Want to crush your resolutions? These expert tips from Self are what you need.
Resolutions are tricky. If we can quote Taylor Swift for a moment, they are kind of like a "nightmare dressed like a daydream." That's because we set them when enthusiasm, motivation and excitement levels are at an all-time high. And after a few days of vacation it's easy to forget the demanding schedule of real life. So come that #FirstMonday back at work, the commitments we eagerly made can fall by the wayside. It's true, even the super motivated (you!) can get derailed, so we asked top trainers to share their favorite tips for ultimate resolution success.
Think Like An Athlete
"Focus only on improving performance, strength, speed and consistency this year. Take the emphasis off the aesthetic results, and put it in becoming the best athlete you can become. Your body will change so much faster!" – Ashley Borden, celebrity trainer
Make Yourself Three Promises
"Promise to do resistance training three times per week even if you have to skip cardio to honor that–you'll thank me next January. Promise to eat your protein first at lunch. That way you'll make sure to get it in and by being more full, you'll eat less complex carbohydrates at that meal. And, promise to end your cardio sessions with three, 15-second, all-out bursts with 30 seconds of rest in between. You can do more but promise to do at least three. This is a great way to stoke your metabolic fire and keep you lean." – Gunnar Peterson, celebrity trainer
Imagine You Are On A Deserted Island . . .
"Do what you love! If you're not a runner or a cyclist, don't force yourself. If you feel unstoppable on the dance floor, dance! If feel like a kid when you're in the pool, swim more! The exercise that burns the most calories is the workout that you can see yourself doing daily." – Sadie Kurzban, founder/CEO of 305 Fitness
Use Power Words
"Saying 'I can't eat that' is restrictive, while saying 'I don't eat that' is powerful and sets you up for success. And, work on one small goal at a time. Master it, and move forward." – Hannah Davis, celebrity trainer
Write It Down
"My family and I have a tradition that I love during New Years. We write one thing down we want to let go of and we burn that piece of paper in the fire. This year I wrote 'hiding behind my computer screen' because I want to focus on direct communication. On another piece of paper we write one thing down we want to cultivate for the year. This piece of paper lives on my bathroom vanity where I will see it each day. I like the idea of working towards something versus setting strict resolutions. On my vanity this year are two words: Pure and Chill. Pure to remind me to be honest with my intentions, and chill to remind me to cultivate a sense of calm in my life (and that includes not being stressed out if I fail to be pure!)." – Sadie Lincoln, founder of barre3
Strive For Action
"When it comes to sticking to your resolutions, research has shown that 'action-oriented' resolutions have a better chance of being upheld than 'idea-oriented.' For example, a resolution to lose weight is really only an idea with nothing actionable to do. However, sticking with that goal in mind, you could make the resolution action-oriented by saying 'get up 30 minutes earlier every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and do a 20-minute workout at home before work.' Now you have an actionable path on how to achieve your goal." – Brett Hoebel, celebrity trainer and creator of "20 Minute Body"
"First and foremost, make sure your resolutions are attainable! For example, if I know there are no means for me to practice swimming, I shouldn't set a resolution (i.e. do a triathlon) that requires those skills. Resolutions, like goals, should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic/relevant, time-bound). Secondly, and equally as important, is to make sure you actually care about the fitness resolutions you are setting. Don't set them simply because someone else is setting it. Create goals that mean something to you." – Chris and Heidi Powell, fitness trainers and hosts of ABC's "Extreme Weight Loss"
Find What Makes You Happy
"If your fitness routine isn't making you happy, change it. If you hate doing something, don't do it. There are a million ways to live an active lifestyle, so why not create one that thrills and fulfills you? I always tell my clients to approach movement with a grateful, open heart – in which case you'll always feel invigorated by your fitness regimen and never depleted." – Neghar Fonooni, fitness coach and creator of the Lean & Lovely Method
"Try not to over promise. Most people put too many things down in one big list of resolutions (lose weight, cut out sugar and alcohol, exercise every day, etc.), and it is impossible to accomplish all of them [at once]. Try to choose one very specific goal. For example instead of 'working out more,' try something like 'do three, 30-minute workouts per week.' Make your resolution easy to stick to so that you can achieve it, and maybe exceed it." – Anna Kaiser, celeb trainer (to A-Listers like Sofia Vergara) and founder of AKT InMotion
"Be patient. Be forgiving. Be grateful. You're human!" – Annie Mulgrew, program director, CityRow