The first couple of weeks were easy.
You started the year off strong.
You hit the gym consistently.
You were putting the time into prepping meals and eating healthy.
But January 1st is now a distant memory, and the motivational videos and posts are starting to wear off.
How do you continue to stay on track now that the initial excitement around your goals is dimming?
Here are four strategies to keep your New Year's resolutions going past January:
1. Re-focus and make adjustments to your list
Oftentimes, we start off the year with a notepad full of goals. This is great, you should aim high! But it is also important to remember that most of these goals will require major changes in both behavior and willpower.
Keep your notepad full of goals, but try to narrow your focus to 1-2 goals at a time. Habits take time to form and each one requires your full attention to develop.
Once you turn behavior into a habit, it will become second nature. That's when you can shift your focus and move on to the next goal on the list.
2. Leave expectations at the door
If you've been working hard over the last couple of weeks and you haven't seen the results you thought you would, you're not alone. But what will separate you from those who give up is to take a step back and manage your expectations moving forward.
Making big changes in your health and fitness will take time, consistent effort and willingness to withstand little setbacks. Try your best not to beat yourself up if you think things aren’t moving along as quickly as they should.
Keep pushing. Results are around the corner, I promise!
3. Check-in every day, week and month
At the beginning of each day, week, and month create checklists. These should include your to-dos for that day, week and month. Physically writing your to-dos on paper adds a layer of accountability to the process. At the end of the day, week and month, take a moment to assess your progress.
Did you complete everything on your list? If not, determine why you failed and what you can do moving forward to make sure the miss doesn’t happen again.
The key is the daily to-dos. If you can nail those, each day adds up to long-term changes and ultimate success.
4. Try to make it fun
Once the luster of a S.M.A.R.T. fitness goal wears off, you're left with one thought: can I sustain this lifestyle? You can only push yourself to do things that don't fit your schedule, preferences, and personality for so long. This especially goes for your workouts.
If you don’t enjoy them or they aren't realistic with your lifestyle, then it will be very tough to keep pushing through the tough moments. And those will come if they haven't already. Sure, the workouts are going to suck at times. They should be hard, and they should challenge you.
But if your workouts are already going stale and you are tempted to give up completely, you may not have found a form of fitness that works for you. And that's ok.
It may be a good idea to try something new for one or two days a week, whether it is as simple as a few new exercises, a class, or even a completely different style of training.
Just a word of caution: workouts aren't always enjoyable but you should still find enjoyment in pushing through it or the feeling you get afterwards.
If that is missing, you're going to have a tough time sticking to your plan.
Find what works for you!