With new year quickly approaching, there will be many people that commit to resolutions that involve an attempt to start living a healthier lifestyle. Whether that be adding in a work-out routine, making better choices with eating, or simply trying to reach a healthier balance between their mind and body, it will happen.

Although I am all about taking a different approach to the typical "new years resolution" (see my latest blog post on making your new year revolutionary), I think it's worthwhile to provide some insight on what can make your fitness-related resolutions/goals a jumping point toward a long-term lifestyle change rather than just being a short term goal that you achieve and forget. With that said, here are some things to consider if you decide to jump on the resolution bandwagon:

Seek to find resources to help you achieve success and maintain it. 

Like you can probably imagine, reaching goals can be difficult without the right resources. These can be in the form of individuals, places, articles, apps... 

The best possible way to learn, of course, is through instruction and guidance from trained professional. When you find an individual with the proper certifications (i.e. nutritionist, trainer, etc.) they will be able to not only provide you with a plan, but an explanation to the why behind what they are expecting you to do. A good coach will provide you with enough knowledge and insight that eventually, you can handle maintaining what you've learned... without them. They will provide you with a routine that fits your needs, your lifestyle, and your goals. If you are ready for that type of commitment, then Elite Custom Fitness would be a good place to start. (Why give yourself anything less than the best?) No matter what, make sure to find a professional that holds the necessary certifications, has experience in their field, and has your best interest in mind (not your money).

Maybe you're not at a point where you're ready to commit to working with an individual, but you would rather tackle things on your own. With so many resources, though, it may be difficult to know where to start. I took the time to provide a few resources that I have found beneficial when it comes to nutrition and training to help you get a solid jump start:

  • Mealime: If you are looking for healthy meal options for you and your family, this is a great (FREE) meal planning app that not only provides pictures and instructions for each meal, but also provides an itemized grocery list for all selected meals each weeks. There is a ton of variety and it also allows you to individualize your meal options based on your preferences (i.e. low carb, paleo, vegan, certain ingredients you prefer or don't prefer, etc.).
  • My Fitness Pal: An easy and free way to track your calorie intake if you go that route with your nutrition. #nuffsaid
  • EliteFTS: A great website with blogs and articles on training and nutrition, as well as training equipment and resources for purchase. If you are looking for a one-stop-shop for your fitness needs, this is it.
  • Couch to 5K: This is a great start-up program for those who are trying to get into running but are true beginners (5k to 10k is also available as well for those who are more experienced with running). This app outlines a nice progression toward a 5k length run by the end of the training (30 mins a day, 3 days a week, for 9 weeks). It allows the individual to work slowly toward a solid running goal without overdoing it too early in the training cycle. This may even set you up nicely to sign-up for that race you always wanted to try... 

Regardless of where you decide to start, seek to find something (or someone) to help you better understand what you're trying to accomplish. Knowledge truly is the key to success. 

Surround yourself with people who support your goals, not demean them. 

Although your own feelings and opinions are most important when it comes to your goals, it doesn't hurt to have people in your life supporting your journey and your success as well. When you surround yourself with people who do nothing but demean your choices, it definitely makes things more difficult, whether we want it to or not. There is nothing fun about having to constantly defend what you're doing to better yourself. More so, when you surround yourself with people who share similar interests and goals, that positivity and comradery can be infectious. On a personal level, that is one of the things I love most about the training experience at ECF; the supportive community of people all working toward building and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Make realistic and attainable goals. 

If you are starting the new year with a plan to add in daily work-outs or adjust your daily nutrition, recognize where your starting point is and seek help to understand what you need to maintain what you have set for yourself. Think "SMART": 

  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable).
  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
  • Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).

The more thought you put toward your goals, the more likely you are to work harder to achieve them. 

Let your individual progress be your motivation.

Every single journey, especially in healthier living, is unique. Some people will achieve a goal weight faster than others. Some people will stick to a regimen with 100% accuracy and see small changes in weight or appearance, while others will stray from their plan more often than not and still manage to make more progress than you. It can be frustrating, but guess what? It all comes back to the age old saying... "Success is a marathon, not a sprint". You may not see the changes you are looking for right away, but they will come with time and consistency. There is a reason that individuals have a tendency to throw in the towel after a couple of weeks into a new fitness or healthy eating regimen. Making changes to what you are used to doing, physically and mentally, can be difficult to maintain over long periods of time.... the key is to remain focused on your end goal and reflect on the positive changes that you have noticed through your journey.

Be your own biggest cheerleader, not your biggest enemy.

You are incredible and deserve a pat on then back for making an attempt to better yourself. So what if you fall off of the wagon and have a moment of weakness that turns into skipping the gym one morning or eating a brownie for breakfast? That doesn't mean you failed... it means your human. Instead of using that as an excuse to throw in the towel completely, use it as a means to get yourself back to the routine you've been working so hard to maintain. One bad day is only one bad day.... you have the power to keep it one bad day and not an opportunity to fall back into old habits. Guess what? It all starts with self-love and knowing you have the ability to get back on track.

Here's to a successful and positive 2018 for each and every one of you!