When do New Year’s resolutions fail?
According to statistics, 80 percent of resolutions fail by the second week of February (and roughly 60 percent fail by the third week of January). The good news is that if you do make it to mid-February, you’re so close to turning your resolution into a new healthy habit. On average, experts say it takes 66 days to form a new habit.
To help you get there, we asked the experts to share their top tips for staying the course.
Have a plan
Just having a goal is a great first step, but you also need to have some idea of how you’ll achieve that goal. Start with what’s called a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Timed). This type of very achievable goal setting is used by the trainers at Planet Fitness, says Brian Zehetner, Director of Health & Fitness at Planet Fitness. The gym offers members a customized workout plan called “Design Your Own Program.” Members can meet with a trainer for a one-on-one session to discuss goals, barriers, exercise interests and health history. Trainers will then develop a customized program to help each member achieve their goal. It’s a service Planet Fitness offers at no additional cost, says Zehetner. “Whenever you have a plan to follow, you’ll feel more accountable. The trainer is also there to answer questions and motivate you along the way.”
Start by checking in with yourself
All of the experts we talked to agreed that having a morning ritual was key to starting each day off on the right foot. It could be as simple as drinking a glass of water and stretching, which is how Jodi Watson, life coach and trainer at Pop Physique Toronto, starts her day. “If I don’t do this my brain jumps to my to-do list and the crazy schedule I have that day,” she says. “It has become very important for me to start my day in the right headspace.”
For Brittany Deanda and Tara Schulenberg, founders of Elevate the Globe, the early morning is a time for personal reflection and intention setting. “We start every day with a morning ritual that uses Kundalini yoga breath work, movement, mantra, meditation, gratitude and visualization,” says Deanda. “Our day is directly affected by the time and space we create for ourselves first thing in the morning.”
Enjoy the process
Whatever your goal — weight loss, learn to run a 5K — remember that it’s a process, not a quick fix. That also means you better enjoy (or at least not hate!) what you’re doing to achieve that goal. As Watson notes, finding a fun workout (like the dance-barre fusion of Pop Physique) can make all the difference. “Pop has shown [our clients] a way that they can really enjoy exercise, stay motivated, and see results.”
Lean on your community
Another aspect all experts agreed on was the importance of having a community to learn on. Whether it’s a small group training approach like that offered at Planet Fitness or an online community like Elevate the Globe’s 528 Academy, finding other like-minded individuals who are working toward a similar goal makes a big difference.
Don’t expect perfection
And finally, don’t get discouraged if everything doesn’t go according to plan. “It’s important to remember that even if you derail from your plan, you just get back up and get back on track,” says Watson.
Next, improve your chances of success by avoiding these common workout mistakes.