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Fitness

7 Easy Ways to Make (and Stick To) an Active New Year’s Resolution

It’s a well-known fact – or an unsurprising one, at least – that over 80% of people fail to achieve their New Year’s Resolutions. But with Trespass Expert Advice, you won’t be one of those lazy lot.

In fact, this disappointing figure might even make you that much more determined to achieve yours. So if you’re looking to plan, strive towards and accomplish a fitness resolution, keep reading for 7 top tips on how to stick to it.

  1. Be Realistic
  2. What Are You Doing This For?
  3. Choose a Fitness Routine You Already Enjoy
  4. Are You Prepared?
  5. Be Kind to Yourself
  6. It’s Okay to Have a Day Off
  7. Spread the Word

1. Be Realistic

If you manage to set an achievable, realistic and sustainable goal, then you’ve already completed half the challenge of a New Year’s Resolution.

Our top tip here is: don’t be vague about your end goal. Take the time to calculate an accurate, achievable and measurable goal for yourself, else you’ll just be setting the year up for disappointment. If you’re a first-time runner, for example, it’s no use making a plan to run a marathon.

Alternatively, try taking it one step at a time. Instead of making one big goal to reach at the end of the year, break it up into months, setting yourself 12 smaller goals in a year with the last being the desired end result. This way, you can track your performance and adjust your goals accordingly. This is especially useful if after the first month it appears that you’ve been a little too ambitious, or not quite ambitious enough!

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2. Think About Why You’re Making a Resolution

Remember, if the main topic of your resolution is to get fitter, this is not limited to physical appearance. Your activities should instead be largely focussed on improving physical strength and endurance. Do this for you, your mind and your body – not for other people’s eyes.

So instead of thinking, ‘weight loss’, why not challenge yourself to run faster, jump higher or lift heavier? Workout more often, or for longer? From anything to nailing that yoga pose to doing one full pull-up, a fitness resolution is much more than reducing numbers on a scale (and especially with weight training, these numbers may even increase!).

You could sign up for a race, whether that’s a 5k, a 10k, a half marathon, or even a full one if you think you’re ready! Signing up in itself is a serious motivator: you’ve already paid, got your name on the ballot, with parents booking travel to cheer you across the finish line as we speak… you better not disappoint! Have a read of our How to Train for Your First Marathon article for an easy step-by-step guide to getting you over that finish line by this time next year.

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3. Choose a Fitness Routine You Enjoy

It’s no good signing up for a gym membership if you’ve actively avoided going for the past 3 years. This clearly does not work for you.

Try to experiment with a number of different things, as its best not to just repeat the same routine over and over again. That’s how you got bored and wound up here making an active New Year’s Resolution in the first place!

If you hate the treadmill, don’t bother getting on it. If you hate cycling, don’t bother buying a helmet. It’s simple: if you don’t enjoy it, you’re less likely to want to continue. The key here is to move your body in a way that feels good. If it doesn’t, why are you doing it? Choosing to do what makes you happy will make your workout seem less laborious and more of a play-out, instead!

Can’t settle on a fitness method you enjoy? Then why not try a different one each month. As they say: variety is the spice of life. There are loads of gym memberships out there that offer flexible trials and an array of classes so you can literally try before you buy! Find your perfect gym membership by doing some research and looking at comparison websites, such as GymHappy. On a bit of a budget? Check out our Guide to Affordable Active Hobbies.

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4. Be Prepared

Make a plan, whether a timetable, schedule or whatever you fancy. Don’t forget to schedule in time for barriers, such as illness, family commitments, birthdays and potential celebrations… if doing this gives you a flashback to your revision-timetabling school days, then you’re doing it right. Planning to expect small setbacks will make you less inclined to use them as an excuse to give up altogether.

Write things down! Keep a journal and track your improvements and changes. It might not seem like much from week to week, but when you glance back to the start of your journey, you’ll be surprised how far you’ve come. And don’t forget to reward yourself, too!

Prepare yourself for greatness and do your prep the night before. Whether that’s laying out your breakfast or activewear, prepping your smoothie to store in the fridge overnight or remembering to pop a hair bobble and a change of clothes in your bag, we all know the morning minutes are much more precious, so savour them and prepare.

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5. Be Kind to Yourself

Comparison is the thief of joy. We all have moments where we want to be fitter, slimmer, better looking… but being hard on yourself will make things harder to achieve. So, our fifth top tip is to plan goals from a kinder mindset.

Instead of a yearly fitness resolution on the topic of running with an overarching goal of losing weight, why not focus more on your wellbeing by prioritising performance instead? How about making it ‘run for 15 mins without stopping’, or ‘workout at least 3 times a week’. Both may result in a bonus outcome of weight loss, but with a less bodily demeaning approach.

Remind your body why you love it. Treat it to bubble baths, massages, moisturiser, proper stretches, warm-up routines, and not forgetting, plenty of water! Our bodies are worth celebrating, as without them, we wouldn’t be able to set New Year’s Resolutions in the first place (a blessing and a curse, perhaps?!).

A healthy body is synonymous with a healthy mind. This includes getting more sleep! The right amount of shut-eye is crucial for those with an active lifestyle, as your body needs time to rest and recover. Try this by putting your phone away. Yes, we know we sound like your Mother, but trust us, it works.

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6. Be Forgiving: It’s Okay to Have an Off-Day!

If you push yourself too hard, you’ll end up finding things more difficult in the long run (whether figuratively or literally) and might even end up doing more damage. If your body is asking for a rest, it’s because it probably needs one!

At the same time, however, don’t be lazy. It’ll take longer to see results if you don’t give yourself a challenge. Be compassionate and forgive yourself but know when you’re being a little too nice.

Rather than saying you’ll hit the gym 3 times a week, allocate one day you will 100% commit to with 110% effort, come rain, shine or zombie apocalypse. Think: Monday madness, Wednesday workouts, thunder Thursdays… whatever you decide, accept no excuses. Then, if you can fit in another few training sessions throughout the week, you won’t have to push so hard, as you’ve already met your set goals.

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7. Spread the Word

Tell your friends and family what you’re aiming towards. No doubt they’ll act like all other annoying friends and family: constantly checking up on you, reminding you to do it when you’re having a lazy Sunday snoozing on the sofa. You’ll hate it, but it’ll provide a frequent source of motivation and a push when you might really need it.

Think we’ve missed something? Send us your New Years Resolution hacks on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #GoFurther!

Written by: Natalie Green