We are past the halfway point of 2023... Are you on track to accomplish the resolutions and goals you set for the year?
In January you are motivated and have big dreams but by summer... shoot, probably March, motivation has faded and you may have slipped back into old habits.
Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned fitness enthusiast, these 21 tips will help you stay on track, crush your goals, and make lasting changes in the new year.
1: Set Specific, Measurable Goals: Instead of resolving to "lose weight" or "eat healthier," set specific goals such as "lose 10 pounds" or "eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day." This will make it easier to track your progress and stay motivated.
Even if you didn't set a goal in January, why not set a goal to complete before the end of 2023?
2: Make a Plan: Once you have set your goals, create a plan to achieve them. This could include scheduling time for exercise, planning meals in advance, or finding a workout buddy.
Don't overthink this, just pick a plan you somewhat like and stick with it!
If you need help with your gym plan check out a free 7-Day trial to my workout plan here.
3: Start Small: Making drastic changes to your diet or exercise routine all at once can be overwhelming and difficult to sustain. Start with small, manageable changes and build on them over time.
Don't crash and burn. I set BIG goals. But how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Make small, daily steps toward your big goal.
4: Keep a Food and Exercise Log: Recording what you eat and how much you exercise can help you stay on track and identify areas where you may need to make changes.
I like using MyFitnessPal to track. You honestly don't have to get super fancy. If you are going to track, track your protein and water intake. I aim for 1g per pound of bodyweight each day and 4 liters of water.
Proper protein and water intake are a life hack.
5: Find an Accountability Partner: Having someone to check in with and hold you accountable can be a great way to stay motivated and on track.
This could be a friend, group on Facebook, trainer, etc. You need to surround yourself with people who are striving for greatness.
Remember to have an accountability partner who will push you and tell you like it is.
6: Stay Positive: Instead of focusing on what you can't have or what you should be doing, focus on the positive aspects of your journey and the progress you are making.
Small changes stack up quickly. Get little victories daily! Getting strong and increasing your fitness is a reward.
7: Give Yourself a Break: Life happens, and it's okay if you slip up or fall off track. Don't beat yourself up over it; focus on getting back on track as soon as possible.
I splurge all the time. Don't give up. Just get back at it if you TREAT YO SELF.
Refer to the 80/20 rule. Aim to have your diet and exercise on point 80% of the time.
8: Celebrate Small Wins: Reward yourself for small accomplishments along the way, such as hitting a weight loss milestone or going for a week without eating junk food.
Don't reward yourself with junk food or drinks. Get some new workout clothes or if you're like me... crushing a goal is the only reward you need!
9: Find an Activity You Enjoy: If you find a form of exercise that you enjoy, you're more likely to stick with it. Try different activities until you find one that you look forward to doing.
Strength training is the most effective form of exercise... but you know what? If you will stick with them, Zumba, swimming, yoga, etc are all great options!
To stay on track no matter what, check out my Top 7 Pieces of Home Gym Equipment here!
10: Prepare for Temptations: Know your triggers and have a plan in place for how to handle them when they arise.
The more times you consecutively stay on track, the easier it becomes to stick with it!
I like to snack before bed, so I always have Greek yogurt on hand. I mix in some protein powder for a high-protein snack before bed.
11: Get Enough Sleep: A lack of sleep can lead to cravings for junk food and a lack of energy for exercise. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
I struggle with sleep but have found that getting sunlight early in the day and wearing blue light glasses after the sun goes down both help me to fall asleep quicker.
12: Push Yourself: Going through the motions will only get you so far. And at the end of the day you can only count on yourself to accomplish your goals. Your accountability partner can't do it for you.
Get in the habit of getting outside your comfort zone.
13: Focus on Quality, Not Quantity: Rather than *just* counting calories, focus on making sure you are eating nutrient-dense foods that will fuel your body.
Sure, if you're in a caloric deficit and only eating junk you will lose weight but we also want to feel good and perform at a high level.
14: Stay Hydrated: Drinking enough water is important for maintaining energy levels, preventing cravings, and promoting weight loss.
Get a reusable water bottle to track your intake. Aim for at least 3 liters of water per day.
15: Don't Compare Yourself to Others: Every journey is unique, and it's important to remember that what works for someone else may not work for you.
Social media makes this tough but remember... it is you vs. you. You are running your own race. Cheer others on and focus on winning your race.
16: Take it One Day at a Time: Rather than thinking about the long-term goal, focus on making small, positive choices each day.
Focus on winning the day!
17: Prioritize Self-Care: Make sure to take care of yourself both physically and mentally, this includes stress management, getting enough sleep, and being kind to yourself.
PS... crushing weights and eating in a way that reflects your goals = self-care.
I've become a big fan of "box breathing" for reducing stress. 4 seconds each: Inhale, hold, exhale, hold.
18: Remember Why You Started: When you're feeling unmotivated, remind yourself of the reasons why you set your goals in the first place.
This is why I write my goals down daily. Remember the goal and keep it in the front of your mind.
Remember your "why." Wanting a six-pack is great but will only get you so far. Training to be better for your family... that is a great why!
19: Keep Things in Perspective: Remember that making lasting changes takes time and patience, and don't get discouraged if progress is slow.
Focus on being better than yesterday.
20: Be Honest with Yourself: Recognize when you are making excuses or trying to justify unhealthy choices, and take steps to address it.
Basically, hold yourself accountable!
21: Find Inspiration: look for people, blogs, videos, etc. that can keep you motivated and inspired, and remember that this journey is about progress, not perfection.
Social media can either be a great source of inspiration or a drain. Follow account that uplift and motivate you. Unfollow negative accounts.
I hear about this guy called the alpha dad who is super motivating.... (It's me @benbarkerfitness)
Making lasting changes to your fitness and nutrition habits takes time and patience, but by setting specific goals, making a plan, and staying positive, you can achieve your resolutions and improve your overall health and well-being in the new year.
Remember to celebrate small wins, surround yourself with support, push yourself, and encourage others along the way.
Here's to crushing the rest of the year!
Check out more on my fitness and career journey on my "About Me" page here!