Fitness resolutions are a great idea, and using the new year to motivate yourself is a wonderful way to get started! Unfortunately, after a few weeks, the motivation begins to fade. We run out of time, make excuses and don't prioritize our goals. But not all goals have to end in failure! The trick to sticking to resolutions is to make sure you're making the right kinds of resolutions.
Jessica Matthews, senior health and fitness expert for the American Council on Exercise and assistant professor of health and exercise science at Miramar College in San Diego, Calif., told Huffington Post that before you can even get that far, you need to take a long, hard look at where you currently stand on the fitness spectrum.
"Honestly acknowledge where you are currently in terms of your health and fitness level," she tells HuffPost in an email. "While that spirit behind setting a New Year's resolution is to make positive change to one's health and fitness, so often people establish goals without being realistic about where they are starting from. Even if perhaps your current level of fitness is not where you want it to be, being honest with yourself about where you are presently and using that information as a baseline from which to work will help you to establish realistic, attainable goals for the new year."
Huffington Post asked a handful of fitness experts to share some ideas for realistic resolutions that will make a difference without feeling like a total overhaul. Here are a few of our favorite responses.
Find the middle ground. "Shift [your] mindset from the very common 'all or nothing' mentality. For many people, the start of the new year entails going from zero to 60, so to speak, almost overnight ... If you are currently not exercising or are exercising very sporadically, it's not very realistic to expect that you'll overnight commit to exercising for one or two hours per day, six days per week. Often when individuals establish these 'all or nothing' [goals], if they are not able to stick with the unrealistic expectations, they end up doing nothing at all." — Matthews
Hold a plank. "A very manageable fitness resolution that most people can stick to is holding a plank every morning, first thing out of bed. If you can spend one minute brushing your teeth, you can definitely find one minute to hold a plank. Planks are truly one of the best exercises I know of: They work your core and your entire body. Start with 30 seconds and build up to one minute. By doing this first thing in the a.m., you remind yourself to stay active all day." — Kristin McGee, celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor
>> Read more: Celebrity Trainer Kristin McGee with the Skinny on Yoga
Touch your toes. "Setting a performance goal may help you stay more motivated compared to a weight-loss goal. For example, a goal of 10 pull-ups, or touching your toes, can create a healthy shift from focusing purely on aesthetics to performance. Keep in mind that in order for your body to move fluidly and efficiently, your joints need sufficient range of motion, which is why flexibility is so important. As the body performs better, the aesthetics typically follow. Think of a performance goal that really motivates you, and a goal that you can enjoy the process as you strive for it." — Marc Perry, CSCS, ACE-CPT, CEO of BuiltLean
Make it smart. "Set a SMART goal — specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. For instance, 'I would like to take three CrossFit classes a week for 60 days.' If at the end of that 60 days, you achieved your goal, reward yourself with something worthwhile, such as a vacation or massage. Just as you set your resolution in the beginning of the year, also plan your reward. That way, when you're on week five and you want to throw in the towel, you can remember that sweet reward that is oh-so-close!" — Collette Stohler, fitness expert, author of The Intuitive Athlete and HuffPost blogger
What other resolutions are easily managed? Click here to be taken to the original story on Huffington Post.