Helia Fitness resolution

The New Year

 “It’s a new year, and as usual, I’m tempted to make workout-related resolutions. What types of strategies can I use to make sure I stick with a workout routine this year?”

Instead of making resolutions, try setting behaviorally-based goals. This means rather than setting a weight loss goal—which is actually an outcome of your behavior—set specific, measurable, action-based goals. Each goal should be split in two—one being a long-term (three-month) goal, the other a progressive weekly goal that works up to your long-term goal. For instance, let’s say you have a long-term goal to do a cardio activity five times a week for 30 minutes at 80 to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate. Now break it down to a smaller, one-week goal. An example of this could be to do two 20-minute cardio workouts at a moderate pace. Where you begin will depend on your current fitness level.

Once your goals are set, follow these strategies to help you follow through with them:

• Plan ahead. Set specific days to workout and schedule them into your planner. Treat these dates with yourself as important appointments you need to keep. This all ties into making your health a priority.

• Expect obstacles. Too many women give up when they hit an obstacle, thinking that they’ve failed in some way. Life will inevitably throw you curve balls. Rather than deal with them when they pop up—which will usually set you up to fail—plan ahead for them. You are the expert of your life. You know better than anyone else what obstacles you’re likely to face and what the best solutions are to them. Have a plan in place before the obstacles trip you up and you’ll stop them in their tracks—and keep your plan moving forward.

• Get out of the all-or-nothing mentality. No time for your full workout? Take whatever time you’ve got available, even if it’s ten minutes. Research shows, too, that breaking your workout up throughout the day (for instance, two 15-minute workouts or three 10-minute workouts) will reap you benefits similar to packing it all in at once.

When you feel yourself slipping, go back and remember why you wanted to do this to begin with. Renew your commitment and make it a priority.

Make a list of your top priorities, in order of importance. Where does your health fall on the list? If it’s not in the top three, you need to figure out why it’s not and what you need to do to increase its importance in your life. Until it’s a priority to you, you’ll likely have trouble making it a consistent part of your life.

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