat, increasing fitness levels and improving overall cardiovascular health.
Out with the Old, In with the New
The same old workouts and lifestyle tendencies will yield the same old results. If you are committed this year to reaching new levels of physical fitness, it is important to change up your approach by combining a can-do attitude with new workout routines focused on measurable strength and conditioning goals.
It’s important to remember, though, that physical fitness is an ongoing process that doesn’t happen overnight. Instead of making rash decisions like cleaning out all of the food in your pantry or exercising seven days a week when you have rarely made it to the gym once a week, set yourself up for success by identifying incremental benchmarks (going to the gym three times a week, running a mile without stopping, bench pressing 100 pounds, etc.) that can help keep your overall fitness goals within reach and within perspective. This approach will keep you on the path to reaching new physical fitness levels throughout the year and provide you with the opportunity to celebrate your successes along the way.
By pushing aside old barriers and incorporating new lifestyle behaviors centered around commitment, accountability and positive attitudes, you are well on your way to investing in a healthier body and happier you for the New Year.
The certified personal trainers at Fitness Together will design workouts tailored to your specific fitness level and will push you just hard enough to turn your goals into life changing results.
Contact Fitness Together - Auburn to learn more about how to look better, feel better and perform better this New Year with one-on-one personal training or PACK small group training.
 Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: “The Effects of Competition and the Presence of an Audience on Weight Lifting Performance,” 2003.
 Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: January 2008 - Volume 22 - Issue 1 - pp 103-111.
 University of Guelph; Journal of Applied Physiology, June 2007.