How to stick to your resolutions beyond January

from Angela Manzanares, founder of fitbook™

Angela Manzanares, founder of fitbook™

Spring is approaching — have you stuck to your New Year’s resolutions to work out more or eat healthier? There are many reasons why people give up on working out and eating healthy: a lack of results, not enough time, it takes too much money — you name it, I’ve heard every excuse in the book.

So how do you stay motivated? Here are some incentives that I’ve seen (or used personally) to stick to a healthy living plan:

competition competition: Whether it be a pull-up competition (that’s what I’m doing right now!) or a 10K with a few friends, nothing lights a fire under you like a little friendly competition. It helps you focus on your body, strength and progression, rather than whether you “feel like” working out. There is no feeling — there’s just doing.
family family: A lot of people that are overweight sacrifice quality of life with their loved ones. It’s a big motivating factor for them to improve their health, so they can be active with their kids and live a longer life for their spouse.
confidence confidence: Whether you’re a size 2 or 20, there’s no understating the value of being confident. Having the willpower to stick to your workouts and make healthier decisions in the kitchen gives you power over your choices, rather than feeling like you’re controlled by the outside world. Confidence has a compound effect, because once someone sports confidence, their results skyrocket.
photo shoot photo shoot: Knowing you have a hard deadline where your physique will be showcased — whether it’s simply family photos or classy romantic pics for your spouse — is motivating to have a date to work toward. The same goes for a vacation or some other date where you’ll be wearing a swimsuit or dressing up for a special occasion.

But what about the biggest problem I see: the setting of unrealistic goals, in too short a time, and when people don’t see the results they want, they quit.
This is where fitbook comes in: fitbook helps you to set 12-week goals, which is a long enough period of time to see results, but short enough to stay motivated. It also pushes you to identify your underlying motivation of WHY you want to accomplish that goal. Is it really just about how you look on the outside? Or is it to have more energy to chase your little ones around, run a 5K or a 10K, feel vibrant and enjoy life, or rock your new jeans and radiate confidence? Dig deep and identify what that motivating factor is, because that’s what will keep you going on tough days.

After setting your 12-week goals, the journal helps you break them down into smaller, more achievable weekly goals. Saying you want to lose 10 pounds can seem daunting until you realize that it breaks down to losing about 1 pound a week for 12 weeks, which is doable! Then you break it down even further by tracking your workouts and your nutrition daily — holding you accountable each and every day. Kim Lyons, of NBC’s The Biggest Loser, attests that “an exercise and nutrition journal is an incredibly important tool to help you reach your goals and assess your progress. Fitbook has it all in a simple, all-inclusive format that is fun and easy to follow.” Scheduling workouts makes it much harder to skip a workout, and knowing you have to write down that gooey donut makes it nearly impossible to indulge!

Finally, fitbook reinforces one thing that we don’t do enough of in everyday life: giving yourself a pat on the back. Rewarding yourself is a positive way of reinforcing good behavior, and the byproduct of doing something nice for yourself is that you will be more likely to continue making positive choices. Did you work out every day you planned this week? Reward yourself with some new iTunes to energize your workouts. Did you drink your gallon of water 5 out of 7 days? Treat yourself to a new water bottle you’ve been eyeing. Little rewards along the way will keep you motivated and ensure the likelihood that you’ll stick to your workout program for the long term.

Research shows that writing things down works — and this is why we created fitbook. Fitbooker Joanna Sutter, of Fitness & Spice Marketing, says that “writing down, scheduling, and prioritizing fitness and nutrition is key to keeping my goals at the top of my mind and ‘first things first.’ … I have never found a better, more well-designed tool to help me set, reach and reflect on my training and nutrition goals.” Putting pen to paper is proven to be more effective than font-to-screen or thought-to-brain, so grab a pen and jot your way to a fit(ter) you!


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