As we come to the end of the year, many of us start setting goals for next year. Many of these goals involve fitness and exercise.
Ask regular gym-goers and they'll tell you that January is the busiest time of year in the gyms. People join a gym in the new year, go for a little while, and many have given it away by February or March.
So what can you do to make your new exercise routine stick?
Hopefully some of the following tips can help you achieve your fitness goals in the new year.
Set SMART goals - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-based. So rather than have the goal of "getting fit" or "exercising more", maybe your goal could be "run the entire 12km City to Surf in August", or "be able to bench press 60kg by July", or "join a basketball team and play no less than 40 weeks for the year" etc.
Focus on doing exercise activities you will enjoy - Don't focus on lifting weights if you hate lifting weights. Don't plan to do mainly jogging for weight loss if you hate jogging. It seems obvious by you'd be surprised. You're obviously much more likely to persist with an exercise regime if you're doing exercise that you enjoy.
Plan realistically for how you will fit your exercise regime into your life - Are you going to be able to do rigorous exercise in your lunch break if there's no shower at work? Are you going to persist with 5am runs if you absolutely hate early mornings? You'll be most likely to continue with an exercise regime when it fits well into your life.
Write down your goal/s and tell friends and family about them - This makes you accountable to your goal/s and so you're more likely to persist with your exercise regime.
Re-evaluate your goals before giving up on them - Maybe you're not progressing as quickly as you'd like. Maybe a change in your worklife means you have a little less time for exercise. Maybe you sustained an injury. It's ok to re-evaluate your goals, in fact it's better than giving up on them altogether.
Hopefully adopting these tips helps you stick with your fitness goals as we head into a new year.