12 Tips to Stay Motivated for Your New Year's Fitness Goals

Fitness improvement is one of the most common resolutions people make every year. In fact, according to a survey done by Forbes, 39% of respondents listed improved fitness as their goal. But we all know, the hard part is keeping up with fitness goals once you’ve started them!

It’s easy to get carried away and set unrealistic goals for the new year. You’re likely to forget about them within a few weeks and never tough that bench press you bought again. When you set goals for the new year, staying motivated is key. So, let’s talk about how to keep yourself motivated while working on your fitness goals!

1. Be Realistic 

First, keeping up with fitness goals means making them realistic to begin with.  

Not only will you burn yourself out, you could hurt yourself trying to do too much too fast. If you have questions about what your body can take, consult with your doctor or trainer before setting intense goals for the new year. 

2. Set Short Term Goals

Once you’ve chosen a goal to work on, start small. Baby steps will help you get to where you want to be! Look at the running sample we discussed. If you decide you’re going to start running 10 miles a day after not doing so for years, it won’t work. You’ll avoid going to the gym, and aren’t going to make progress. Set small goals you can achieve each week to feel accomplished and stay motivated.

3. Join a Team or Fitness Community

If you’re finding it difficult to keep up with your fitness goals solo, try finding a support system! When someone else is holding you accountable, you’ll be encouraged to show up to that cardio class. It’s also great to have resources to talk to about your fitness goals, and find people that you can work out with.

Joining a group online or at the gym can help you find other people who may be having a hard time keeping up with their goals, as well. If you’re taking a fitness class, talk to other people in the class. You never know who will have similar goals that you can become friends with!

4. Refresh Your Daily Routine

Once you’re in the thick of maintaining fitness, your routine may become boring. Switching things up and refreshing your routine can help you keep up. For instance, if you usually work out in the morning, perhaps you start doing so at night. 

It all depends on your goals and where you’re at in your journey. If you work from home, you can fit your workout into your day whenever it works best. Some people also like steppers or walking pads that you can place under a standing desk. Who knows, your workout may become the part of the day you look forward to most! 

5. Keep a Fitness Journal 

Putting pen to paper is a fantastic way to hold yourself accountable and track your progress. Make a note every time you complete part of your fitness goals and write down how you’re feeling. It’s fun to look back and see how far you’ve come! 

A digital journal works, as well, but physical pen and paper will encourage you to sit down and take a moment to reflect on what you’re doing. The gesture can keep you motivated to keep doing what you’re doing! 

6. Maintain a Healthy Diet 

What you’re eating when you’re working on fitness goals matters. If you’re continuously eating junk, you won’t see results. This is an excellent time to change up what you’re eating and find delicious and nutritious options!

We know that ‘eating healthy’ is another resolution in itself, but it’s going to make a huge difference when keeping up with fitness goals. Getting yourself into a calorie deficit is the first step towards losing weight. This doesn't mean throw away everything that's sweet and tasty, look for alternatives - perhaps grab a low sugar, high protein bar for your next midday snack?

7. Switch it UP

Keeping up with fitness goals means having good days and bad days, and that's okay! Showing up to the gym everyday and hopping on the treadmill can also become stale. Since we’re trying to stay motivated, sometimes we have to stray away from the main goal.

So, if you’ve been working on running perhaps you switch it up on certain days. Take a yoga class to get some stretching in. Lift weights, or hop on a different machine at the gym. You’re still working on your fitness and showing up for yourself, but it’s refreshing to change the pace once in a while!

8. Something is Better Than Nothing

Maintaining fitness can be hard, we understand. Sometimes all you want to do is lay on the couch and be a blob. When you’re having a tough day, remember that something is better than nothing! If you skip a day entirely, it can be easy to fall into never going back again. So, when you’re feeling ‘blah’ about your fitness goals, try to do something small.

Even when you’re not vibing with the idea of a full workout, do something easy to hold yourself accountable. Maybe you walk to the local shop, run on the spot for 5 minutes, or even do a few push ups! It may feel like it does very little physically, but it can go a long way mentally.

9. Don’t Be Hard on Yourself

Your New Year’s goals should NOT be a punishment. If you’re forcing it and being hard on yourself, you won’t get anything out of it. Remember to be kind to your mind and body during the process. If you miss a day, it’s not the end of the world. Just get back to it and don’t let yourself slip.

If you’re working on an intense goal, keep in mind that fitness always takes time, dedication and patience. You won’t see dramatic results overnight, and the process is what you’re working on. Be nice to yourself!

10. Let Yourself Rest

When you’re working on fitness goals, rest is extremely important. Without rest, you’re never going to see results. Working out when you’re fatigued can also be dangerous! You should never go to the gym if you aren’t well rested, as it can result in injury. 

Practicing good sleep hygiene along with a healthy diet are all part of the process. 

11. Make it Fun! 

Most importantly, make your fitness goals fun! If you’re not having fun, you’re less likely to keep up with your goals the rest of the year. Choose activities that interest you that will have the fitness benefits you’re looking for. 

Joining a sports team or taking a dance class is a great way to keep yourself having fun and engaged. You also typically pay for classes, so shelling out cash can be a great motivator to not miss it, as well. 

12. Create a Rewards System 

One of the simplest ways to keep yourself motivated in maintaining fitness goals is to reward yourself. After you workout, you’re going to feel fabulous from the release of endorphins, so enjoy it! That feeling alone is a reward to remember when you’re arguing with yourself about heading to the gym. 

Along with the internal good feeling, reward yourself in other ways, too! Look back in your fitness journal to see if you’ve hit a long term goal. When you have, set up rewards for that. Buying yourself new workout gear is a great motivator. You should also reward yourself with non-fitness rewards such as a nice dinner or going to the movies. 

The bottom line is that no matter what your fitness goals are for the new year, it can be a challenge to stay motivated. Keeping track of your progress and creating realistic goals will set you up for success. Remember to take it easy and not to be hard on yourself. Rewarding yourself for keeping up with fitness goals is also a fantastic way to stay motivated. We hope these tips and tricks help you stick to your goals and keep you motivated this year! 

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