Tips to Stay on Track Past January
Now that January has officially ended, I’m sure some of you are itching to throw in the towel on your New Year’s health resolutions. It can be tempting to return to old, unhealthy habits, especially when you have the “I made it an entire month, I deserve a break!” mindset. Sure, we all deserve a break, but I know firsthand how hard it can be to get back on the horse. However, I strongly support taking a couple days off to rest and rejuvenate. While they say it only takes a couple weeks to form a habit, it can really take anywhere between 18-254 days. That being said, here are some tips to stay on track with your health goals past January.
1. Allow Yourself Breaks
As I mentioned above, I fully support taking a couple days off when needed. Rest is not a bad thing, it actually helps your muscles to rebuild and recover, and taking those days to “cheat” on your diet is okay too. I believe breaks are vital to progress, and it is important to allow yourself to occasionally give in to unhealthy habits so it doesn’t build up and cause you to spiral down an unhealthy path later on. If you are craving that burger or slice of cake, eat it! Restricting only leads to binging later on.
2. Stay Inspired
So now you’ve taken a small break to rest and maybe “cheat” a little, how do you make sure you get back on track? Inspiration can be hard to come by, but there are a couple things you can do to make sure you stay inspired. First, you can remind yourself why you began this journey in the first place. Simply reflecting on why you chose to pursue your New Year’s resolutions can help remind you that continuing those goals will be worth it. Second, try to find inspiration in others. Do you have someone you look up to in the health and fitness world to help motivate you? There are all kinds of trainers, teachers, and nutritionists on Instagram. Just do a quick hashtag search!
3. Find Someone to Hold You Accountable
Piggybacking off finding inspiration in others, another option is to find an accountability partner who can support you (and hopefully participate in) this journey to better health. Sometimes all you need is a friend to exercise with or meal plan and prep on a Sunday with. Unpopular opinion: Sometimes you just need someone to engage in some friendly competition with. That’s what keeps me motivated!
4. Shake Things Up
Have you been doing the same things since the beginning of January? Maybe it is time to change your routine up a bit. I think a little bit of change can go a long way in helping you stay motivated. Besides, your body gets bored of doing the same things everyday, and oftentimes, you end up plateauing. So how can you implement some changes to your routine? Maybe you can try changing up your meals a bit and testing out some new recipes. Or maybe you can engage in some group exercise classes or switch up the type of exercise you’re doing… for example, If you’ve just been doing pilates and HIIT, try yoga and zumba!
5. Record Your Progress
One thing that always helps me stay on track with my goals is to record my progress. If I am ever feeling particularly unmotivated, I like to look back at where I was day one and see the amount of progress I've made. It can be such a rewarding and satisfying feeling to see how far you’ve come since the beginning.
Just like recording your progress, journaling about your goals and progress can also be an effective form of motivation. Before you start or end each day, take a few minutes or so to reflect in your journal. Try looking up some prompts online if you can’t think about what to write. Or one of my favorite go-to prompts is to write three things I am grateful for that day.
7. Make New Goals/ Advance Your Current Goals
As you continue with your resolutions through February and March (and the rest of the year), make sure you are adding new goals to achieve in addition to your resolutions. Most, if not all of your goals, should be something you can achieve within a foreseeable amount of time. You don’t want to have unrealistic goals or only goals that can’t be attained anytime soon. Having a long-term goal is fine, but you want to make sure you also have some short-term goals to support that long-term goal so you don’t get discouraged.
Hopefully these seven tips will help you to remain motivated and carry out your goals past January. Just remember, a healthier you is a happier you!