by Erin Mahoney, VP of Education at the International Sports Science Association
Visiting the gym during the first few weeks of January can be overwhelming. While motivation levels are at an all-time high, like clockwork, by February many people fall off the fitness wagon. According to the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA), people abandon their New Year’s Resolutions by the third Thursday of January. Often, a person’s ‘cheat day’ becomes an everyday occurrence and the habits they worked to grow disappear.
2020 is the perfect time to start fresh, try something new, and set daily challenges that will encourage a lifetime of health, wellness and balance. Here are some of my favorite fitness tips for making your fitness goals stick year-round:
Start with one simple change
There is no need to try to do everything at once. As the saying goes, “slow and steady wins the race”. Making short-term and long-term goals is an important part of the resolution process. However, instead of focusing on long-term aspects, focus on one, simple change at a time. For example, plan to get in to the gym three times each week or focus on eating more vegetables with each meal. Develop a routine by starting small for greater chance of success.
Grow your skillsets
Knowledge is power. Having the tools and knowing how to set a goal is key. Instead of looking to Google or Instagram for healthy habits and exercises, be your own source of information. Consider becoming a certified fitness trainer or earning a certification in nutrition through an online source like ISSA. Although becoming “certified” may seem daunting, the process online is quite simple – and an attainable goal. With easy-to-access courses, exams, and instructions, ISSA has aspiring fitness trainers certified within months.
Track your progress. No, really – track it.
Each completed task or goal is progress. Take pictures, make checklists, and celebrate the “wins.” This form of tracking can be a motivation-booster and a great way to visually see results. Nutrition logging is also helpful to ensure the right foods are providing enough energy. Alongside, genetic testing can be used for pinpointing food sensitivities and uncovering the perfect fitness routine for your genetic makeup. Every person is unique, and DNA testing provides a personal analysis to achieve results faster and smarter. ISSA is now offering the Genetics-based Program Design, a first-of-its-kind training program to help make DNA testing available to clients so that they may dial in their fitness goals to achieve maximum success.
Plan, but also plan to switch things up, too.
Write down a plan. Having a general plan is an effective tactic for staying on track, but it’s okay to switch plans around from time to time. Changing up your routine helps with boredom and increases motivation levels. Try a different workout class, like yoga or spin, or ask a friend about their fitness journey for advice. Take your workouts outside from time to time, as well. A hike, bike ride, or even swimming will help breathe life back into your fitness routine.
Follow your passions to stay motivated.
Passion drives work ethic. Finding joy in daily activities and aligning goals with passions is the perfect recipe for success. For example, if a person love sports, combining sports and workouts makes goal-setting enjoyable.
There is no exact formula for achieving your fitness goals. Nevertheless, combining passions, creating and sticking to routines, and tracking steady, gradual progress will help decrease burnout. Don’t be afraid to try something new in 2020. Let this be your best year yet and turn your New Year’s resolution into a lifetime commitment toward being the healthiest you, you can be.
About the Author
Erin Mahoney is the VP of Education for ISSA, the leading international fitness certifications provider. As an expert in the fitness and nutrition education space, she has authored and served as the chief editor for textbooks on personal training, sports performance, group fitness, and behavior and lifestyle change. She holds two master’s degrees focusing on sport and exercise psychology along with more than 20 years of experience educating fitness professionals and helping clients get to their goals and lead an improved quality of life.