Setting (and Keeping) Fitness New Year’s Resolutions in the Time of a Pandemic
And as with previous years, we’re willing to bet that most of the resolutions this 2022 involves health and fitness. Getting fit is one of the most popular new year’s resolution. If you think about it, now is the perfect time to get into shape.
We’re still in a global health crisis, and so maintaining your health now is even more important than ever. Our physical and mental health is of utmost importance now. And one of the best ways to achieve this is through exercise.
The fact that you’re reading this now says a lot - you really want to make a real, lasting change to your life.
Maybe you worked out a bunch before, and you just stopped. Maybe your New Year’s Resolution is to get back into it. You’ve set your targets already, and maybe you’ve even bought some of our equipment so you’re already set up at home.
The really important thing is to stick to it. New Years resolutions are often so hard to keep. This is probably more true now in 2022. So here is our list of things you can do to make some changes that stick.
1. We’re living in a pandemic - any positive change makes a huge difference.
First of all, cut yourself some slack - you’ve lived through almost a year of a global pandemic. Be thankful that you are still safe and healthy, reading this, and is seriously looking for tips to make sure you keep this resolution.
You’ve done the first step actually. You’ve allowed yourself to actually have a New Year’s Resolution. This isn’t just another day, stuck in isolation. This is the new year, and it’s time to be hopeful and make changes and improve. What better way than to seriously consider your health and fitness?
The reality is that we’re still living in a time of the pandemic. Don’t wait for it to end - make a change, now.
Any positive change now makes a huge difference. There’s nothing wrong with considering just the short term - maybe you just want to have more socially distanced walks around your area, or maybe you’re curious about all this yoga stuff and you found a free 14 day trial.
Do it. Consider the short term. And as with any lasting change, aim for consistency. You’ll definitely feel better, and at the end of that short term resolution, maybe you’d have the drive to continue working out regularly until the end of the year.
2. Start small, and be specific
A great way to ensure that you make New Year’s Resolutions that actually stick is to set realistic and step by step goals. An example of a New Year’s Resolution that is doomed to fail is “to get fit”, or “work out more”.
Were you at zero physical activity during the pandemic? Maybe aim to do any physical activity at least every other day. Go for a walk, skip for just 5 minutes a day, or do 10 press ups when you wake up. Give it until the end of the month and see how you feel after - we’re willing to bet that you’ll feel great.
Used to working out at home already, and maybe the holidays made you stop? Aim to get back to your old routine when you started working out at home. The strength you’ve built up is there. You just need some help to get back into the rhythm.
It’s okay to start small. The key is to make your new year’s fitness goals clear and achievable. Set up milestones and check in with yourself whenever you reach them. You can always up the ante at anytime, but it’s better to really having a clear path towards your goals, instead of just resolving to “be fit” this year.
3. Accessibility is king
Okay, so you’ve started, and laid it out your plans step by step. What’s next?
A great tip to make a new year’s resolution achievable is to keep things accessible. One of the problems when getting into fitness is that for some people, it’s quite a hassle. Accessibility means excuses are eliminated, or at least kept at a minimum.
When you’re being specific about your resolution, you’ll soon figure out the options that you have. If you have a gym nearby, and they’re actually operating at a reduced capacity, then great.
However, not all are that lucky. Consider building your own home gym. Start with the basic stuff - the point is to make fitness accessible. It’s also for your peace of mind really, as you’re sure that your equipment is completely safe and sanitized.
For example, grab yourself a pair of dumbbells, an Olympic barbell, a bench press, and some bumper plates and you'll have a full gym at home which will last you forever!
Accessibility really is king. A lot of us are working from home - maybe having all the equipment you’d ever need right there will add to that motivation to stick to your fitness resolution. At the end of the day, fitness is a mindset - a way of changing bad habits to good ones. Don’t underestimate the power of accessibility as a form of motivation. I mean, it’s right there in front of you, why not just work out now?
4. Make it social - involve other people
2021 was a rough year. Many of us had to get used to the isolation, and that the only way to actually see and talk to people is to get on a video call. That’s just the way of life right now.
With all the social distancing that we've been doing, some have probably figured out that socializing in the “new normal” is difficult - but still necessary. We’re social beings, and we can’t live alone for too long.
A great tip when trying to keep a New Year’s Resolution you’ve set is to actually tell people about it. That way, you make it “more real” because it’s not just in your head. Post an Instagram story, or announce it in your close circle’s group chat. The point is that by declaring it, you’re adding a sort of social pressure on yourself to make good on that resolution.
Even better is to actually have someone to keep you in line and check if you’re sticking to your resolution. Think of a friend who’s also trying to get fit, and work together. Help each other keep each other’s resolutions. Get on a zoom call and workout together, or maybe just enroll in the same online classes. Or if they are nearby and the rules allow it, meet up with a friend and go on a run together.
We may not be able to see and support each other face to face, but the online space is quite powerful as well. Use that need for social connections to your advantage.
5. Failing doesn’t mean you have to wait for next year to start again
And finally, and not a lot of people usually say this, is that New Year’s Resolutions doesn’t have to be some one time thing. Some people think that if you break your New Year’s Resolution, then better luck next year. But fitness and choosing to be better is not just a start of the year thing.
There is always room for change. You just have to allow it to come. Look back at the year that was, and you’ll see how much you’ve grown because you were forced to change. Imagine changing for the better, not because you had to, but you choose to.
The power of the new year is that it is literally and symbolically a new beginning for every single human. It reminds us that we as a species have a huge capacity for change. But one of its downsides is that it only comes once a year, and we have a tendency to just put it off for next year.
The truth is, the perfect time for a resolution is right now. Even if you’re reading this in August. Now is the perfect time to resolve to make things better. Maybe you’ve failed with your fitness goals barely three weeks into the new year. That’s okay - allow yourself to start again. Recalibrate and strategize, but the important thing is to start again, and keep at it.
Hopefully these give you some inspiration to actually make a New Year’s Resolution to get fit, and stick with it. If you think about it, these tips apply not just for fitness, but other new year’s resolutions as well.
The important thing is that we press on, and strive to become better. Don’t let the pandemic be a deterrent for lasting change. It might be tougher now in the world we’re living in, but we all have the capacity to become better.
Have a better 2022, and keep safe and healthy!