So, how are those New Year’s Resolutions going? If you’re with the majority of Americans, your resolutions vanished with the holiday decorations. Hey, it happens: life gets busy, motivation wanes and before you know it you’ve fallen off the resolution wagon with a giant thud! Time to get up, dust yourself off and get back on track. To tell us how to do just that, I went to Stacy Langer, a personal trainer and fitness instructor for the past 16 years who teaches a kickass Stadium Bootcamp class at Mountainside Fitness Chase Field. Stacy not only talks the fitness talk, she walks the walk… BIG TIME! She’s competed in power lifting and figure competitions, she ran the Boston marathon in 2007 and she’s run the Chicago marathon for the past 16 years consecutively (she’s trying to make it 20 in a row!). In other words, Stacy knows a thing or two about setting goals and seeing them through – and here she shares her stick-with-it secrets with all of us…
1) Make mini resolutions throughout the year. Instead of making one BIG resolution, make monthly resolutions based on your mindset and your body’s needs. So instead of pledging to “become a vegetarian” resolve to eat a veggie with every meal. Making mini resolutions takes some of the pressure off so you’re less likely to fall off the wagon entirely.
2) At the end of the month reward yourself on a job well done. Rewarding yourself for keeping up with your workouts and resolutions works! Added incentive helps keep your eye on the prize. Just try to keep the rewards calorie-free, like new workout clothes or movie tickets (hold the popcorn!).
3) DON’T make your scale your new best friend! Yes, weighing yourself can keep you in check, but it can also be a major bummer – and even trigger emotional eating. Not to mention that the scale doesn’t factor in things like water weight and muscle mass.
4) Try new classes…new workouts…new recipes! The best way to stay motivated and avoid workout plateaus is to mix things up. This keeps your body and mind guessing. Yes, that means jumping out of your comfort zone (and maybe trying Tabata or Boot camp for the first time), but the results are so worth it.
5) Encourage family and friends to participate in activities that coincide with your new fitness goals. It’s true: there’s strength in numbers. Declare your resolutions to your loved ones and get them on board (schedule buddy workouts with your friends or get your family to share their favorite healthy recipes) for added accountability.
6) Hire a personal trainer or do small group training at your local gym. Personal trainers can really help keep you motivated and accountable. Ditto for the camaraderie and personalized attention that comes with small group training classes.
7) Don’t criticize or compare yourself to anyone. Everybody’s body is different. Do you and know you are great!
8) Think big picture. Everyone is an athlete…no matter how long you’ve been working out. Keep your fitness goals for the “marathon” of life not the 100-yard dash.