We are in the final quarter of 2019. Believe it or not, now is the time to start thinking about your 2020 fitness goals. Not December 31st but now! What are you going to do differently in 2020? The new year always gives us a chance to have a fresh start. We get excited about starting something new. The possibilities of what could be is enough to spur us on to make real changes. Real changes, however, do not happen overnight. Real changes take time and planning. Start your plan today.
Here are some tips that will help you to follow through and reach your goals this time:
Don’t quit – No one is perfect 100% of the time. We all slip and make mistakes. Don’t allow the slip to be an excuse to give up completely. It takes a while to develop healthy habits. It will not happen overnight, but it will happen as long as you don’t quit. Commit to doing something toward your goal every single day, whether it be drinking more water, parking further from the entrance or going to bed earlier – whatever it is, those small changes will make a difference and it is that difference that will motivate you to keep going.
Write it down – Not only should you write it down, but you should put what you’ve written in a place where you will see it every single day. Seeing it will be a constant reminder of what you are working toward. If you write down your goal in a journal and put it away, then it is easily forgotten. Get a few 3 x 5 cards and write the goal on them with a black Sharpie and put one on your fridge, put one on your bathroom mirror and put one on the glove compartment in your car. The goal will always be in front of you and you will be motivated to get it done. If 3x5 cards aren’t practical, make a vision board filled with pictures and words that will motivate you.
Always remember WHY – When you feel like quitting always go back to your “why”. For example, your doctor told you that you are a pre-diabetic and you need to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet and lose 15 pounds. Remember that the next time you decide that you can skip a workout or have a second piece of pie. This is not a game. This is not about fitting into a bathing suit or a dress for a special occasion. This is your life.
Tell someone what you’re working toward – Be accountable to someone. Get a workout partner, join an exercise group (either in person or online). Get around people who can encourage you and understand what you’re going through because they’ve been there. I know that not everyone wants a workout partner. However, when you are first starting out it is difficult to go it alone. Too much time alone leads to spending too much in your head and before you know it you are talking yourself out of doing what you know you need to do. Finding a group is also a great opportunity for you to inspire and encourage someone else.
Let this year be different. Really choose to make a difference that will last the rest of your life. Think long term and accept the fact that small, consistent actions will make the biggest difference. There are no shortcuts and there is no magic. Consistency and patience are the keys to success.