Remember in January when the gym was so packed you had to wait for a treadmill? Now that we’re a quarter of the way through the year, you’ve probably noticed that wait time drop quite a bit, mostly due to the New Year’s Resolution-ers falling off the wagon right in front of your eyes. The sad truth is over 80% of resolutions fail by February, which is why you’ve noticed it’s easier to snag your favorite treadmill.
As a former New Year’s resolution quitter myself, I decided that this year is the year I will NOT quit on my resolution. I reached out a few of my favorite Chicago health & fitness gurus to understand how they are able to keep themselves motivated throughout the entire year. As expected, they all came with incredible, goal-saving advice.
Below are a few recommendations on sticking to your resolutions from Chicago’s top wellness experts.
Lindsey Ganote, Shred415 instructor (Insta: @LindseyGQuinn)
I’d encourage everyone to take the pressure off themselves with the notion that ANY point in time is the right time to re-prioritize health. It doesn’t have to be a Monday, or the start of a new season, or on a day when you’ve only eaten ‘clean’ foods. Any moment is the right time to re-focus on the fact that it’s your one life and your one body – and it will only be as strong as you equip it to be. If you don’t protect your body through a healthy, active lifestyle, it absolutely cannot protect you.
Holly Keskey, Barry’s Bootcamp and Exhale instructor (@hollykeskey_koester)
CELEBRATE EVERYTHING! You set the goal. You made the decision. Celebrate it! You reached the week 1 goal. Celebrate it! You changed your course. Celebrate it! We spend so much time wishing for instant gratification, comparing ourselves to the social media self of another, wishing it was easy, blah blah blah. It ain’t easy work; reaching goals, so don’t be ashamed to talk about your journey and celebrate the sh*t out of it!
Tracee Badway, Exhale and Studio Three instructor (@traceefitfoodie)
Many people choose “Dry January”, but why not choose several months a year to slow down on booze consumption? I often choose a month and instead of “quitting the whole month” I allow myself 4 drinks total. This means 1 drink 4 different days, 4 in one night etc.
Alma Omeralovic, Chill Chicago
As a meditation instructor, I start each day with an intention. I think with a society of overextended people from work, life, and personal commitments. one more commitment is the last thing we need. Make it fun! I do a monthly word to focus on; a word I can turn back to at any point in my day if I am feeling anxious, nervous or just like I want a mental recharge. Use a simple mantra of inhale ‘I am’ exhale ‘intentional’. Get creative, fascinated, and avoid making crazy rules around resolutions. Small strides truly add up to big shifts.
Additionally, I have found that the tips below have helped keep me on track so far this year:
- Make sure that the goal is reasonable and sustainable, but also a reach for you personally: Your goal should be a stretch, but it shouldn’t be something that is completely unreasonable. If you have never cycled before, don’t make your goal to be an Olympic cyclist. Rather, setting the goal of cycling 3 times per week or ramping up your stamina to cycling 20 miles at a time is much more reasonable. If you set your sights too high, you’ll find yourself getting frustrated with your progress and be more likely to quit.
- Visually remind yourself of the goal daily: Write it somewhere you will see it. I personally use sticky notes on my bathroom mirror so when I’m brushing my teeth first thing in the morning, I’m reminded of my goal for the day. You could also set an alarm on your phone that reminds you each day of the goal at a certain time. Make sure its something you’ll see every. single. day. Having a visual reminder is one of the best ways to take a break daily to think, if even for a moment, about your goal.
- Focus on the why instead of the what: Yes, there will be days where you completely change your mind on the goal. You’ll think that it’s too much work, it’s not important to you, or that you can’t do it. In those moments, think about why you decided on this goal in the first place. Is it so that you can finally complete the marathon you’ve always wanted to run? Or because you know that indulging in too much caffeine or sugar makes you cranky and anxiety-ridden? If you focus on the reason you started in the first place, you’ll feel much better about the work that goes into reaching that goal.
This spring, set a goal, and pick a day start it off! January isn’t the only time to start new goals or resolutions. With the expert guidance from some of your favorite Chicago fitness instructors, you’ll be crushing those goals in no time.
What tips have you used to get you through an entire year with a tough goal? Send them to us!