How To Set Yourself Up For Fitness Success In The New Year

Want to make your health and fitness plan a reality? Read this

Does this scene sound familiar to you? You wake up on New Year's Day full of energy and vitality, eager to achieve the health goals you set for yourself. Maybe you want to lose some of the weight you inevitably gained during the holidays, or maybe you want to build some muscle or add an inch or two to your arm size. Maybe you have more health-oriented goals, such as quitting smoking, cooking more, eating out less, or increasing your average daily steps.

However, no matter what the goal is, you may start strong but have a hard time maintaining focus and motivation. A few weeks or a month into the new year, you start to fall back into old habits, lose what little progress you made, and start to feel extremely frustrated with the whole process. There's always next year, right?

If this sounds like you over the past few years, you're not alone. Most New Year’s resolutions fall by the wayside by mid-February. The statistics are grim. But that doesn't mean you're destined to fail. As long as you take the right steps in the right order and avoid a few obvious mistakes, you can indeed beat the odds.

This article will give you a simple blueprint to follow:

Start With Small Habits

How To Set Yourself Up For Fitness Success In The New Year

Most resolutions fail because people overestimate what they can accomplish in a short period and underestimate what they can accomplish in a longer period. You should play the long game and make the minimum changes necessary to achieve your goals.

If your end-of-year workout routine involves frequent trips between the refrigerator and the couch, adopting The Rock's workout routine isn't a good idea.

Instead, resolve to take a 10-minute walk before bed.

Small changes work because they provide small wins that build momentum.

Focus on one area of change at a time. If you focus on one new habit at a time, you'll still get the benefits of incremental progress, but you'll reduce your risk of burnout, fatigue, or outright failure.

"Don't try to be perfect because you can't avoid failure," says fitness trainer BJ Ward of Born Fitness. "You're changing years of habits, but you're going to fail from time to time.

"You know what? It doesn't matter. The screws are perfect. A lot of people give up because once they mess up, they think 'I ruined it!' But that's far from the truth," Ward added.

"You don't have to be perfect, but you have to keep picking yourself up and starting over. The only way to fail is to abandon the plan."

Until then, make your good habits easy to achieve and put obstacles in the way of your bad habits.

For example, if you plan to work out first thing in the morning, lay out your workout clothes and put them on.

On the other hand, keeping the pantry free of junk food or hiding ice cream in the garage instead of the kitchen makes it harder to snack on at night.

Find The Diet That Works Best For You

How To Set Yourself Up For Fitness Success In The New Year

Everyone seems to have a diet group these days. ketone. antiquity. vegetarian. carnivore. You create a camp and then hate everyone else. We also have a diet for you: it's called "your diet," whatever works for you.

It’s not sexy, but it’s about discovering and learning your metabolism and finding what works best for you—not your office buddy Mark.

There's a reason no study has ever been able to conclusively find the perfect diet.

Every BODY is different.

It would be great if we all worked like calculators and X calories = Y weight loss, but we don't.

If you've been told to eat carbs but feel achy and miserable after eating a piece of bread, that says something about you. Maybe low carb is a viable option. On the other hand, if you were told to cut back on carbs and now you're constantly tired, miserable, and terrified of going to the gym, that's also telling you something.

The only rule is to find a way that you can get results from it without hating your life. If you don't want to do the heavy thinking yourself, a coach can help guide you through the process, but it's worth testing and evaluating your response to the diet before rejecting other options.

Use HIIT Workouts When You're Pressed For Time

How To Set Yourself Up For Fitness Success In The New Year

Last time I checked, none of us were getting busier.

Lack of time is one of the most common obstacles I hear from busy adults who want to lose weight and get in shape.

Before I had kids, I would have said that was a terrible excuse. Now? Oh, trust me, I get it. So, how do you get the benefits of exercise without living in a gym?

It starts with an acronym that rhymes with a funny word: HIIT.

This is high-intensity interval training.

You may have heard of HIIT around the water cooler. But you thought this was for Athletes, right? After all, it has the word intensity in it.


Well, not so fast. A new approach to HIIT makes it easy for anyone to master.

A typical rest-to-work ratio is 15-30 seconds of maximal effort sprints, followed by a short recovery period of about a minute. (Basically, a 1:2 ratio of work to rest). Intense, to put it mildly.

But new research shows that intervals of one to three minutes at close to 70-80% of maximal effort, followed by up to five minutes of lower-intensity exercise to recover, can make non-athletes (i.e. regular people!) lose weight significantly. alleviate.

Here are a few simple ways to implement this:

Tabata Circuit

How To Set Yourself Up For Fitness Success In The New Year

Ditch the treadmill and use your own body from the comfort of your living room. Perform each exercise for 20 seconds, resting for 10 seconds in between. If you're new to HIIT, extend your rest periods to equal or double your training time (i.e. 20 seconds of training followed by 40 seconds of rest). This type of training is proven to be just as effective as traditional HIIT sprint training.

You can try the following to get started:

  • Jogging in place
  • Squat
  • plate
  • push-up

Note: There is no need to repeat the specific exercises used here. Any form of full-body exercise can be substituted. Add weights for an extra challenge.

Bike Sprint

How To Set Yourself Up For Fitness Success In The New Year

With a stationary bike, you follow a traditional route with 20-30 seconds of max-effort sprints followed by a one-minute recovery period. However, start by doing it at a hard but manageable pace that you can maintain for one to three minutes, followed by a slower recovery period of three to five minutes. Repeat this pattern for 10 to 20 minutes.

Too lazy to go to the gym? Take a spin class at home, or replace driving to work with a healthier bike trip.

Responsible For Their Own

How To Set Yourself Up For Fitness Success In The New Year

You say you want to get better. But when it comes time to execute, we humans tend to sabotage ourselves.

When you're the only one in the fight, it's easy to procrastinate, swap salads for sushi, and ditch the gym again and again. Thankfully, there's a technology solution specifically designed to help us ignore the voice in our brains that keeps telling us that skipping a workout and dieting for once won't hurt.

If you're an analytical person who needs a push to keep going, you can use wearable technology to set goals and reminders.

That said, you tend to gain the most from relationships with other people. When you shift some of the responsibility to someone who has your best interests at heart, someone who monitors your progress and calls you out on your crap, success will follow.

Most fail simply because they don’t have enough commitment to the goals they set on January 1st and reinforce those goals with accountability.

Thankfully, there are many ways to increase accountability. You can announce your goals to all your friends and family on social media, adding the negative motivation of embarrassment if you happen to fail. Alternatively, you could invest some of your hard-earned cash in new workout clothes, a fancy gym membership, or some health supplements, all of which constitute a veritable investment in your health—and you don't want to waste your investment, right? It's also a good idea to hire some professional help. There is no shortage of knowledgeable, experienced, and helpful trainers and nutritionists out there who are more than happy to discuss your goals with you and develop a plan to achieve your goals.

Finally, you can reach out to a friend, preferably someone who has the same goals as you, or someone who has developed the healthy habits you want to develop, and ask to train with them, or run with them, or Go to the gym with them. Getting fit isn't easy, but it can be enjoyable, especially when you spend twice as much time in the gym as you do with good friends.

How To Set Yourself Up For Fitness Success In The New Year

If you adopt some, most, or all of the advice above, we guarantee you’ll be on your way to a successful transformation in 2024, and you’ll be even more excited about what’s to come in 2025.