Just over a month ago people were making lists and creating ideas for goals and resolutions for 2017. Well here we are a little over a month into the New Year – a very popular time for people to hop off the New Year’s resolution train. So, this blog post is to inspire you to keep pushing and hold yourself accountable in order to accomplish your goals…especially the health and fitness related ones.

Have you noticed that your gym is becoming less and less crowded? That’s because those that were highly motivated at the beginning of the year are beginning to fall off. Here’s how you can stay focused to not fall into that trap.

1. Write down your workout schedule and stick to it

Don’t make fun of those people who purchase a planner to write down their schedule. That is me. Writing things like my workouts down help me plan my week, and know what I need to pack every day when I head to work. Seeing my workouts laid out week by week in my planner also help me look forward to rest days or days where I’m trying something new.

2. Every Sunday write down what you’ll have for dinner each night

So far for 2017 I’ve made this part of my Sunday evening routine. It has seriously helped so much with planning and has reduced the amount of times that my fiancé and I have just said screw it let’s go out to eat, which has helped our bodies and our wallets. We’ve even tried some new recipes in the process. Seriously, try it. You will be surprised at how disciplined you can stay at sticking to your diet plan by just planning out what you are going to have for dinner.

3. Switch up your workout routine

When planning your weekly workouts switch things up. If you know that one day you’re going to go super hard, plan on just stretching or doing yoga the next day. I’ve tried new things like kickboxing and aerial yoga so far this year and it’s really helped me stay focused and engaged because I’m doing something I’ve never done before.

4. Avoid burn out

Give yourself days off. Realistically workout out 6-7 days a week is only going to last so long before you’re totally burnt out. On days that I give myself off I make sure to take my dog to the park for a really long walk so that I’m still being active, just not in the gym.

5. Give yourself cheat days

Just like working out every day, eating like a saint every day is pretty unrealistic. Plan some cheat days in your schedule. I usually plan on one per week where I don’t keep track of what I eat – and that’s usually the day where I go out for lunch and dinner. Write it down on a calendar or in a planner so that you can see it and look forward to it! PS: I normally give myself the day after off of working out because chances are your body is going to feel sluggish.

6. Sign up for races

Races are a great way to hold yourself accountable. In your mind if you don’t train you know your performance on race day is going to suffer. So, sign up for something a few months in advance and then create a training plan to prepare for it. My goal this summer is to complete a mini triathlon.

7. Get outside if you can

It’s pretty cold outside where I live right now, but looking ahead at the forecast and planning an outdoor workout on nice days can seriously boost your mood. We’ve been fortunate to have some great weekend days so I make sure to schedule outdoor runs or hikes for those days. Give yourself the gift of the sun – especially in the winter.

8. Find a buddy

Staying accountable to your workout routine is so much easier if you have someone there with you. Find a buddy to help you train for your race or meet you at the gym after work. My sister and I have recently done some yoga classes together. It’s honestly so much harder to bail if you know someone else is counting on you.

Published by Laura C.