new year's resolution

Thinking of quitting your New Year’s Resolution? Here’s how to stay on track!

If you kicked off a new exercise routine in 2020, you’re not alone. “Doing more exercise” is one of the most common New Year’s Resolutions, but as January draws to a close, many of us tend to fall off the wagon (just like last year, right?). In fact, data released by Strava predicts that most people lose motivation and give up on their New Year’s Resolutions by January 19th. So, what can you do to make this year different? Exercise Scientist, Mitch Finn, gives us his tips for staying on track…

The New Year is a great time to make change, but research shows that 80% of people quit their resolutions by February. By reflecting on what you have struggled with for countless Januaries before and implementing the helpful hints listed below, I’ll help you can create an exercise routine that will last well into the New Year and beyond!

Make a Plan

Whether it’s exercise or any other endeavor worth pursuing, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. It’s important to sit down and outline your goals. Once you have set your overall goal, break it up into more manageable milestones to keep you from getting overwhelmed. Results take time, and reaching regular, realistic and measurable goals along the way will help to keep you motivated from week to week.

Make Time

Once you’ve outlined your goals, it’s important to set aside time each week to prioritize health and exercise sessions. Think about any challenges you may face, such as time or money, and plan for them as soon as possible so that they don’t become barriers that derail your exercise routine. It can be helpful to book your workouts into your planner just like you would for any other appointment so stop you from deprioritising this time.

Start Small

When motivation is at its peak at the start of a year it can be attempting to completely overhaul of your health and lifestyle. Making a series of huge changes at the same time can actually be counterproductive. Keeping up with all these changes into February and beyond can be extremely challenging once that motivation begins to fade. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your New Year’s resolution, maybe you need to take a step back.

To remain consistent and make long lasting improvement, it’s important to start small and change one or two habits at a time. This might be going for a walk during our lunch break instead of eating at your desk. Regardless of the behavior you choose, achieving this small win will perpetuate even greater achievements for the rest of the year!

exercise motivation

Find a Friend

We all have those days where we struggle to get out of bed for those early morning workouts! This is where having a friend who shares your newfound passion from improving your health and physical activity will help you. You’re far more likely to avoid the snooze button if you know you’re training partner is already on the way.

Even telling someone about your new plans makes you feel more accountable and supported. This may even be a group of friends or coworkers who might not be making the same changes but share your passion for personal improvement.

On days where you are feeling motivated and enthusiastic, you feel even better knowing that you can provide your training partner the same helping hand they gave you for that tough session you both endured last week.

Make it Fun

Let’s face it, one of the reasons you struggled to stick to your last exercise routine is the fact that you just got bored. This year it’s time to make your exercise more fun and engaging by exploring the myriad of exercise options available.

Make a point of having an exercise highlight to look forward to each and every week. Whether it is a game of social sport with friends, playing in the backyard with your kids or finding an environment like the beach or bush to go exploring, there’s always plenty of ways to get active (and they don’t all involve a gym!).

Get Advice

Often when starting out on your New Year’s resolution or exercise journey, you have both motivation and opportunity. But what about the know-how? An Accredited Exercise Scientist or Exercise Physiologist will be able to guide you through the process of developing your goals, creating a program and guiding you through the ups and downs of exercise.

If you have any questions about how to implement any of the strategies listed above or you would like more information about what an accredited exercise professional can add to your New Year’s resolution, then contact your local exercise professional.

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Written by Mitch Finn. Mitch is an Accredited Exercise Scientist, Member Development Officer at Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) and also manages a PCYC gym.