Was one of your New Years resolutions to get fit? If so, you might be discovering that it's one of the hardest resolutions to keep (sorry!). It's usually easy to find motivation in the beginning, especially if you over-indulged during the holidays (who didn't?) and have some new curves to prove it. But staying on track in the long term is tough, and a regular fitness routine often falls by the wayside when the other priorities in life take precedence—like taking care of baby, for one.
So yes, it's hard—but definitely not impossible. These simple strategies will go a long way in helping you get—and stay—on track with your health and fitness goals this year:
1. Break down your goals. You might start off with a broad goal like "Get in shape" or "Lose my baby weight". From there you can get more specific, making the goals measurable, and break the larger goals down into smaller milestone goals. "Get in shape" may become "Walk (or run) a 5K race by the end of summer". "Lose my baby weight" may become "Lose 10 pounds by bikini season". To help keep on track well into the year, set realistic milestone goals for each of the first six months of the year. The first month, you may aim to walk 20 minutes a day and lose 2 pounds. Or set a related goal like "Try 5 new healthy recipes".
2. Write it down. Set your intention in ink so you can clearly define your goals and track your progress. You can do this with a goal board on a white board or a small chart taped to your bathroom mirror. Make motivational post-it notes to scatter around the house, car and office to help keep your goals fresh in your mind. It will help you remember to take the stairs and make you think twice before picking up a leftover Christmas cookie.
3. Look for tools. There are so many resources to help you on your path. Whatever your goal, there is probably an app for that (seriously!). Apps abound for everything from tracking nutritional intake to getting your on the way to a 5K. Use today's nifty technological tools to help track your progress and keep you motivated. If you like exercise classes but find that actually showing up is too difficult with your schedule, try an online fitness class or tune into your favorite YouTube fitness channel so you can workout in the comfort of your home, at a time that works for you.
4. Create a supportive network around you. Find a community or group, online or in-person, that is on a similar path as you are. You can meet and exercise with other moms in your area who are into fitness through meet-up groups or local gyms and studios. Connect with other moms all over the world through online communities, like our health and exercise community, to share your experiences. If you tell friends about your goals, they can encourage you along the way and congratulate you when you have achieved a milestone. Use social media to help build your network. Checking in with your network helps keep you accountable for your actions and helps you celebrate your progress.