Hi Everyone! It’s Ashlee from Vero Fitness here to talk to you about keeping your resolutions!
You may have already seen the success rate for New Year’s resolutions on our social media that Leigh Ann shared with everyone. If you haven't, head on over to our Instagram and Facebook and give it a like and while you’re at it, give us a follow to stay up to date on the happenings at Vero Fitness!
I know we’ve all made at least one New Year’s resolution that we haven’t stuck to. It took me so long to get into the habit of going to the gym, it’s actually funny considering I now work for one. I started, and failed, to make exercise a regular part of my routine for 10 years before it stuck. In 2018, I realized how much weight I had gained and how bad I felt both physically and mentally that I needed to make a change. Now, I’ve lost 40 pounds and I can’t go more than a few days without some type of physical activity because of how good I feel.
Why did it work for me this last time?
I was realistic. I started by making one small goal. My goal was to walk outside for 30 minutes a day, every day. I listened to music or a podcast and sometimes I took my dog with me for company. Once I made this into a habit, I added more. I committed to going to the gym 3-4 times a week and continued to walk every day. Eventually, I added running and yoga into my routine. I started signing up for 5Ks and eventually 10Ks. This November, I finished a 10K in an hour and ten minutes (my personal best).
I made a plan and I wrote it down. Keep in mind, I only used the cardio equipment and steered clear of most of the free weights, squat racks, and other resistance machines, so the gym was very intimidating. If I’m being honest, sometimes it still is. There were days that I would just drive to the parking lot and leave because of how overwhelming it was. On those days, I would go to a park and take a walk for 30 minutes.
To help with my gym intimidation, I bought an exercise plan from someone I saw on Instagram. I wrote my exercise plan in my calendar and stuck to it. I wish I had access to a personal trainer because they take all the guesswork out of exercising and show you how to properly use a machine or do an exercise.
I tracked my progress. I took pictures and wrote down my measurements. I tracked my reps, sets, and weight I used. When I feel stuck or down on myself, I look back at where I was compared to where I am now. This is usually a good motivator for when I don’t feel like going to the gym. Yes, those days still happen, but it’s usually those days that I really need to exercise and those days are usually when I’m the proudest of myself.
The hardest and probably the most helpful thing I did was change my mindset. It’s not that I HAVE to go to the gym, it’s I GET to go to the gym. I practiced, and still practice, gratitude. After focusing on what I can do, instead of what I can’t, I became grateful for my ability to move my body and do the things that I’m able to do. I stopped beating myself up for what I believe was a slip up.
It’s a daily practice and takes time, but speaking kindly to myself and focusing on the positive things have made losing weight and maintaining it a lot easier. It didn’t take a month to put on the weight, it’s not going to come off in a month, especially in a way that can be maintained.
Again, forming a new habit takes time. Give yourself some grace. If you slip up, get right back into it. The all or nothing mentality is not helpful when trying to reach our goals. If I can make going to the gym a habit that I’ve continued for almost four years, anyone can do anything.
“Habits are not a finish line to be crossed, they are a lifestyle to be lived.” - James Clear