Each year, millions of people make New Year's resolutions, and each year, those resolutions are promptly forgotten about within a month's time, if not sooner. TBH, sticking to New Year's resolutions is hard work, especially if those goals involve a totally revamped workout routine, or a promise to yourself to exercise a certain amount each week. These objectives can be hard to stick to because they're often just plain unrealistic, and therefore unattainable. However, if you set some practical fitness New Year's resolutions before the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31, there will be absolutely nothing stopping you from realizing those intentions in the weeks to come.
Of course, workout-related New Year's resolutions are not a new idea. We've all seen how aggressively crowded the gym is during the first few weeks of January. But without fail, by the time February rolls around, the crowds disperse, and it's back to the usual handful of fitness fanatics. According to U.S. News Health, this is because approximately 80 percent of New Year's resolutions crash and burn by the second week of February.
But don't let those statistics make you feel like you're destined for fitness failure. If you set smaller, more manageable, and more attainable resolutions, you'll be much more inclined to stick to them and embrace the changes headed your way.
Personal trainer Paola Marquez reminds us that smaller goals often lead to bigger and better results. "When talking about intentions for the new year, I always recommend setting realistic goals in the form of small steps that can take you to your final goal in a more natural way," she tells Elite Daily.
So, when you sit down to think about your goals for 2018, start small with these five manageable and motivating fitness resolutions.
Including movement in your everyday routine is a great place to start when it comes to crafting fitness resolutions for the new year.
Yoga instructor and fitness enthusiast Randi Greene tells Elite Daily that she'll be incorporating this resolution into her own routine this year: "It doesn't matter how you move; all that matters is that you move," she explains. "Find some type of movement that you enjoy doing, and do that."
For example, Greene says, if you hate lifting weights, don't force yourself to do it just because you think you "should" for the sake of making a resolution. Doing what truly makes you happy is the key to crafting a workout routine that seems less like work, and more like fun. "Getting in 10 to 30 minutes of movement a day is better than not getting in any movement at all," Greene tells Elite Daily.
Oftentimes, a daily meditation practice is a goal that gets pushed aside when life gets too busy. But consistent meditation can be so, so beneficial for a healthy body and mind.
Personal trainer Rebecca Kennedy is all about taking simple steps to achieve big goals, which is a great strategy for cultivating a meditation practice for the new year. "Having a big goal without planning out proper steps to achieve it, makes it [only] a dream," she tells Elite Daily. "[You] need a plan! Small goals equal big results."
Kennedy advises you to start yourself off with just 10 short minutes of meditation each day, and then work your way up to larger goals after you get used to the initial resolution and you're ready for a new challenge.
Stepping outside of your comfort zone is such an incredible way to grow and tap into your highest potential. Whether it's mixing things up within the fitness routine you've already established, or trying out a brand new workout class, becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable is sure to start your new year out with a bang.
So, for example, say you've never given weightlifting a genuine try before. Perhaps now is the perfect time to venture into that uncharted territory. From stronger bones, to a sharper brain, to higher self-esteem, including some weightlifting in your 2018 routine can benefit you both physically and mentally.
Now, before you roll your eyes at this, remember that your resolution doesn't have to involve anything intimidating. Start small with five- to 10-pound dumbbells, and see how it feels.
If you know for sure that weightlifting isn't your thing, maybe try hitting up a CrossFit class at your local gym. It's actually a lot more inclusive than you might think, so no, you don't have to be a bodybuilder before you even walk into your first class.
You might not think that prioritizing quality shut-eye actually counts as a fitness resolution, but getting the right amount of sleep is so crucial, especially for those with a more active lifestyle.
In fact, Marquez says one of her own New Year's resolutions is to get a better night's sleep. "To achieve this, I'm going to try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day," she tells Elite Daily.
To set this goal for yourself, try tweaking a few little things in your bedtime routine. Shut off your phone about an hour before you hit the hay, experiment with relaxing essential oils, or include a few soothing yoga poses to ease you into bed — or all of the above!
Signing up for a charity event or race is a great way to stick to your fitness goals for the new year, because TBH, you don't have an out!
Find a cause that you're truly passionate about so that you're actually excited to get out the door and pound the pavement or take on the treadmill each day. Plus, imagine how good it's going to feel by the time you cross the finish line — so worth it.
Most of us are already on our phones most of the time anyway, so why not download just one fitness app to help guide you through your gym goals for the new year?
There are literally so many fitness apps to choose from, but my personal favorite is the Nike+ Run Club app. Disclaimer: I would never call myself a legit "runner," but this app's motivational reminders and encouraging notifications always manage to get me out the door and pounding the pavement every damn time.
Telling yourself that you'll make it to a bunch of different yoga classes every single week is probably not that realistic, especially if you already have a hectic schedule as it is.
Yoga teacher and best-selling author Sara DiVello says that identifying ways to practice yoga "off the mat" is a much more attainable way to include yoga in your daily life. "Whether it's scheduled Pranayama (breathing) breaks throughout the day, or taking time to do some chair yoga at my desk, I know there’s even more ways I can weave yoga into my day in ways that will calm, ground, and enhance my daily life," she tells Elite Daily.
Yes, chair yoga is a thing, and it's about to make your 2018 goals realistic AF.
A sculpted and strong body is absolutely nothing without a compassionate and content mind. Personal trainer Holly Rillinger says that body-positive reminders will be at the top of her resolution list this year. She tells Elite Daily, as a former professional athlete, "Recovery and mindset are as important as [the] sweat sessions. I'm making sure I take that seriously this year!"
Now, it's not really realistic that you'll wake up every single morning and love every last part of your body unconditionally. Insecurities and sh*tty days are simply a part of life. Practicing self-love often takes hard work, and no day will be 100 percent perfect. It's all about making the conscious decision to look in the mirror, and point out the parts of yourself that are freaking incredible; that's what body positivity is all about.
Even on days when your confidence is in the gutter, remind yourself of what your body is capable of. Remember how you absolutely slayed that burpee challenge? What about the time you cruised through that run around the park without taking a break? Your body gets you out the door and keeps you moving, and if you ask me, that's something that's always worth celebrating.