And not fall into the trap of making them then breaking them

By Catherine Orda | Photo by Annie Spratt /Unsplash

New Year’s resolutions.

It’s often disappointing, if not downright disheartening, to see how they pan out, partly because there is something almost deliberate in the way they’re eventually broken. It goes without saying that these well-meaning attempts at self-improvement have a shockingly short lifespan: a couple of weeks that end up dissolving into a sad fizz of defeat and half-hearted regret.

We make them and break them. According to an article from The New York Times, a third of the people who made New Year’s resolutions will break them even before the end of January. Now how about its most infamous kind… you know, the ones that involve unrealistically strict diets, exercise routines, and colossal doses of discipline? What are the chances that you stick to your fitness resolutions if the prospect of say, jogging at least once a week already seems daunting?

Here are five things you can do to help you keep (or at the very least, prolong the lifespan of) your 2018 fitness resolutions:


Make Sure Your Fitness Goals are Specific and Measurable

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Meeting a fitness goal often brings instant elation; a jolt of pure, unadulterated high that keeps you on your feet. It’s useful to familiarize yourself with this feeling as it’s often a good marker of progress. Which is why it should be clear what progress means to you. Whether it’s gaining a pound of muscle or losing two pounds per week, it makes sense to be specific about what you want to achieve.


Get a Workout Buddy

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While it may certainly be different for each person, it won’t hurt to bring a friend with you to the gym (or wherever it is that you work out) to either motivate you or call you out should you decide to cut your workout short or skip it entirely.


Up the Ante

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Perhaps a large part of why we so easily break resolutions is that doing so is mostly inconsequential. The stakes just aren’t high enough. So maybe it would help to trick yourself into thinking of keeping resolutions as, say, meeting a work-related deadline.  You can be as creative as you want with these faux-consequences.


Do What Works for You

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Hitting the gym is not your only option; if it doesn’t work for you, then it may be good to branch out. If there are other activities or sports you enjoy, then by all means take those up instead.


Ask the Right Questions

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Weirdly enough, introspection can be key to successfully keeping your fitness resolutions. That is to say, it’s important to keep your motives in check by asking the right questions. For every goal, ask yourself, why exactly am I working towards this?