It shouldn’t come as any surprise that most New Year’s resolutions fizzle up before the end of February. Why is this the case? Well, most people attempt to go straight from holiday bulking to fitness fanatic suddenly, however, abrupt lifestyle changes are hardly ever sustainable.
Instead of attempting this radical lifestyle change, I invite you to attempt the Every Other Day method. It’s as simple as it sounds: implement your New Year’s resolution every other day. This is most applicable to those looking to get to the gym more often, but can also be practical to some other resolutions such as, quitting smoking and flossing more often.
The thought of having the next day off can provide that essential motivation to get to the gym today. It also provides a lot of determination to give 110% effort once you’re there, because you have all-day tomorrow to recover before you get back to the gym. Scattering your workouts over the week is also better than getting to the gym two days in a row and not returning until a week later.
Introducing the idea of a reset day into your weekly routine encourages you to have a day that you commit to going to the gym no matter what happens throughout the week. Monday is a dependable reset day, because it is usually the weekend where we slip up on our gym routines. By committing with Monday as our reset day, the likelihood of getting back on track instead of spiraling out of control, is much more plausible. It also provides a great anchor for your week – nothing beats starting your week off strong.
I’ve also learned that the best time to get to the gym in is in the morning, when we’re still hazy from our sleep; don’t think, just go. A lot of people attempt to jump straight into emails or things that require a lot of cognitive power, which hardly results in time spent productively. Getting to the gym early also gets it out of the way so you’re less likely to convince yourself that you don’t have time to get there in the evening.
If you are looking for more motivation in the morning, I suggest setting your gym clothes out and writing a morning checklist the night before. You can write your morning checklist on anything like, a whiteboard or a post-it note, but it should include small tasks like: brush your teeth, make your bed, let the dog out, eat a granola bar, and so on. Checking-off these seemingly easy tasks gets your brain on the right track; it helps you generate a sense of accomplishment first thing in the morning, which makes you way more likely to continue achieving your goals for that day – like getting to the gym!
Although some of these tips might not concern everyone, I believe that most of you will start developing an inclination to get to the gym more often. My advice would be to hold off on going to the gym back-to-back until you’re able to consistently get through your week with the Every Other Day method.
At the end of the day it isn’t being able to get to the gym five out of seven days of the week that will get you into shape, it’s being able to maintain consistency over months.
To summarize, don’t dive straight into some crazy fitness schedule, leave yourself some leeway, and understand that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Implement these tips and I’m sure you’ll be right on your way to getting that 2018 beach bod!