It’s that time of year – people across Toronto and beyond are setting ambitious fitness goals for 2017. If you really want to succeed this year though, you need more than a resolution.
You need a practical plan – and we’ve got one for you. Put these six tips into practice – and use our free habit tracker (which you can download below), and you’ll dramatically increase the chances that you’ll create lasting positive change this year.
1. Create a support structure and surround yourself with positive influences. This is where a personal trainer can be incredibly useful. Fitness-minded friends, colleagues, and supportive family members also go a long way towards keeping you on-track and focused on your goals, too.
2. Eliminate negative influences. The flip side to #1 is to eliminate the things – and people – who will tempt you back into your old habits. Get rid of the chips in your cupboard, and take a break from the friend who always wants you to stay out late and have another glass of wine.
3. Start small. Too often, people go about a new habit/resolution and they run out of steam within weeks because they set goals that are too big and unrealistic. Instead, focus on incorporating smaller changes consistently, and building upon them. Once you’ve fully incorporated a new positive habit, you can start thinking about adding a new one, and building from there. Use the free tracker (below) to keep track of your progress.
4. Make sure your goals are measurable. We dove deep into how to set a SMART goal in this post . ‘Lose weight’ or ‘get stronger’ isn’t specific enough. You need to be able to count, measure, or track your progress in some way.
5. Stay positive and focus on your ‘why’. There will be moments where your resolve will waiver – when this happens, focus on the reason for your goal. Why do you want to make this change? Focus on more than the superficial. Do you want to feel better? Do you want to be a fit grandparent? Do you want to have a stronger mental capacity? Clearer mind? Do you have a family history of heart disease or diabetes that you would like to avoid? Some people like to create vision boards, or post pictures as a reminder of what they’re trying to achieve. If this works for you, go for it.
6. Don’t focus on the discomfort. If all you think about when you’re exercising is how hard it is, it’s not going to be enjoyable. Instead, shift your focus to the benefit you’re creating for yourself, in your life. And remind yourself that each step, pedal, lift, and squat is making you stronger and moving you towards your goal.
As our gift to you, here’s a FREE, easy-to-use habit tracker. Print it and USE IT to stay on track – and motivated – in 2017, as you move towards a new, healthier you. You CAN do this – and, if you like, we can help. There’s a free workout and consult with your name on it. Contact us to book yours today.
Poul Nielsen is the owner and operator of Nielsen Fitness, Toronto's leading team of in-home personal trainers. He has 18 years' experience in the fitness industry and has taught courses in Fitness and Lifestyle Management at George Brown College.
In addition to exercise (obviously), he loves spending time with his family, playing the guitar, strong coffee - and dark chocolate!