December 03, 2020 5 min read
The new year promises a fresh start, making it ideal for new commitments of exercise and a healthier lifestyle to create a new you. But as inspiring as a fresh start can be, making such lifestyle changes is a daunting prospect. It’s difficult to give up old habits and replace them with new ones, so it’s easy to become discouraged when you don’t see immediate results. To help you stay strong, here’s how to make your new year’s resolution stick.
While losing weight or building muscle may be your overall end goal, you can’t just switch to such a drastic lifestyle change cold turkey, and expecting to do so will only set you up for a struggle. Instead, set smaller goals that will help you progress to your bigger end goal. To help your mind and body adjust to change, start with goals like adjusting your diet. It’s very discouraging to drop all the foods you enjoy for healthier ones, so start by excluding certain junk foods or added sugars. As you adjust, you’ll begin to lose cravings and find substitutes to enjoy that are much better for you.
The same principle applies to exercise as well. You wouldn’t want to start with a bodybuilder’s routine, as your body is not prepared for it, and it because doing so might not even give you the kind of benefits you want! Luckily, the most important step is to just start, so let's explore some exercises suitable for beginners that will act as the starting point of your weight loss or muscle building journey.
To change yourself, you’ll need to change your surroundings for one conducive towards your resolution. If you have issues getting up in the morning, put your alarm on the opposite side of the room so you’re forced to get up to shut it off. If you’re having a tough time breaking a habit of snacking, remove unhealthy snacks entirely from your pantry and replace them with healthier substitutes. Self-discipline is made much easier when you actively avoid placing temptations within reach.
When committing to exercise, it’s common for most folks to think they need to get right into routines like bench pressing or marathons in order to make any kind of progress. Start easy on yourself. A great place to start is cardio, as it’s great for weight loss, increases blood flow, and is as accessible as simply taking a 30-minute walk through your neighborhood. That being said, with the quarantine still dragging along, home gym equipment is both affordable and convenient. Our selection of spirit fitness equipment offers a variety of cardio exercises to suit your preferences while allowing for an effective workout within the comfort of your own home.
If you desire a workout that focuses on building muscle, an ideal place to begin is lifting dumbbells or bodyweight exercises, as they are effective and don’t come with the risk of injuring yourself without someone to spot you. The most important thing to remember is that you just want to push your muscles outside of their comfort zones, as that’s what begins the process that repairs and rebuilds your muscles bigger and stronger than before. As you continue to push your limits, you’ll eventually move on to more intensive routines.
Keep a record of your progress! This will help you keep perspective of what you need to do to work towards your goal and help you keep yourself accountable. As an added benefit, seeing how far you’ve come from when you started can be great for spurring on your motivation. As your body adjusts and steadily improves, it can be difficult to notice the difference on your own, and not seeing that progress can make your efforts feel futile. When you track your progress, you can see how far you’ve pushed your limits, and it will tell you when you need to adjust your exercise routines so you keep pushing those limits.
Talk about your progress with your friends and family! Share your experiences and what your plans are with them, as this will help make your resolution feel all that much more “real” and keeps you from simply quietly giving up. Having someone to share these experiences with will also give you someone to help you get through your struggles and doubts, making commitment easier without feeling like you’re on your own.
There are even support groups for people getting into healthier lifestyles that can help you learn how to make your new year’s resolution stick. Having another person to workout with or compare progress with will keep you motivated, whether that be by supporting each other or by means of some friendly competition to drive motivation while making sure you keep each other accountable.
On a similar note, don’t be afraid to reach out if you need help. There are not lots of people in the same boat as you, but there are many resources online to turn to if you feel lost and need guidance. Everyone’s got to learn somehow—but trial and error, especially during exercise with machines, can put you at great risk of injury. If you’re struggling with temptation or waning motivation, having others around to keep you accountable will help you beat your impulses and urges so that you don’t lose all your progress.
It’s important that you give yourself rewards for meeting your goals. Your resolution doesn’t have to be all sacrifice and hardships in pursuit of a better lifestyle—the key is simply moderation. If you’ve stuck to your routines, committed to eating right, and have met your goals in terms of weight loss or muscle gain, there’s nothing wrong with allowing yourself to indulge when appropriate. You won’t suddenly lose all your progress by allowing yourself to have ice cream one night, but make sure you don’t over-reward yourself either. If your goals are too easy or you’re rewarding yourself for completing steps over goals, you’ll want to pull back, but you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself for slipping up.
You’re human and change is hard. If you slip up, don’t tell yourself that you’re weak or bad; rather, just resolve to carry on and improve tomorrow. Errors and mistakes are simply natural and a learning process all on their own, providing valuable lessons for you to keep in mind so you don’t repeat the mistake or identify problems in your routines that contribute to the problem.
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