With 2021 (thankfully) just around the corner, no one can say what 2020’s sequel will bring.
But, we can be pretty sure that—at least for the first few weeks of 2021—Americans will be pursuing fitness-related New Year’s Resolutions. In fact, last year, among people making New Year’s resolutions, three of the four were health-related.
Here’s exactly how resolutions broke down in 2020:
- Exercising more (50%)
- Saving money (49%)
- Eating more healthily (43%)
- Losing weight (37%)
Yet data from Strava shows that most people give up on their fitness resolutions within three weeks. And according to a YouGov survey, just 7 percent of US adults say that they stuck to all of their 2019 resolutions.
But why do people quit so quickly? And how can you make sure you follow through on your fitness New Year’s resolution?
Start with How You Set Your Resolution
According to Christine Whelan, a public sociologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the research shows the best way to make a resolution, stick with it, and change is a goal-setting framework called SMART.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-constrained.
Already, you can see how resolutions like “exercise more” or “lose weight” fail in this system.
To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with trying to exercise more. But when you’re setting goals, you need to be specific enough that you can objectively monitor your progress.
Seeing progress boosts your sense of self-efficacy which, as Whelan explains, makes you more likely to achieve your goals.
Choose the Right Goals
There’s a big difference between what you want to achieve and what you think you should achieve. If you’re setting a resolution, think carefully about why that’s your resolution.
As you pursue your goal, you’re going to face adversity: boredom, lack of motivation, frustration, depression, and stress. If the goal you’ve set is based on what you think you should achieve, and not what you actually want, adversity will derail you.
In addition to believing in the reason for your goal, you want to set a goal that you can realistically achieve. When it comes to fitness, particularly if you haven’t trained much, this can be difficult.
But getting an evaluation from a personal trainer before setting your goal is a good way to make sure your goals make sense for your fitness level.
Set Up Your Environment for Success
If you’re looking for ways to increase the chances you keep your New Year’s fitness resolutions, look at your environment.
Take this example from Jeff Haden, keynote speaker and author who explains:
“Let’s say you want to exercise in the morning. Place your workout clothes and gear near your bed. That way when you wake up, you’ll have to actively choose to ignore those cool Lululemon tights… instead of having to actively choose to get them out of the drawer.”
You can build off this concept by purchasing at-home strength training equipment so you can get a workout in without leaving your house.
Reach Your Fitness New Year’s Resolution
Make this year the one you keep your New Year’s resolution. And make it even easier by leveraging the knowledge and experience of a personal trainer, which you can find on the Bright App.
Even better, using the Bright App, you can schedule a virtual consultation with a personal trainer for free. So head to the Google Play or App Store, download the app, and find a trainer who can help you beat the statistics and hold onto your fitness resolution all year long.