If I were to hazard a guess, I would imagine that around the time you rang in the New Year, you may have had some of those fitness thoughts.
You know the ones: those ‘I want to get better at fitnessing this year’ kind of thoughts. They usually sound like ‘I’m gonna lose some weight’ or ‘I’m going to get into better shape’.
Let’s start by acknowledging that those thoughts are valid thoughts.
Sometimes, because of the timing, we call those thoughts resolutions.
F*ck Resolutions. Here Are Four Simple and Effective Ways to Make Fitnessing Easier This New Year.
Resolutions can come with some baggage, though: past efforts at making resolutions that didn’t quite turn into success stories… feelings of guilt and/or shame over not having succeeded at achieving your goal—especially in the context of all of our society’s shame-inducing diet-culture nonsense.
And all of that baggage can easily turn resolutions into something that feels best to be avoided. Something distasteful. Which sucks because it can turn a person off from the potential delights of goal setting (particularly the uber-satisfying achieve-the-goal part of it). And in the context of fitness, it can turn a person off of the delights of a fitness practice.
Beyond the baggage that comes with resolutions, there is yet another set of obstacles that pretty consistently interfere with the successful adoption of a fitnessing practice.
Your fitness and health goals are valid and worth pursuing. The trick to succeeding may just lie in how you go about getting there.
First, Why Is Fitness Important To You?
Motivation is a fickle thing, especially when it comes to making fitness easier. Sometimes, we’re motivated by intrinsic factors. Other times, we’re motivated by external rewards. Sometimes, we feel pumped and excited about doing the thing that will move us closer to where we want to go. Other times, not so much.
At the outset of your new (or re-newed) fitness adventure, it’s useful to take some time to get really clear for yourself exactly why your health and fitness goals are important to you.
I’ve written before about an exercise to help you achieve some clarity on this one. Ultimately, what I invite you to do is to write down those reasons. Possibly even put those reasons in a place (like on your bathroom mirror) where you can review them daily for the next few weeks as your new fitness practice builds some momentum.
Put Your Grocery Shopping And Cooking Times In Your Calendar—At Least One Week In Advance.
You don’t necessarily have to have a nutrition-specific goal for yourself this year to justify making nutrition a priority. Besides, chances are if you’re going to be increasing how much you exercise, your body will appreciate some focus on nutrition. (And by ‘appreciate’, I mean, you’ll feel better, think more clearly and have more energy).
Two common pitfalls with the nutrition adventure are the lack of a shopping list (or simply the lack of consistent grocery shopping) and the lack of a cooking plan. (Unless, of course, you have a personal chef…)
There is a rather straightforward solution that will make your fitness adventure easier on both fronts. Schedule time for grocery shopping and cooking by making appointments in your calendar for doing them.
The mere act of taking the time to think about when during the week you’ll be making time for these activities will make it more likely that you’ll follow through. Having it on the calendar, however, takes it all up a notch.
Schedule Your Workouts In Your Calendar—At Least One Week In Advance.
At the risk of point out the obvious, one of the biggest things that gets in the way for people looking to build a fitness habit is not doing your workouts.
Life happens. Work gets busy. Meetings get added to your schedule. All real and valid things.
And, if your workouts are already on your schedule and you block that time off, it’s more likely that you’ll end up doing them. Fitness made easier.
Scheduling for the week ahead could make for a nice ritual. Or maybe you can schedule the whole month in one go?
Get Some Accountability
We all get by with a little help from our friends.
Sure, some people have the extraordinary willpower and determination to kick some fitness butt on their own, but for most of us, having some social support is a gamechanger because it makes keeping up with your fitness habit easier.
What this looks like for you will vary from person to person, based on individual preferences and circumstances.
Maybe a friend of yours could be your workout buddy. This way, you get to work out together and cheer each other on.
Or maybe your roommate also wants to make some improvements to their nutritional practice.
One particularly effective option is to join a gym that’s community oriented.
The most powerful option is to work with a coach. This gets you expert guidance, a cheerleader and accountability all built-in.
If the idea of the community-oriented gym and/or working with a coach appeals to you, I might humbly suggest checking us out. We’re easily that quirkiest, most funnest, most magical and welcoming gym in Medford. And we currently have a 14-Day Fitness Jumpstart as a way to, well, get a jumpstart on your fitnessing.
Happy Belated New Year!