Whether you’re working on your New Year’s resolutions or have been putting your health and fitness plans into action for some time, how do you keep that momentum going? Our goal is to help you maintain this motivation well into the year. In fact, our goal is to help you make health and fitness a lifestyle.
When you think of your goals as a journey rather than a destination, they’re more likely to become long-term. And that’s what you want, isn’t it? To maintain your goals indefinitely and feel good physically, mentally, and emotionally each and every day? In fact, focusing on an end result can limit your success. It’s actually one of the reasons why nearly 90% of resolutions aren’t achieved.
You’ve set your resolutions, and you’re working toward your goals, and that’s amazing! But ask yourself why. Why do you want to achieve your goals? What is your purpose? Why is this important to you? Maybe you want to run a marathon, reduce your sugar intake, or add more plant-based foods to your diet — but why? And how will you get there? Getting clear on your purpose and setting specific goals is linked to greater success, performance, and achievements.
A great way to attain your health goals and make fitness a lifestyle is by setting “SMART” goals, that is, goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timed.
Specific: What is your goal, and what will achieving your goal entail?
Measurable: How will you measure your progress?
Attainable/achievable: Is it realistic? It should be challenging but within your capabilities!
Relevant: Why did you choose this goal? Does it align with your values and lifestyle?
Timely: How long will it take you to achieve this goal? Is this a realistic time frame?
Repeat Small Habits Daily
No matter if you’ve reached your goal or are still working toward it, continue taking small daily actions that align with your overarching goals. The micro-habits you complete daily (like drinking a glass of water upon waking, meal prepping your breakfast the night before, or winding down your day with meditation) are the habits that set you up for long-term success. We have to get comfortable with repeating tasks that may not result in immediate rewards. Sure, you may feel more accomplished walking 10 miles versus walking 10 minutes, but which habit will you be able to sustain long-term? Start small, stay consistent, and then continue building from there!
Here are some small daily habits to consider:
Move daily, even if it’s short and sweet! This could be a quick HIIT workout, parking further away from your destination, or walking your dog around the block
Carry a water bottle with you and sip throughout the day
Do something mindful every day (such as meditation, breathwork, journaling, or yoga) to lessen stress and boost mental health
Eat the rainbow by filling your plate with as many colors (i.e., various fruits and veggies) per day as possible
Call On Healthy Swaps
Rather than depriving yourself of the foods you love, call on healthy swaps and find ways to make your favorite foods healthier. By honoring your cravings in a healthy way, you’re more likely to stay on track with your goals and sustain healthy eating habits long-term.
Here are some healthy swaps to consider:
Fizzy drinks: Coconut water, seltzer, kombucha, or cold-pressed juice are great alternatives!
Dairy Creamer Swaps: Make a homemade dairy-free cashew or coconut milk creamer, or opt for an unsweetened dairy-free store-bought alternative
Energy Drink Swaps: Try a matcha latte, oolong tea, or black tea
Chips & Crackers: Make veggie chips (like kale or beet chips) or roasted chickpeas, or purchase a healthy store-bought cracker alternative made with nuts and seeds
Pizza: Make healthy homemade pizza with cauliflower or almond crust, or get creative with a mushroom or flatbread base!
Pasta: Try zoodles or spaghetti squash for a plant-based option, or opt for store-bought pasta made with chickpeas or lentils for a healthy protein boost
Milk Chocolate: Try cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder, or healthy store-bought paleo chocolate like Hu Kitchen
Granola Bars: Make your own energy bites or protein balls made with things like oats, dates, and nut butter
Life is full of setbacks, roadblocks, and challenges. Be adaptable, and don’t be too hard on yourself! If you skipped a workout, overindulged in dessert, or fell off the bandwagon, that’s okay. It happens to the best of us! Rather than give up on your goals or get down on yourself, use it as a learning experience and continue on.
And remember: we can’t always control our circumstances, and we’re always changing. Maybe it means adjusting your goals to fit your current situation or circumstance. If you’re on a work trip with no access to a gym, maybe you go for a walk or do a FitOn workout in your hotel room. If you get injured or sick, maybe you adjust your time frame or shift your goals to focus on nourishing your body or boosting your immune system. If you’re struggling to stay consistent with your goals, maybe they’re too far-reaching for where you’re at now — set mini goals to help you get there!
There’s no black-or-white way to make health and fitness a lifestyle. It’s about finding what works for you in a way that’s attainable and sustainable.