We are well into the New Year and it’s time to take a good, hard look at how you’re doing on your fitness goals. If you’re like many people, you started the year with gusto and newfound determination. You had big goals and were committed. Fast-forward a few months. The workout sessions have gotten fewer. The bad habits have crept back into your life and, more than likely, you’re not feeling too great. Don’t throw up your hands and wait until January 1 of next year. I have 5 steps to help get you back on track right now and put those goals within reach. I urge you to get out a notepad and write these 5 steps out for yourself instead of just reading them.
- Make an Assessment of Your Failed Plan. It’s important to look at what went wrong to help you get it right. Was your plan overambitious? Were you doing exercise you didn’t enjoy? Did you join a gym that was inconvenient to your home or work? Look at all of these things to determine if your plan was doomed to fail. Many are so excited to get in shape at the start of a new year, that they go full force with an unrealistic, unsustainable plan. If you did that, it’s ok. Pinpoint what went wrong.
- Revise your Goals. Now that you’ve figured out what the problem is, change your goals. For example, if your original goal was to lose 50 pounds by Spring Break, change your goal to something much more attainable. It might be much less overwhelming to change your goal to 5 lbs. per month. Make your goals reachable and then go crush them.
- Make a New Plan. So, you know where your plan went wrong, you’ve set new goals, now it’s time to put a new plan in place. Write out a new plan that is doable and compatible with your schedule, interests and personality. Maybe your original plan had you running 4 days a week, but you hate running. Don’t run! Do what you enjoy. Take classes that are fun. Get outside and walk if you prefer that. Didn’t enjoy the gym setting? Plan at home workouts 4 days a week instead? Really look at and decide on a plan that you can sustain. Ask yourself these questions. What form of exercise do I enjoy? How many days per week can I feasibly workout? Do I enjoy solitary workouts or a group setting? Set your plan according to your answers. So often we make our plan according to what is popular or because something worked for a friend. Each person is unique and your plan needs to be specific for YOU. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing or what’s popular on social media.
- Don’t Make Too Many Changes at Once. Once your new workout plan is in place, be careful not to overwhelm yourself with too many changes. I usually advise clients to get the exercise going first and THEN work on your diet. As you are getting back to a solid fitness routine and are feeling confident, start making slow, steady changes to your eating. One change at a time can often be the best formula for success.
- Tell a Friend. Call or have coffee with a friend and explain your new workout routine and goals. Ask for accountability. Pick someone who loves you enough to be tough with you and truly hold you accountable. Invite them along because chances are they need accountability, too.
It is so easy to get off track from the healthy habits we start at the beginning of the year, but you don’t have to stay there. Follow these steps and you’ll be back on track and feeling great in no time.