When a new year begins, many of us are ready to start it off with a bang. We put in our best effort to achieve the health goals that we’ve set for ourselves, but many times, we end up falling short of what we actually want to accomplish. The result? We end up more frustrated than we’ve ever been about our fitness, and give up altogether on what we set out to do.
There are even studies that show this to be true. A prime example:
“People are way too optimistic about their willpower to work out, Stefano Dellavigna and Ulrike Malmendier concluded in their famous paper "Paying Not to Go to the Gym." In the study, members were offered a $10-per-visit package or a monthly contract worth $70. More chose the monthly contract and only went to the gym four times a month. As a result, they paid 70 percent more per visit than they would have under the plan they rejected. Why? Because people are too optimistic that they can become gym rats, which would make the monthly package "worth it."”
If monotony, overconfidence, or lacks of focus creep up on us soon after we begin, there is a high likelihood that we won’t make it past the first few weeks of our initial effort. It doesn’t have to end up like that though; the best way to keep on course is to make a plan that’s easy to stick to.
There are lots of avenues to approach the new routine, but there are some guidelines to keep in mind to get you set up for long-term success:
Do Your Research
There are so many great resources: from wellness blogs to social review pages that share the best ‘big box’ and boutique gyms all across the United States with tips to find the right one for you. Don’t forget to look for online classes too. You can buy the resources you need and take your classes from the privacy of home—what better motivation do you need? You’ve got outside and in-home options available right now, so there really are no excuses!
Find Your Destination
Are you looking for a physical location like a gym or an online regimen? Once you’ve established that, talk to a representative that can help you make the right decision for your needs. Make sure you ask the right questions: Do you need to sign up for classes or can you pop in at will? Do you have access to all the benefits to the club or organization? Make sure, too, to inquire about their cancellation policy in case you change your mind.
Set Your Goals
Start small—under-promise and over-deliver to yourself. Even if you feel like you’re not achieving big milestones, the effort you make is everything. Make sure you give your body and mind the opportunity to succeed by setting yourself up with the steps that ensure that you can and will. The best way to start is through positive self-esteem—when you believe in your abilities, it allows you to persevere through the pressure that may lead you to give up. Those who find strength deep within see the best results, and ones that last a lifetime.
Get in the Right Mindset
Have a ‘make it happen’ mentality. ‘I can’t’ shouldn’t be in your vocabulary. You’re worth getting healthier. You’re strong, you’re able, and you’re ready. Whatever mantra you need to make yours to get your heart and head ‘in-it-to-win-it’ starting right now, let that be your guide. Everything you do, make it worth something; good health is a privilege, and you can achieve optimal wellness through positive thought and practice.
Let 2015 be your very best year yet. Small steps will create lasting impacts on your health and happiness for years to come. The time is now and your future self is waiting for you to begin to live your best life. Today is always a better time to start than tomorrow. What’s holding you back? Let it go and get moving; you deserve it.