Every year, as we approach January 1, millions of Americans reflect on how the last 12 months turned out for them, followed by brainstorming ways they can change in the New Year to make themselves “better”. 

No matter what resolutions make your list this year, being healthier and exercising is most likely towards the top. Unfortunately, the majority of the population will ditch their “new year, new me” efforts by the beginning of February.  In 2019, the question is how to set realistic fitness goals and achieve them past the first few months of the New Year.

Paul Green of The Body Lab has four simple tips on how to keep you on the healthy track as we get nearer to 2019.

Set Specific Goals

One of the biggest reasons that we tend to stop working on our resolutions is because we set ourselves up for failure right off the bat. Goals like “lose weight” or “be more active” are great in theory, but they are too general. Being able to quantify success is a massive motivator in working towards a goal, so start your resolutions off with numbers. Whether you’re working to lose 10 pounds by April or looking to fit four 30 minute runs in a week, having those numbers as a personal reference will make it easier to see your resolution come to life. Setting specific goals will also make it easier to track your progress.

Focus on Quality Control

With the excitement of starting a new fitness regime, many tend to get carried away with the endless list of workouts they could be doing. Trying new things is great, but it’s also important to get into a routine first and avoid overwhelming yourself with options. Start a new Pilates, CrossFit or yoga program and stick to it for the first few weeks. This allows your body to begin building muscle, burning fat and increasing your range of motion during the workouts. Slowly but surely, you’ll begin to notice that you’re getting stronger – that’s the perfect time to begin branching into new forms of exercise.

Mind your Form

After you’ve decided which workout program you’re going to dedicate yourself to, make it a priority to learn and exercise in correct form. If you’ve signed up for a gym or a studio, enlist the help of the trainers around you to make sure that you’re doing each move properly. If you’re beginning at home, the internet is a great resource with hundreds of thousands of training videos. Proper form will ensure that you are working the right muscles but more importantly will prevent injury.

Stop Comparing your Success

As the saying goes, comparison is the thief of joy. A very small part of the population sees results within days of beginning a new health journey. The rest of us aren’t as fortunate, and that is OK. When dedicating yourself to your health, it’s important to remember that your journey is a marathon, not a race. Instead of criticizing yourself for not losing the 10 pounds right away or missing one day in training, celebrate smaller successes like your jeans fitting a little looser or being able to run at a faster pace on the days you did workout. Not only will this keep you sane in the beginning, but it’ll make you appreciate the end results even more.

The Body Lab with locations at 20511 N. Hayden Road Suite 145 Scottsdale, AZ 85255 and 4414 E. Camelback Road Suite 106A Phoenix, AZ 85018, uses a method called Lagree fitness which is a hardcore Pilates-stlye workout that includes exercises on a machine called a MegaFormer. The 50-minute class focuses on cardio, strength, endurance, core and flexibility and delivers better results in fewer sessions than plain old cardio. Visit http://thebodylabus.com/ for more information.