As the new year draws closer, most of you will be making plans for what you'll be doing with your New Year's Resolutions. Perhaps this is the year you finally obtain that ripped physique that you've always dreamt of or maybe this is the year you finally take those first steps onto a fitness program that you've been meaning to do for so long, yet have put off time and time again.
Whatever your case may be, it's important to think about what you're going to do to maintain your consistency with your effort so you don't become just another one of those statistics of people who start off strong with their gym membership in January, only to find that as February rolls around, they've frequented the fast food drive-thru a whole lot more often than they've frequented the gym. It's a fact that's hard to deny; most people begin the new year in the gym and end the year feasting on goodies as the holiday season progresses along, vowing that next year will be different.
But will next year really be any different? Asking yourself this question now, before this coming new year even hits is the first thing you should be doing to guarantee your success.
Let's take a few moments and look at a few of the top methods that you can use this coming year to stay motivated to push onwards with your fitness goals. Remember, it doesn't matter what fitness level you're currently at, you're still going to struggle at some point or another to stay committed.
Those just starting out often think that the advanced trainees who already have wonderfully developed bodies must have something special about them where they just stay motivated no matter what, but don't be so quick to assume this. Even those who appear to be the most dedicated gym-goer still struggle at times to keep moving forward. It's just that those who plan for these motivational lulls and understand how to deal with them, don't let them push them off course. Instead of investing hours and hours into finding the absolute most perfect program for yourself, it might be worthwhile to invest half that time on learning some strategies to stick with whatever program it is you find. That is the real key to success.
Here's what you need to know...
Identify Obstacles In Advance
The very first thing that you should do to ensure that you stay on track as the year passes by is to make sure that you're anticipating any obstacles that may occur in advance. So many people simply wait for them to happen.
By the time the obstacle is occurring though, you're in full panic state and don't have a clue how to deal with it. Instead, before you even get going make a list of everything that could potentially come between you and your results. Whether it's diet related, workout related, or otherwise, write it down.
Once you have that down, then write down three solutions that you can use to overcome this problem.
Now that you have your solutions, you have an immediate way out. If the obstacle should arise, you simply implement your solution and maintain the course of the program.
When you take the time to develop this alternate action plan, then you really ever aren't 'falling' off the program at all. You're just taking a scenic detour along the way.
Framing it in this manner in your mind will be much less detrimental to your overall self-confidence in your ability to reach that goal and will keep you moving forwards.
Find Your Motivational Interrupters
Next, it's also important to identify any motivational interrupters as well. This could be one particular friend who always seems to have to visit a fast food location whenever you are visiting with each other or a volunteer activity you signed up for that always manages to be occurring at a time when you'd normally do your scheduled workout session.
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By looking at whatever it is that can interrupt your motivation, you can then look at ways you can possibly overcome this, or perhaps in some cases, prioritize what's really important to you and move on from that interrupter.
It's important to understand that you will have to make some sacrifices in life if you hope to attain the body that you're going for and these sacrifices won't always be easy. At times you may feel torn - skip the gym and go out with your friends to the local pizza place for drinks and a Friday night dinner, or stay the course and miss out on the social action.
It's a hard decision to make and only you can decide for yourself what you'll do, but try and come to an agreement with yourself and stick to it. Don't always expect perfection from yourself as sometimes your progress will be interrupted and there will be nothing you can do about it, but at the same time, don't give yourself too much leeway either. If you do, you'll find you aren't moving forward with your resolutions as intended.
Set Proper Mini And Long-Term Goals
Another key thing that must be in place if you're going to stick with your New Year's Resolutions this time around is to make sure that you set both long and short term goals.
So many people are fast to set their sights on that long term goal, which is great, but then forget to set mini goals that they'll strive for along the way.
When you're only focused on that long-term goal at the very end of the road, sometimes it's very easy to lose sight of it. If you happen to do this, that's when it'll be easier to take an alternate path - a path away from fitness altogether. If you set short-term goals that will help you move closer to that long term goal in the big picture, with each short-term goal that you reach, your motivational level will be pushed higher.
Reach enough short-term goals and pretty soon there will be no doubt in your mind that you're on your way to success.
Focus On What You're Doing Right
Another thing that you should be doing come this new year is to make sure that you're also focusing on what you're doing right. Far too many people are quick to focus on all the things that they're doing wrong with their program and all this does is places them in a negative frame of mind.
While you still do definitely need to identify when you move away from the path you should be on as denial is no way to go about things, don't ever neglect what you are doing to help see success.
By bringing out all the positive changes that you're making you'll change your frame of mind and get yourself believing in your abilities a lot more.
Don't ever discount how strong this mental self-belief can be when it comes to realizing success. If you believe in yourself, the chances of your goal actually coming true increase ten-fold compared to if you're hung up on everything you're doing wrong.
Set more than one goal
Finally, make an effort to also set more than one goal as you go about your program plan. If you have a few goals set - say one that's related to body weight and body fat levels, and then another couple that are performance based goals, then if one goal happens to be not quite going as you had wanted, you won't feel so discouraged if the other is moving along nicely. The more goals you are working towards the greater chances that you will see success in one of them along the way, thus boosting your overall morale to stick with the program. Just be sure that the goals all support one another and aren't contradictory as then you'll just be working against yourself.
So keep all these points in mind as you move into the New Year. It's great to set a good New Year's Resolution and take out that gym membership in the first month of the year, but if you don't maintain that same level of motivation past that one-month mark, you're likely to find yourself making a very similar resolution come this time next year.