If you’ve been to a gym during the first couple of weeks of the new year, you realize that it is resolution season.
The new year is an opportunity for people to commit to new self-improvement goals, and fitness is usually a big part of that. Gyms are well aware of this trend, and most of them run “new year specials” to lure in the resolution crowds.
Unfortunately, most people give up on their resolutions after about a week. In fact, only 19 percent stick to their goals after 2 years, according to a study by the University of Scranton.
And this is evidenced by the fact that gyms are usually back to their normal crowd levels by the end of January. All those new members are nowhere to be seen.
But why is it that so many people quit on their goals despite the best of intentions?
One big reason is that they don’t take time to establish the right habits. Habits are the foundation upon which you can build a healthy lifestyle, and that’s what you should focus on in the beginning, especially if you’re new to fitness.
Let’s look at four things you can do to establish the habits that will allow you to stick to your fitness goals all year long.
Thanks to Naked Nutrition for sponsoring this post.
1. Reduce junk food as much as possible
There’s a saying that you cannot outwork a bad diet. And that is true, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. What you eat is crucial to your fitness goals, whether you’re trying to gain muscle or lose weight.
Focus on whole natural foods whenever possible. Fill your diet with high-quality proteins, whole grains, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats like avocado or almonds.
But it’s not just what you eat. It’s also what you avoid. The biggest culprits are things like processed foods like cakes, cookies, pizza, and processed bread.
One of the things you can do to minimize junk food is to carry healthy snacks with you throughout the day. That way, when its late afternoon and you get hungry, you can eat something that supports your new healthy lifestyle, instead of heading to the drive-through.
Naked Nutrition protein bars
Your snacks need two things. They need to have high-quality ingredients, and they need to taste good.
Protein bars made by Naked Nutrition with real-food ingredients check both boxes.
They are available in delicious flavors like blueberry, mint chocolate chip, peanut butter, and chocolate. And they contain only premium ingredients like real blueberries and American made almond butter.
Naked Nutrition uses grass-fed whey protein from small family-owned dairy farms in California.
One of the best things about their protein bars is that they don’t contain any sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners. Most protein bars on the market contain sugar alcohols like xylitol, especially ones that try to limit net carbs.
There is evidence to suggest that regular consumption of sugar alcohols can increase your risk of gastrointestinal issues.
Naked Nutrition protein bars only use natural ingredients. They are non-GMO, soy-free, and gluten-free. With 15 grams of high-quality protein and 7 grams of fiber, they make the perfect pre-workout snack or late-afternoon bite.
2. Set realistic goals in the beginning
In the beginning, all you’re trying to do is establish a habit of taking consistent action. You’re not trying to look like a superhero by the end of the month.
So, set goals around things you can control in a way that makes it more likely that you’ll carry through with them.
For example, aim to exercise for at least 20 minutes a day, 6 days a week, over the next month. It doesn’t matter what you do, whether you lift weights, do yoga, or even walk, as long as you do something.
That is a goal totally under your control (barring sickness or other unforeseen circumstances), as opposed to setting a goal of losing 10 pounds by the end of the month.
Twenty minutes a day may not seem like much. But if you stick with it for a month, you’ll have established a vital habit. From that point, you can build on your foundation to move forward towards bigger goals.
3. Have an accountability buddy
According to a study by the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD), you’re 65 percent more likely to complete a goal if you have an accountability partner. And if you create specific plans around accountability, like checking in periodically, your chances can increase by up to 95 percent.
When it comes to your fitness goals, the ideal accountability partner is a personal trainer. Not only will they keep you disciplined with your workouts, but they will also tailor a plan specific to your personal goals.
If hiring a trainer is not an option, try to find a friend or coworker who shares similar goals. You can support each other or even hit the gym together.
If you can’t find anyone, tell a friend or family member about your new commitment and ask them to check in on you every week.
4. Join a gym close to your place of work
Many people find it challenging to get motivated for the gym after they get home from a long day at the office. Once you hit the couch and turn the TV on, you’re fighting an uphill battle.
The way you get around this challenge is by going to the gym right after work, or during lunch. If you sign up for a gym that is close to your place of work, it just becomes easier to make it a part of your day.
If you need a quick boost of clean energy before your workout, a delicious Naked Nutrition protein bar will do the trick.
In fact, you have a chance to get your first box of protein bars for free as you get set to embark on your new healthy lifestyle.