Every New Year, I decide once again that I need to revamp my exercise routine. I’ve always been active, but not always as consistently or as intensely as I want to be.
It isn’t easy to start something new. But this year, I plan to follow through with my new goals. To do this, I created a specific plan.
My first step was to look at the resources around me and determine if:
- I could afford a gym membership
- I would actually participate in group fitness classes
- I would use fitness DVDs I already have
- I would try to brave the Wisconsin winter and run outside (highly unlikely)
Armed with my answers, I joined a nearby gym and signed up for three group exercise classes offered through Madison Schools Community Recreation. I was pretty confident that with all the fitness options of spinning (using stationary bikes), yoga, and boot camp, I would have enough variety that I wouldn’t get bored.
With my resource selected, I next set an achievable (but not too easy) minimum number of workout days. Why? When I reach my goal, it boosts my confidence and inspires me to stick to my plan. I decided I would aim for three days each week for at least 30 minutes. It sounds small, but it’s a manageable goal with the very limited time I have available.
Next, I designed a way to keep track of my goals so that I could see the progress I make and see how far I have come. I’m a visual person, so I like to write my goals down on my calendar.
Then, I chose an incentive. After one month of consistency, I will reward myself with a prize—new shoes. Rewards help me stay motivated. Sometimes you need a little extra push besides just the health benefits.
When you are thinking about your goals and resolutions:
- Make sure they are realistic and attainable
- Be sure to set time limits and keep track of your success
- Make sure you reward yourself along the way
Making a lasting change is no easy task. You’ve seen my plan. Now, what do you do to stay on track with your fitness goals?