How to make your new year fitness resolution stick

how to stick to new year resolution

Author: Emily Gilliland

New year, new you? Many of us have a list of New Year’s resolutions at the start of January and are determined that this is the year we’re going to see them through. Only around 10% of us will actually carry through on our resolutions and make a permanent change. So what can we do differently in 2018 to make our fitness resolutions stick?

Life gets in the way, it’s too hard, it’s no fun – there are reams of reasons why we fail to stick with the resolutions we were so determined to keep. Fitness expert Emily Gilliland gives her top tips on how to make this year different.

Don’t aim too high too soon

There is nothing wrong with reaching for the stars, but sometimes you need to make changes that are realistic for you. If you’re aiming for something that is so far out of reach you can’t see how to get there, then you are more likely to become discouraged and give up completely. Set yourself milestones to reach on the road to your final goal. You’re much more likely to stick to something when you can see you are making progress.

knee press up
For example, you may have an ultimate goal to do ten press-ups but you can’t currently do one. But if you break this down into smaller, achievable goals for example, by starting with a box press-up (knees on floor as demonstrated in the photo) and once you can do three sets of ten of these then switch to a full press-up with legs straight aiming for three reps per set. Give yourself kudos each time you reach a milestone. Before you know it you’ll be at your goal.

Get some cheerleaders

Going it alone is often a reason that people fail to stay on track. Without someone to give you a nudge on those days you are lacking motivation, it’s very easy to give in and stop. Find yourself a support group or buddy up with someone who has similar goals to you. You will encourage each other, keep each other accountable and provide much needed support when you have the inevitable wobbles.

One change at a time

It’s very tempting to come up with a massive list of changes – getting fit, eating better, losing weight, clearing your clutter, meditating every day etc etc. However, trying to do too much at once can lead to complete overwhelm and the temptation to throw in the towel, because “what’s the point, when I can’t do it all?”

Instead decide on one change to concentrate on first, for example drinking two litres of water a day. Once you have been doing that for a few weeks and it feels like it’s becoming a part of your normal lifestyle, then add the next change on your list – e.g. exercising for 15 minutes three times a week. It might take a bit longer to get to the end of the list of changes you want to make, but you’re more likely to end the year with those changes having turned into habits.

Manage your time

Have a resolution to get fit but know that you will struggle with finding the time? Open your calendar on your phone and block out 15-20 minute slots on the days you want to exercise. Set alarms beforehand and make sure you have easy access to your exercise clothes. Exercise doesn’t have to be hours of slog in the gym if you don’t want it to be. You can get a great workout in 10-15 minutes if you work efficiently. Most people can fit 15 minutes into their day and it’s a great way to get started on your fitness journey. You can workout at home with minimal equipment and make movement and fitness a part of your daily routine.


About the Author
Emily Gilliland is a qualified Personal Trainer specialising in adapting exercise for older adults, ante/postnatal women and people with medical referrals (including conditions related to menopause such as osteoporosis). She is based in Bookham, Surrey, UK and offers 1-2-1 and small group training throughout the mid-Surrey area. You can contact Emily at: emily@emilyg.co.uk

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