3 Must-Do Steps for Any Fitness Resolution


The new year is almost here, and with it comes those famous New Year’s resolutions. Gyms around the country will fill up almost instantaneously, exercise plans will be printed and bound, and personal trainers everywhere will rejoice as they see clients coming in by the dozens.

Courtesy: Sabine Mondestin/Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

However, it never seems to last very long. While 40-50 percent of people do make New Year’s resolutions, only eight percent of people actually accomplish them.

One of the most common resolutions made each year is to lose weight or become more fit. This obviously holds many benefits for those who follow through, but studies show that most people give up before they see results.

Related: 6 Tips for a Healthier You in 2017

Sticking to a resolution or accomplishing a goal can be a matter of will. However, building up that willpower is much easier said than done. Here are a few ways to create stronger willpower and accomplish your New Year’s resolutions.

Time It Right

The beginning of a new year is quite the fresh start, and while vowing to change habits on the first day of January might be cliche, it could actually create enough impetus to cause change. Katherine Milkman of the University of Pennsylvania found that a temporal landmark can inspire motivation. Starting a new exercise regimen on the first day of the first month of a new year is quite the temporal landmark, and could be the motivational jumpstart to achieving goals. In addition, little “nudges” at the right time can increase motivation to continue in working towards the goals already set.

Reward Success Tangibly

George Loewenstein, a behavioral economist at the Carnegie Mellon University, conducted a study which revealed the power of tangible rewards when it comes to achieving weight loss. When participants had money at stake, their weight loss was steady and worked long-term. As soon as the cash flow stopped, however, the weight loss also stopped. Creating a reward system in which tangible prizes like cash or a new pair of shoes are guaranteed when a certain goal is reached can help stir up extra motivation.

Start Simple

One of the common mistakes people make when trying to achieve goals is that they make too many of them. The American Psychology Association has found that when goals are simplified, they are much more likely to be reached. When many resolutions are made, it becomes too difficult to focus one’s efforts where they must be in order to achieve any of them. Create one goal and make that the center of attention to increase the chances of achieving it.