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New Year, New Habits: How to Stick To Your Fitness Resolutions

A Note card with "New Year resolutions" written on it

Are you stuck in the New Year’s fitness resolution cycle? 


  • You list off your overly ambitious fitness goals right after Christmas

  • You experience a wave of motivation to make a change in January

  • You’re burnt out by February, ready to give up and try again next year. 


The good news is, you’re not alone. Research shows that only 9% of Americans who make resolutions complete them. The bad news? You don’t know what you need to do to make your fitness New Year's resolutions stick. 


Well, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we’re exploring 5 actionable strategies you can take to transform your New Year’s fitness resolutions into long-term lifestyle changes. So that this year, you can scream “New year, new me!” and mean it. 


Let’s dive into how you can make 2024 the year your fitness resolutions become a reality.


How to Set the Right Resolutions: What’s Your Why?

It’s easy to get influenced when declaring your New Year’s resolutions. If almost 50% of people are saying they want to improve their fitness in 2024, then maybe you should too, right? 


A bar chart of the top resolutions for 2024 with "improve Fitness" at the top with 48%

 

While the team at The Gym Connection is all for improving your health and fitness in the new year, your heart has to be in it if you want to make long-lasting changes. Making big, bold claims like “I want to lose 50 pounds this year!” is always thrilling. But if you don’t know why you want to lose that weight, you might be setting yourself up to fail. 


When writing out your resolutions, start by asking yourself, “What is my motivation to achieve this goal?”

  • If you want to lose weight, is it to feel more confident in your skin or so your jeans fit better? 

  • If you want to increase your flexibility, is it so that you can improve your golf game and swing the club faster?

  • If you want to boost your cardiovascular endurance, is it so that you can chase your kids around the backyard without getting winded so easily?


Whatever it is, understanding and embracing your “why” will create a strong emotional connection to your fitness resolution. This connection is key to transforming wishy-washy goals, into long-lasting lifestyle changes. 


Timing Is Everything: Why You Should Kick Off Your

Resolutions in December vs January 1st

Waiting until January 1st to kick off your new health routine is like waiting until Monday to start your new diet (you know, so you can slack off the rest of the week.) Why not take advantage of the extra time to start making positive changes to your health and fitness now?


Here are some of the biggest advantages to kicking off your resolution routine in December vs January 1st, 2024. 


You Get a Test Run

No matter how hard you try, new routines rarely go as planned the first go around. 


Maybe, your New Year’s resolution is to work out with a personal trainer for an hour a day 3x a week, with few solo workouts on your off days. But between school pick-up, afternoon meetings, dinner prep, and never-ending laundry – you quickly realize your plan to hit the gym 5 days a week is a little ambitious. Using December to test out this new training routine will help you refine your plan to better fit your life, and give you a few extra weeks to work out the kinks. So you can hit the ground running on January 1st. 


It Takes the Pressure Off

Every year, we put our resolutions on a pedestal. And that pedestal can put so much pressure on you to make it happen (otherwise, you feel like a failure). This is not only harmful to your mental health, but also puts a bad taste in your mouth every year when someone asks you what your New Year resolution is going to be. 


Starting early in December offers a mindset shift that helps transform that overwhelming–and seemingly unattainable–resolution into an achievable “goal”. And besides, who wants to start hitting the gym hard on January 1st after a killer New Year’s Eve party full of fun and little sleep?  


Avoid The “Resolutioner Rush” at the Gym

You’ve seen the memes…

December 31st: Empty Gym

January 1st: The gym is packed fuller than a can of sardines 


A meme of an emtpy gym on December 31st and a boxing ring on January 1st

At TGC, you won’t experience the typical “resolutioner rush”. Our semi-private studio limits the number of open gym memberships available to non-clients, so you never have to fight over equipment (like at an overcrowded gym). But if you want to avoid fighting to get on your favorite trainer's book on January 1st, we recommend you reach out for your free consultation now. You’ll have plenty of time to familiarize yourself with the equipment and figure out a plan to get back on track post-holidays.


5 Ways to Make Your Fitness Resolutions Into Long-Term Habits in the New Year and Beyond

1. Take a SMART Approach

Following the SMART criteria (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) makes your fitness resolutions more attainable. For example, instead of choosing a vague goal for 2024, like “getting fit”, you choose a specific goal like “I want to run a 5k in 3 months”. 

  • You can measure your progress by tracking running splits

  • It’s relevant to your goal of “getting fit”

  • It has a specific time frame of 3 months

  • And it’s achievable. 


2. Dream Big, but Start Small

It’s important to dream big. Do you think Arnold Schwarzenegger would have become a 7x Mr. Olympia champ, an award-winning actor, and the governor of California if he hadn’t had big goals for himself? Of course not! But he didn’t achieve all that overnight. He started with small, manageable steps.


Take your 5k goal, for example. You don’t have to run 5 km all at once. You’ll achieve your goal by first running 1 mile. Then 2, and finally work up to the 3.1 miles total. These small victories not only boost your confidence but make your bigger goal feel more attainable as you make positive progress.  


3. Find an Accountability Buddy

There are tons of benefits to having a personal trainer in your corner as you work towards your fitness resolutions. But one of our favorites is that your trainer will help hold you accountable to the goals you set and keep you motivated as the year goes on (did you know 80% of people fail to keep their resolutions by February?). On tough days, having a personal trainer who’s also your own personal cheerleader goes a long way. 


4. Rest, Recover, and Reward

When you’re determined to hit your resolutions, it’s easy to get burnt out. After all, you’re putting in work to make this year different than the past. Make sure you also work enough rest days into your training schedule and engage in activities that promote recovery, like stretching and foam rolling. 


And don’t forget to celebrate your progress along the way! Even if your goal is to lose 50 pounds in 2024, losing 15, 10, or even 5 pounds is an important part of the process. And rewarding yourself for achieving small goals keeps you motivated to go all the way.


5. Have Fun

At the end of the day, improving your health and fitness is something you get to do, not something you have to do. And if you’re not having fun along the way, what’s the point? Just remember that change takes time. Be flexible and give yourself grace when your workouts don’t go as planned, or you accidentally go over your daily calorie count. When fitness becomes a source of happiness rather than a chore, that’s when it becomes a permanent part of your life. 


Final Thoughts: Turning Resolutions Into Realities

As we close out the final few weeks of December and prepare to welcome the new year, keep these tips in mind when making your 2024 resolutions. And remember that fitness is a journey, and whether you start in December or in January, what matters most is the first step and building sustainable, long-lasting habits. 


If you’re ready to take the first step, we want to help. Contact a certified personal trainer at The Gym Connection in Denville today to sign up for your free consultation. We’ll even help you craft the perfect resolution and create a plan of action to help you hit all your health and fitness goals. Let’s make this new year your healthiest year yet!


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