We are about a week into the New Year—how are those resolutions coming along? It would be ideal if you could start a new fitness plan on January 1 and never look back, but when is life ever ideal? Don’t feel badly if you’ve already dropped the ball. Contrary to a popular myth, it takes longer than 21 days to change a habit (more like 66), and the most important thing is not to give up. Here are some tips on how to keep your workout resolutions in the coming months.
- Don’t think too big. Start with baby steps like cooking a healthy meal one night a week or walking for just 15 minutes each day. Succeeding at attainable fitness goals encourages you to take the next step.
- Be vocal. Share your goals with family and friends. Making excuses to yourself is easy—disappointing others who are trying to help you is harder. It makes you more accountable and focused.
- Keep track of your goal. It’s best to tackle one habit at a time. Write it down, and chart your progress to help keep you on track.
- Do it with a friend. Find someone who wants to walk every day. It’s more fun together, and you’ll motivate each other. Austin has many fitness clubs, apartment complex gyms, and classes to choose from if you want to join a group.
- Don’t get discouraged. It’s like falling off a horse—just get back on and try again. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a session—every day is a new chance to try again.
- Celebrate, and build on your successes. If you reach your workout goal, throw a party (with healthy food and drink, of course) and then choose your next goal. The way we figure it, working in 66-day increments will net you five or six new health habits a year. Now that’s an achievement!