While most of us start the year off right—ready to hit the gym and motivated to add healthy, nutrient-dense food to the table. However, within a few months, life happens—and it’s easy for those big goals and plans to fall by the wayside in favor of things that are fast, simple, and less exhausting!
If you, like many of us, have gotten off course with your goals for health and fitness, the good news is that you don’t have to wait until next year to get back on track. Making a fresh start can happen at any time, as long as you want it to, and are willing to make a plan to get there.
Success isn’t about always achieving; rather it’s about taking steps in the right direction, and getting back on track when we’ve wandered off! We tend to lose sight of our goals, often because the act of goal-setting is a very simple and relatively easy activity. But the work that’s involved with reaching those goals, on the other hand, is a lot more involved—often more so than we may have envisioned! This is one reason that New Year’s resolutions often don’t stick. Our intentions are there, but we just aren’t prepared for the work that’s involved.
If you’re ready to get back on track, know that you can do it!
Here’s a look at a few tips that will help you to get the fresh start you need to make your health and fitness a priority again.
Feeling frustrated that you couldn’t hit the gym every morning at 5:30 am? You could be the victim of overenthusiastic goal setting! It’s important to be realistic in the objectives that you set, and to ease into a routine that works for you. If you’re finding it hard to commit to a workout once a day, plan for three one-hour workouts in the week instead. Maybe afternoons will work better for you than mornings. Start slow, find something that works for you, and go from there.
It’s also important to be realistic with your expectations. Will you see results right away? No, but over time healthy choices can lead to a more energetic, motivated, and happier you. Allow yourself to have treats, enjoy life, and have fun. Instead of feeling guilty for eating too much of this or that, simply get back on track in time for the next meal. Be kind to yourself, and you’ll feel less frustrated, happier with your progress, and less tempted to throw in the towel!
Create a Game Plan
You know the saying, “Failure to plan is planning to fail.” It will be difficult to achieve anything without a game plan, so start breaking your goals into doable steps, and planning for obstacles that could arise. For example, if you find it difficult to get going in the mornings on time, consider getting your workout clothes and bag ready to go the night before. Make it easier for you to reach your goals—not harder!
Incorporate Healthy Food Into Your Diet
Instead of trying to talk yourself out of your favorite foods, try to incorporate healthy choices one step at a time. Making healthy food a part of your life is the best way to create habits that stick. If you find veggies bland, try visiting a farmer’s market and getting some tasty, flavorful options that you’ll actually be able to enjoy. Get a delicious, healthy dressing that you can add to salads and find new recipes that you’ll enjoy preparing with your new produce. Instead of forcing healthy choices on yourself, learn to love them. It’ll be easier to eat better, and soon you’ll start looking forward to this new way of eating.
Make Exercise Fun
Instead of forcing activities that you just don’t like, find a workout that you love! Go for a walk or a hike, go swimming, join a fitness club with a friend, or go on some trail bike rides with your family. It’s less about trying to make something happen, and more about finding something that you enjoy. Doing things with others, whether it’s working out with a friend, or roller-skating with your family will also help to keep you motivated—and encourage you to stick with it.
Finally, healthy living is all about finding that balance. As life changes, you’ll have to adjust your schedule—and that’s okay! Give yourself permission to swap your routine with a new one that fits your current lifestyle. Find a new workout or a different time and place that works for you.
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Forming healthy habits takes time, but it is definitely doable, and the results are more than worth the effort that’s required. Start by setting realistic goals and expectations, be kind to yourself, and remember that it’s not too late to get back on track when you waver. We all have those days when our plans fall by the wayside—but don’t let a temporary setback stop you from reaching your goals. Soon you’ll be making progress and seeing real results!
P.S. Have you joined our 30-day routines and habits challenge? It starts on May 1, 2017! Head over here to sign up for 30 Days To Your Best You!