The good news is that New Years is just around the corner, and with that, another chance to set some New Years resolutions. If you’re similar to the majority of Americans, one or more of your resolutions will revolve around health in some way, shape or form. Whether it’s to get in shape again, lose the recent holiday weight, or finally get that gym membership you’ve been eyeing, it’s clear that many resolutions revolve around fitness.
According to varied sources, anywhere from 60-80 percent of individuals who made a fitness resolution will give up on their goals within the month of January, and the majority will drop-off completely by February.2,4,5 The common advice among the regular gym patrons is to disregard the surge in gym attendees in January, because most of them will stop coming by the end of the month – and it appears that the statistics are true!2,4,5 As a healthcare professional, this is very disheartening because I feel a personal drive to spread the wealth of fitness as much as I can.
I want to see you be successful in your health and fitness journey. Rather than see you become a statistic on the negative side of New Year’s Resolutions, I want you to become a success story that can be used to inspire those closest around you, and even other fellow resolutioners! We should be celebrating more wins than losses as a fitness community. The following tips will help to keep your motivation levels high, and your progress consistent.
There are a lot of individuals who have lofty goals when they look toward setting a resolution. While there is nothing wrong with setting your sights high, it does make it a daunting task to achieve your goals if you are starting out at square one. My recommendation is to take your larger goals and split them into smaller, bite-sized chunks. This will give you measured steps to take in order to complete the larger picture. For example, in order to lose 25lbs, you first have to lose 5lbs, right? Losing 5lbs at a time is much more mentally manageable. It also gives you an opportunity to hit smaller goals consistently, and this will build confidence and momentum.
It can be very easy to try and make as many changes as you can, all at once. However, this can lead to burnout very quickly. Trying to change several habits all at once could be difficult and may be a reason why such a high number of people who make New Year’s Resolutions give up completely by February.2,4,5 Instead of going crazy with your changes, try managing smaller tasks instead. Much like the aforementioned advice, small changes are key to building consistency. For example, if you want to eat healthier, try adding in 1-2 more servings of veggies throughout the day instead of overhauling your diet. As you start to gain consistency with this, you can start swapping out unhealthy food options for healthier ones. Pretty soon you will have changed your diet completely like you wanted to with your original goal, only this way you have built up good habits and given your body time to adapt and adjust.
There are 1,440 minutes in a day, and 1 percent of that time is only 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes is an easy chunk of time to get some activity in, whether it’s some light stretching, yoga, walking, jogging, resistance training, etc. Doing this on a consistent basis will get your body prepared to introduce longer workout sessions when you are ready. Beginning a new routine can be scary, but with slowly introducing yourself to some general activity every day, you can easily break out of that fear and be well on your way to hitting your goals. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week for adults.6 If you give every day of the week 1 percent of your time to fitness, and at least three days 2 percent, you will have very easily have hit that recommended number.
Finding someone (friend, parent, sibling, spouse, online community, etc.) with similar goals to yours can help tremendously with increasing your chance of sticking to your resolutions and staying motivated. They’ll be able to encourage you during good and bad times, and you can do the same for them. Together we achieve more, and having someone to workout with can make the process more enjoyable – because the more your enjoy the process, the more motivated and dedicated you will be toward hitting your goals.
If an increase in activity leaves you with aches and pains, make sure to take action and not just “wait it out.” Schedule a free assessment at Athletico to have one of our experts take a look at your condition and provide recommendations for treatment. After all, you don’t want to give up on your resolution due to pain or injury.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.
1. “2015’s Top New Year’s Resolution? Fitness!!” Nielsen, 1 Aug. 2015, www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/article/2015/2015s-top-new-years-resolution-fitness/.
2. “Why 80 Percent of New Year’s Resolutions Fail.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/articles/2015-12-29/why-80-percent-of-new-years-resolutions-fail.
3. “Healthy Aspirations: The Disconnect Between Americans’ Desire for a Healthy Lifestyle and Actual Behavior.” Nielsen, www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/article/2014/healthy-aspirations-the-disconnect-between-americans-desire-for-a-healthy-lifestyle-and-actual-behavior/.
4. Bodybuildingcom. “New Study Finds 73% Of People Who Set Fitness Goals As New Year’s Resolutions Give Them Up.” Bodybuilding.com, 9 Jan. 2019, www.bodybuilding.com/fun/2013-100k-transformation-contest-press-release.html.
5. Mulvey, Kelsey. “80% Of New Year’s Resolutions Fail by February – Here’s How to Keep Yours.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 3 Jan. 2017, www.businessinsider.com/new-years-resolutions-courses-2016-12#learn-a-new-language-4.
6. “American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults and Kids.” Www.heart.org, www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-adults.