Everyone does it, it’s become a bit of a tradition for many but a typical New Year’s resolution is to go to the gym or try some sort of dieting. But not everyone manages to stick to it, and so the same thing happens in the next year, and then it just turns into this endless cycle. So how can we improve our chances and motivate ourselves to keep fit this year? Here are some tips to hopefully help!

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Keep A Food Diary
You probably think you are eating healthy, but it’s not until you look at everything that you’re consuming, that you may realise there are a few things that might not be helping you get fit. Keeping a food diary is one way to help regulate the amount of food intake you have every day. Once you’ve done it for a week or two, you can access where the potential problem areas are and then work on cutting that food and drink out. It’s also handy to have to show your PT (personal trainer) in the gym or the health physician if you’re ever not feeling yourself.

There are certain foods that you should also stay away from like carbs, during the evening. You also want plenty of protein and high-energy foods going into your body as you start to exercise more.

Slowly Start Exercising
The last thing you want to do is run at full speed into a type of exercising that you hate. That big motivation you had when signing up for a sports team or a gym membership will end up disappearing very quickly if so. Firstly you want to pick an exercise that you at least to some degree, enjoy doing. Whether that’s a sport that involves playing with others, running on the treadmill or challenging your body with weight lift training. If you enjoy an exercise, do that instead of going for something that’s either been recommended to you or just because your friend is doing it.

And when you know that, start your exercise off slowly. Sometimes we have a habit to rush things, but this might make you want to give it up if it gets too much too soon. If you’re going to the gym, trying going once or twice and week and then build up each month or so. If it’s a sport, trying once a week and then involve yourself in competitions and games if that’s something they do, later down the line.

Try A Diet
Yes, most of them are fads, but it might be worth trying one or two out to see if it can give you those short-term goals that might enable you to keep fit from the results. The paleo diet is a good one because you’re not starving yourself or ingesting anything you wouldn’t normally eat. The diet relies on diverse proteins, fruits and veg, fish and healthy oils. There are other diets to consider, but one thing to avoid is any diets where you’re restricting your food intake. You may lose weight, to begin with, but it’s a struggle to maintain it, and you’ll end up putting it all back on very easily.

Set Specific Target Goals
Goals help to motivate yourself, whatever they’re used for. Whether it’s a career goal or a personal one, setting targets can help with working towards maintaining fitness. Have both short-term ones and long-term goals because the short-term goals will allow you to feel like you are making progress which all goes towards those big ones. It might be to do with losing a certain amount of weight or completing a number of classes. Tailor it to you and what you think is achievable.

Hire A PT
Sometimes, doing exercise on our own isn’t enough. We’re probably not hard enough on ourselves, and therefore it might be a good idea to hire a personal trainer at your local gym or to help with training at home or in the great outdoors. When picking a PT, you want to decide on the following:

How much can you afford? - Personal trainers aren’t cheap, and if you’re hiring one from a gym, you’ll need to pay for both your membership and for the time of the personal trainer. On average, one costs around $50 an hour so work out how much you can reasonably afford and set a budget.

What are your goals? - You want to pick a trainer who is going to help you achieve your goals, so if you want weight training, you might not want to go for someone who just focuses on cardio exercises. Make sure your requirements are in line with what the trainer specialises in else you might not get the results you wanted.

What’s your diary like? - It’s also handy to know if you have enough time for a personal trainer so look at your diary and see if it can squeeze in anywhere. You may have to make a few sacrifices in order to slot it in. The personal trainer may also be limited to the hours they do, so check it works for them too.

Give Yourself A Rest
If you’re constantly telling yourself you need to be up every morning, at the crack of dawn, chances are you’ll respond with ‘erm no thanks’. You need to give yourself a body a rest every now and again so you don’t burn yourself out or damage a muscle or joint. Have a rest day in between exercising so your body has a chance to recover and repair itself. You’ll also bounce back more motivated to hit the gym or activity when you’ve had a chance to relax.

It takes a lot of discipline to stick at exercising, but once you’ve got it into a rhythm, you’ll find it easier. It also makes a difference when you can start seeing the results of your training, so give yourself praise when you reach important milestones and don’t forget to treat yourself.