Every year in the first week of January, the gym is full with new people, energized by their goals and aspirations to get fit! Every year in the second week of January, those people are gone and the gym is back to normal. The selfish part of me doesn’t mind because it means that I can actually walk around the gym again without stepping over anyone, but I love my job because I have the opportunity to help people. So here are some helpful tips for you to get back in the gym and continue your new years resolution.
Re-Evaluate and be more realistic
If you’re like most people, you probably set some pretty lofty goals for yourself and you now realize how hard it will be. Unrealistic expectations are the number 1 reason people fail. You set the bar too high, tried to change too much, or both. The more you try to change, the more likely you will fail. Try to change one thing at a time and don’t be in a rush. Give yourself a realistic time frame for achieving your goals. If you ultimately accomplish what you set out to do a few weeks (or months) late, are you really going to be upset? If you’re looking to lose weight, think about losing 1 pound per week. It doesn’t sound like much when you compare yourself to tv shows like the biggest loser, but if you lost 1lb per week, by this time next year you will be 52 lbs lighter!! In order to lose one pound, you need to achieve a deficit of 3500 calories or 500 calories per day. This can be done by reducing the amount of calories you eat and increasing your calories out with exercise. Take away 200 calories from your daily diet by simply saving a few bites. Even if you don’t change your diet, eating a few bites less will result in less calories consumed. Exercise to burn 300 calories per day. This can be done with moderate exercise for 30-45 minutes. These daily goals are very attainable, unlike the chia seed and coconut oil diet you thought you were doing to be able to maintain this year.
Focus on what you can do
Aesthetic goals like weight loss and inches lost are very popular but can also be unaffective and demotivating. Constantly peeking at the scale and the mirror isn't accurate. Our self images are so powerful and very difficult to overcome. You won’t notice the changes you’re looking for and you’ll start to believe that what you’re doing isn't really working. Instead of focusing on the mirror, the scale, and the measuring tape, switch your focus on what you can do and you will be happier. Studies have shown that in the elderly population, they are generally happier focusing on their capabilities such as walking and doing daily activities without pain. They don’t worry about the aesthetics. I’ve seen this first hand with some of my clients. They don’t care about what they look like, just that they were able to play with their grandchildren without getting tired.
So instead of looking in the mirror, track your workouts and focus on improving. For instance, walk on the treadmill for 20 mins. In week 1, see how much distance you covered. In week 2, do the same workout, 20 minutes on the treadmill, and try to beat your score by covering more distance. Keep doing this each week and before you know it you’ll be crushing your week one numbers. Not only will you be happier with your results, but after a while you’ll take a peek and that mirror again and you’ll like what you see.
Celebrate the small stuff
If you haven’t noticed by now, the goal is to do the simple things extremely well and improve a little each day. Be happy with improvement, its better than taking a step back. When you have a great day or week or month, be happy with it, but don’t let it trap you into thinking that it will always be like that. You are going to have bad days/weeks. Suddenly the small improvements are seen as failures, just because they aren’t as impressive as the big numbers you were able to achieve. Don’t fall into that way of thinking. Celebrate each improvement no matter how big or small.