You’ve resolved to exercise more in 2023. But now, your motivation has waned, and getting to the gym is becoming more challenging.
Perhaps you started the Year strong, but then a bump in your road slowed you down, and you are struggling to find the motivation to get back on track.
“Namaste Fit” yoga instructor Tara Elisabeth Stewart says that relying solely on motivation to get you through the Year can lead to disaster.
5 sneaky ways to sabotage your fitness resolutions
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Stewart says that motivation is fleeting. It’s the only discipline that will get you where you want to be. If you have difficulty sticking to your fitness goals for the Year, you’re not alone.
Sundried’s survey found that 95% of New Year’s resolutions relate to fitness, with 43% of respondents expecting to abandon their goals by February.
You can avoid falling into this trap by not intentionally undermining your self-esteem.
#1. Unrealistic goals are set
It can be challenging to keep a vague resolution for the New Year (e.g., “walk more”) because it doesn’t have clear guidelines. Concrete milestones are motivating.
Stewart recommends making your New Year’s resolution specific, measurable, and achievable. It should also be relevant, time-bound, and relevant.
She says you must be clear about what you are trying to accomplish and why. It should also be measurable so you can track your progress and keep track of it.
She adds that it is essential to make it manageable so you don’t have the power to do anything about it. “Then you will just become frozen.”
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If you make a resolution that is too difficult, it can cause you to feel overwhelmed. You can try running a 5K, but not a marathon if you have never run straight miles.
Megan McWilliams is a NASM-certified corrective exercise specialist. She says, “In the New Year, people are excited. That’s the energy that I want to see.”
But when we are excited, we can set [a goal] that is so huge and then become mad at ourselves for not being able to achieve it. I prefer to see the day-to-day, steady things that make you happy to achieve a goal.
Let’s tweak your resolution if it needs improvement. Resetting your original ambition is not a failure. It’s an intelligent way of setting yourself up for success.
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#2. It is an “all or nothing” mentality
Slip-ups happen. You might have missed your training session because you fell asleep or had the flu, which forced you to miss the whole gym week.
You might not need to train, so you give yourself an extra day off. Stewart, who trained hard for months to compete in bodybuilding contests, advises patience and seeing lapses as little speed bumps.
Your New Year’s resolution to improve your fitness should culminate in hard work over many sessions and weeks. Stewart says, “I like Stewart’s quote that it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
It’s a lifestyle change that allows you to keep moving forward. Even if you take a small step back, it’s OK.
A little slip will continue you from moving forward as long as your efforts are consistent and you continue to work toward your goals.
#3. You are training too hard and too fast
McWilliams states that proper rest and recovery can help you live longer. Behaving in a way that is not healthy for your body can result in injury and mental and physical exhaustion.
McWilliams says, “Listening to the body is going to take huge, and many people wish to fight that.” Trust yourself and listen to your body. Adjust when it feels wrong.
This will help you stay consistent in your movement routine than fighting it. Even though the 75 Hard Challenge is a popular workout, McWilliams says it can take much work to maintain the required intensity.
McWilliams says that if you plan to do intense work, it is much more likely that you will burn yourself out. Set realistic goals that are achievable and that you can achieve over time.
#4. You are going it alone
Anxiety is normal. If you are starting a fitness journey for the first time, it can be scary to go alone to the gym.
Putting yourself in a new environment without support from a friend or professional can be challenging.
It is worth looking into a beginner-friendly class if you have the budget. Or you are hiring a personal trainer to help you learn.
Stewart’s love of yoga grew after she joined group classes. She believes that friendly camaraderie can help you keep coming back.
She says, “It made it much more enjoyable once I got involved in the community.” Stewart says that having an accountability buddy can help you stick to your goals.
She says, “If you don’t have someone holding you accountable in some manner, no one will say anything to you, even if you take a few days off.”
#5. You are choosing the wrong exercises
Focus on the movements you love if you are determined to be fit in 2019. There are many ways to get fit. You don’t have to run if you want to increase your cardio.
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There are other options, such as rowing or Zumba. Keeping your goals in mind will be easier if you are patient with your workouts. It could also cause you to lose interest in exercise.
Stewart says, “Find what interests you and give it a shot.” Stewart says, “If something doesn’t resonate with you, why to try it?” Find your passion.