Three things that are holding back your fitness goals

We’re days away from the end of the year – and another round of well-meaning New Year resolutions.

If this just reminds you about how poorly you stuck to the promises you started making to yourself this time last year then don’t feel too bad – as many of 60% of the resolutions we make are apparently doomed to failure.

And some of the hardest to keep are getting (and staying) fit. They’re also the most popular resolutions: according to a survey of 2,000 people, dieting, exercising more and losing weight are the top three.

So how can you ensure that any promises you make to yourself this New Years Eve stick? And that this time next year you’ll feel smug rather than disappointed in yourself.

To help you, here are three things that are holding back your fitness goals, and how you can overcome them.

1) Lack of motivation

We know from experience how quickly the novelty of exercise or a shiny new gym membership can wear off. Especially in the cold, wet, short and unforgiving days of January.

It takes a special kind of motivation to get you to leave your warm house and drag yourself out into the cold to get fit every week. So it’s important to find your motivation.

One way to ensure you stick to your goal is to find motivation in others. Having a gym buddy or joining a team sport means you won’t have the luxury of missing out on your exercise, as you’ll be letting someone else down. Exercising with a friend is also more fun – an added motivation boost.

Another great way to keep your enthusiasm up is to have a clear goal in mind, and keep that goal very much front of mind. So pin up a picture of what you want to look like, or keep an item of clothing you want to fit into, or a time you want to beat handy. And any time you feel your enthusiasm flagging remind yourself of that goal.

2) Make your goals achievable

It’s all well and good setting a goal of fitting into a super-skinny pair of jeans or running a half marathon in a particular time, but if your goal feels impossibly far away to you right now (or even just plain impossible) then you’ll find it hard to maintain your motivation.

So make sure your goal is realistically achievable. And even if you do set a BIG goal like running a marathon, set yourself more feasible interim goals you can work to now.

Think of it as plotting your route to the peak of Everest via a series of camps. And rather than squint at the far-off peak you focus your energies and vision on the next camp up. If you follow this route you will reach that far-off peak.

3) Get the right equipment

Heard the phase ‘all the gear and no idea’? While no one wants to look at idiot in an Olympic-team standard kit if they’re taking their first baby steps off the couch, it is important to make sure you’re properly kitted out.

Not only will the right gear make it easier for you to actually do the exercise, but it will keep you safer. For example, high quality gym mats can help reduce the risk of injury. And choosing the right running shoes will keep you comfortable and prevent bad habits forming.

The last thing you want is to injure yourself, or to start getting pains when you run or exercise – a few days off to ease an injury can easily derail any motivation you had and send you demoralisingly back to square one.

So, while you don’t need to invest a fortune in a swanky kit, it is important to spend a bit of time and money researching and choosing the right equipment to boost your performance and keep you safe, and help maintain any progress you’re making.

And if nothing else, if you look the part, it can help you to feel and act the part too.

Photo by Mark Zamora