The New Year is right ahead of us, but most of us aren’t looking past this week, with this year’s fitness resolution left in the dust months ago. It’s so hard when your plate is full and many of us will say “I’ll get back on track in the New Year”, only to repeat the same thing. This year can be different, though. Getting fit doesn’t mean you have to go gung-ho with a new fitness routine, so you don’t have to put it off. When you’re preparing for the new year, try something new.
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I’m going to share my thought process for my own goals, then I give you a specific, action-oriented example you can try. Keep reading so you can also grab all my freebies to get you ready and keep you focused in the New Year!
Figure out the right goals
When you picture the “new you” in the new year, what comes to mind? All the images that are splashed around show people with practically zero body fat, pushing themselves to the limit? Awesome for them. I’m not going to look to those for my “inspiration” anymore. I would love to be like that, but I would also like to have more than exercise in my life.
We are all unique creations, and while most recommended goals are great for overall health and wellness, some of us may need more or less to improve our lives. First, think about what “improve your life” would look like. The examples are endless:
- more energy
- xx pounds lighter
- less pain
- lower cholesterol
- better mood
- able to do more physically
- more time with friends
- more “me” time
- get outside more
- need less medication
- what else?
How can being more active move you in that direction? Think of that goal as your final destination on a map. Break down the route to get yourself there. What’s important to me is reduce my pain, build my physical endurance and be able to keep up with my little girl. Where do I start? I’ll tell you.
Make them make sense
I’m going to choose a goal based on my most recent experience. Before my health problems began to interfere with exercise (mostly my foot), I was racking up 10-15 thousand steps per day on average. I had lost 20 pounds, my mood was outstanding, and joint and muscle pain was manageable, despite my chronic fatigue. While I was walking or jogging, it was a huge decompressor during a stressful time in my life. That stress relief carried over between my walks too.
Fast forward a year, and the struggle to get back into my routine is here again. My pain is back, my fatigue is worse, and the weight is creeping back. Not cool. Since jogging, fitness classes, and even long, brisk walks are off the table for me, I have to find another way. I think it makes sense to find ways to move my body that I can tolerate. Just find what I can do and “show up”.
How Preparing for the New Year will Save Your Sanity
Doing something is better than nothing, right? That’s my motto between now and the new year. My first goal to round out 2018 will be very, very small. Just move. One thing I will do is get at least 250 steps per hour, with my Fitbit nudging me along. I don’t have to walk fast, just get those steps in. My foot can handle that.
Goal #2 is do my Advent Challenge starting December 2. It calls for things like stretching/yoga, light cardio, bodyweight strength moves, or a few reps of light weights. Just a little bit of something each day. All of it is low impact (unless you want higher impact cardio), which my body can handle right now. I’ve posted “Move Your Body Trigger Cards” around the house to remind myself to do the challenge moves or get some steps in.
How will this save my sanity? I will already have it worked into my life and New Year’s Day won’t be a sudden change. That’s where people get tripped up. I can gradually build back up as my body can tolerate it. Integration of movement into my life, I can stick with. “Working out” x times per week for xx hours, not so much. Now I won’t beat myself up for missing a workout and eventually give up.
What Can You Do?
What’s important to you in life? How would getting in shape help you achieve those things? Let’s go with the basic one, lose weight (so your blood sugar will stabilize, your clothes will fit better, etc.). Don’t forget to combine this with eating sensibly, btw – but you knew that already.
Here is an example of a roadmap for this one:
Steps per day: Long-Term Goal – 10,000 per day.
Day 1: Count the steps around the house, get a baseline of how much activity you’re getting now. Even without an activity tracker, you can get a rough estimate. For this example, you might be getting in 3,000 per day. Identify your first goal, say 4000 per day. Each week bump it up enough to make you feel like you did more, but don’t go crazy. Remember, we’re building this into our lifestyle, not making a drastic change.
Week 1: Get in an extra 250 steps each hour for your most active four hours of the day. (That takes me about two minutes, really).
Week 2: Get in an extra 250 steps each hour for five hours. This way there’s an hour you’re moving a little more when you would typically be sedentary.
Week 3: Get in an extra 250 for six hours. You get the idea…
Week 4: Up it to seven hours
Week 5: Get it to eight hours. Excellent! This gets you up to 5,000 steps per day.
Let your body and your schedule guide how you want to proceed from here. I recommend subscribing for my exclusive worksheets to help you move along in the process. You can totally do this!
I Would Love to Have You Along with Me!
Are you ready to build yourself up and feel better? Here’s a list of things you can do to partner with me while you prepare for the New Year (all of it’s free, I just want some company!):
Download my new 2019 calendar to keep you focused on your goals (hey, every little bit of motivation helps!).
Check out my Advent Challenge Group on Facebook, or follow me on Facebook in general.
Interested in counting steps this year? Grab my free “Count the Steps Around the House” to help you gauge quick distances so you can get some extra steps in really quick (and know how many you’ll get).
Download my “Move Your Body Trigger Cards” and “On the Go Motivation Cards” to beat the distractions and keep your goals on your mind.
Become a subscriber, so you can keep track of your weekly goals and progress while we take the journey together (subscribers get exclusive access to supportive posts).
Follow me on Pinterest, where I’m always gathering ideas for motivation, exercises, mental health information, healthy foods and more. I’d love to follow you too!
Let’s arrive in 2019 with the wheels already turning and we want to keep moving!
What are your goals going to be while you prepare for the New Year? Share in the comments!