Okay, it’s January 2nd and you’ve decided it’s time to implement your resolution.
After a season of merrily eating and drinking to excess, you are going to get fit.
You’ve fantasized about your glory days over the holidays. The old high school pictures you dug up to show your kids have had you come to the realization that your responsibilities as a father and/or career man have taken precedent over your health. You’re not in the shape you used to be in, but this is okay. Believe it or not, you’re not the only person who has prioritized family or work over being fit. I have.
It’s time for you to start living a healthier, more vibrant lifestyle. But as we all know saying and doing are not the same.
Truth be told, New Years resolutions are a bit of a sham. There’s a high probability that the majority of people will give up on what they set out to accomplish. And that’s fine. You’re not.
And I’ll tell you why.
Because you are going to use these simple strategies to keep your goals on track for as long as it takes for fitness to become integrated into your life.
Integration is the crux to success.
Here are 9 simple tips to ensure 2015 is the last year you will have to make getting fit your New Year’s resolution.
Set small, achievable goals.
If you are a beginner, novice, or seasoned fitness enthusiast, the most elementary method to achieving your goals is to make them accessible. Instead of shooting to shed 20 pounds of mass from the start, set your sights on losing smaller increments of weight over shorter periods of time. Small successes will help you build momentum to your overall goals.
When you reach a milestone you set out for yourself, whether it is fat loss, muscle gain, or a personal record in the weight room, celebrate. You deserve it. But be sure to treat yourself to something that won’t sabotage your overall goal, like junk food – hit the spa or buy the sneakers you’ve been checking out online.
It is sometimes hard to realize the transformation your body is going through. Unfortunately, losing weight or gaining muscle can be a slow, tedious process. To aid in curbing any sort of discouragement in this process and to reinforce that what you are doing is working, take pictures as you progress. You will be surprised at what you’ll see if you stick to it.
Schedule your workouts.
There isn’t going to be time to workout unless you make time yourself. Being a family man, working, and having other commitments fill up your schedule quickly. Ensure that workouts fit into your life by blocking off time in your schedule. Discuss and plan with your family the best time and commit to it. When I decided to make fitness a priority in my life, I made time to go to the gym once I put my son to bed. It worked best for my wife and I, and three years later I’m still committed.
Get new gear.
Invest in some technical gym wear or outerwear that will motivate you to get active. If you feel good and are comfortable during exercise you will be prone to stick to it and you will also prevent injury (think footwear). Talk to a representative at your local sporting goods store for information on footwear that suits your needs and to show you advancements in fitness attire (sweat wicking, cooling, heating, and compression).
Invest in health tech.
There are hundreds of apps for your smartphone that will positively influence your success and facilitate staying on track with your goals. Calorie trackers (MyFitnessPal), weight training programs (Men’s Health Personal Fitness Trainer), recipes and diet hacks (Yummly + Health App) – you name it, it’s available. Load up your phone. Track your goals. Read up on new ways to exercise. Make it a part of your routine. You’re on your phone anyway…
Wearable health tech is also a popular tool for fitness enthusiasts. For example, devices that are worn on the wrist like the Jawbone UP Band track calories burned and sleep patterns. The data can be loaded wirelessly to your computer and plotted on graphs.
Mix it up/make it fun.
You don’t necessarily have to spend hours in the gym to be fit and healthy. And I admit, the gym can be an intimidating and unpleasant place sometimes. To mix up your fitness routine and make it fun; find an activity that is both pleasurable and healthy. Activities like snowshoeing, skateboarding, cross-country skiing, football, hiking, cycling are all fun and effective as exercise. And many of these you can enjoy with your children.
Invest in yourself by hiring a trainer.
Investing in a trainer may be the best way to get you started. It forces you to schedule time for workouts and will equip you with a sound knowledge base of the mechanics of weight training. Schedule a finite number of sessions, get started, ask questions, and take notes. When you’re ready take the reigns and drive your own fitness program.
Find like-minded individuals with similar goals and talk to them. Cultivate support wherever you can, whether it is with friends, family or online. There are communities of men all over the world struggling to stay on track with fitness goals. Lean on these communities for, support, encouragement, motivation, or new ideas to push you closer to your goals.
I hope these tips and strategies help you achieve your fitness goals for 2015 and beyond. Best of luck as we move (run, squat, lunge or jump) into the New Year.
Mathew Lajoie writes for www.YOUAREdadTOme.com