If you read our post on four common New Year’s resolutions (and some tips for achieving them), you know that the struggle is real. Waking up on the first day of 2018 and swearing to eat better, exercise more, and lose weight?
Making these things a reality— and sustaining your New Year’s resolutions throughout the year—is far more difficult. At times, the hill will seem too steep to climb. The path will be blocked by a felled tree. Lightning will strike at the summit.
It’s in these moments it’s important to push on. We believe in you! But it’s equally as important to keep things in perspective: a resolution is a goal to be achieved through earnest hard work and discipline. And pursuing these resolutions at the expense of your health, or in counterproductive ways, defeats the purpose.
FOUR TIPS FOR KEEPING RESOLUTIONS THE SMART WAY
- Don’t push yourself too hard. It’s easy to get tunnel vision when you’ve set an ambitious goal for yourself. It’s also easy to forget that overwork is a leading cause of injury and illness. Training through a cold might seem like a warrior’s mentality; but doing so might turn that cold into an upper respiratory infection, costing you more time than if you just took a day or two off in the first place.
- Let your muscles recover. There’s a reason the world’s top athletes allow for ample recovery time. While it might not feel like work to take a day off, your body is hard at work piecing things back together, healing, and growing. The better you get at building recovery into your workout schedule, the better you’ll be the next time you pick up the weights or hit the pavement.
- Alternating workouts. One way to ensure proper recovery is to alternate workouts. This might mean focusing on lower body workouts if you did upper body yesterday. Or maybe it means a light jog if yesterday’s workout included interval training and sprints. This will allow you to maximize your workout schedule while still allowing for proper recovery. No matter what you’re focusing on, one thing remains universal: get in a good stretch before and after your workouts.
- Proper nutrition. Sound like a broken record? Sure, some young athletes can get away with eating junk food and still perform, recover, and hit the gym again without missing a beat. If you’re like the rest of us, proper nutrition can be the key to recovering well, making progress, and keeping our resolutions. That means getting enough protein, avoiding refined foods and sugars, and—yes—staying properly hydrated.
BONUS TIP: ACCOUNTABILITY
A great way to keep resolutions the proper way is to tie them to a group setting. Maybe you have weight loss goals and signed up at a boxing gym. Find a group of peers there and talk to them about your resolutions. You’d be surprised at the power of “just saying it out loud” to someone else. The people you share your resolutions with are likely to help keep you accountable, encourage you, and generally be on your team (they are, after all, showing up to a boxing gym three times a week, just like you). In response, you’re likely to feel a certain responsibility to this group, which will help hold you accountable during those times when it’s too cold, too hot, or too dang windy to head to the gym.
REMEMBER WHAT RESOLUTIONS ARE ALL ABOUT
Resolutions should be about living well, making healthier choices, and finding higher ground. Self-doubt, self-loathing, and fear—however natural—should not be your central motivators. If they are, you might end up worse off than you were when you made these resolutions in the first place.
Because 2019 will be here much sooner than we think.
If you’re thinking about making resolutions this coming year, check out our blog on common resolutions and tips for achieving them.