It's without a doubt that the vast majority of you are going to have some type of New Year's resolution related to fitness. Either you want to build more muscle this coming year, finally strip those last few pounds of fat off your body, or perhaps you participate in some form of competitive sports and increasing your performance is the top priority right now.
Whatever the resolution is, you need to have a game plan to be successful. It's no secret that most New Year's resolutions fail, and often this failure can be attributed to not having a solid game plan.
Just as you would write a business plan if you were starting up a new business, you need a goal plan in order to reach your goals effectively. That said, here are 10 practical tips you can put to use to make sure this is a year you succeed at keeping your resolutions.
One huge problem with many goals is that they don't have a deadline. A goal is only so good as you reaching it, but if no deadline is in place, what's motivating you to push onwards?
Set a firm deadline and by that I mean a specific day. This will keep you in check and you will automatically be able to gauge how well you're doing.
Be realistic with this deadline, but at the same time firm. Don't be someone who always talks about doing it, actually do it this time around.
Don't Set Resolutions For Too Many Areas Of Your Life
Another issue that some people have with their New Year's Resolution is that they spread themselves too thin and try and accomplish a little more than they can handle.
Want to improve your fitness level? Great. Want to improve your career? That's good too. Just don't try and totally re-invent yourself all at once. Focus on one aspect of your life to implement behavior changes and accomplish that first.
You don't want to overload yourself, become overwhelmed, and then get nowhere. That will only reduce your feelings of self-confidence, making further goal achievements that much harder to obtain.
Rather than keeping your resolution a secret, open up and tell someone about it. Not only with this person then be able to support you in your efforts, but they will also hold you accountable.
If you aren't following your planned program (be it cardio training, weight training, or a diet program), they can help to remind you of your goal and hopefully get you back on track.
Do note though that you will want to choose this person carefully, as some people are uncomfortable with pointing out to others when they aren't moving forward in a positive manner. Finding someone who is comfortable doing so is critical otherwise they may not step forward when you need that push the most.
Keep A Resolution Journal<
Journaling is a great technique for holding you accountable. True, you only need to be the person to see your writing, but, simply having to put down on paper what you've accomplished can force some people into action.
Furthermore, if you continuously journal your progress, you might identify triggers or factors that are keeping you from your goal. Then you can work to overcome them by coming up with solutions on how to do so.
Set Your Rewards Now
Rather than just dreaming about what you will do once you've accomplished your resolution, set a goal right now, this minute.
Having a very firm picture in your mind of what will happen when your each your goal will help you keep pushing onwards when times get tough.
If it helps, pay someone for whatever this reward is (assuming it's materialistic). Tell them if you don't reach your goal, they can keep your money and if you do, they must buy you the reward (obviously be sure you do trust this person not to just take the money and run!).
Imagine Yourself At Your Resolution
Another good way to help yourself actually reach your resolution this year is to physically imagine yourself having obtained it. Visualize how you will feel, how others will act around you, how it will impact your daily activities, and how you will look.
Having this vivid mental picture in the back of your mind at all times can be hugely powerful and can motivate you when you'd rather skip the gym session or dig in to that bucket of chicken wings.
Similar to the idea of telling someone about your resolution, even better is if you can partner up with someone who has a similar resolution to you. This way you can cheer each other on and be there for when either of you are struggling.
Social support has been a key factor that's proven to help dieters succeed, so make sure you don't overlook this consideration.
If your resolution puts you out of your comfort zone or involves doing something you're not entirely sure how to do (for instance if you've never lifted weights before), be sure you seek the professional help you need before beginning.
Far too many people choose to go at it alone and start off on the wrong foot. This causes them to waste months of time - months that could have been used getting you closer to your goal.
It may cost a bit of money upfront, but this will be money well spent if you're serious about reaching your goal.
Yet another way to keep your resolutions is to take before pictures of yourself along with progress pictures. Seeing the progress you're making along the way in the physical form of images can be powerful for some people.
You might even consider entering yourself into one of the many transformation contests that are out there, so you can not only show off your hard work, but also inspire others to make similar changes as you.
Taking Progress Pictures Tiffany Forni's Photos Tip!
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Find Replacement Activities
Finally, if your New Year's resolution involves giving something up (watching less TV, stop drinking apart from Saturday nights, etc), come up with a long list of suitable substitutions.
Doing so helps prevent slip-ups when you're stuck with nothing to do and that activity crosses your mind. By having this list of alternatives, you know exactly what you need to be doing when that desire creeps in.
So, be sure you keep these points in mind after making your New Year's Resolutions. The absolute most critical thing is to have a plan-without a plan, you're like a bro in the woods, lost without a map.