By Fred DeVito

It’s a new year, and now more than ever, you’re ready to conquer your fitness goals.

At the beginning of a new year, we’re usually pretty good at keeping up with our goals. Then, life interrupts – we make it to an occasional class, we fret over our loss of control, then we beat ourselves up over the entire ordeal.  This dynamic is called self-induced stress, and is a common pitfall that leads to low morale and poor self-esteem. How quickly we can go from being on top of our fitness routine to falling completely off the wagon!

Here are a few ways to put a halt to this negative behavioral pattern and get your fitness routine back on track (the healthy way):

  1. Be realistic with the number of classes per week that you can attend. If you set unachievable goals, your ship is sunk before it even leaves the dock!  If you can only get to class twice a week instead of the usual four times per week, then accept that and commit to it.
  2. Supplement your routine at home with either an online class, fitness app or whatever you can remember from your group class experience.
  3. Walk everywhere instead of driving whenever possible; walk briskly with purpose.
  4. Treat your dedicated scheduled classes as your most important appointment of the day. This one is for YOU so make it a priority and keep it sacred! You are a better parent, spouse, partner, employee and person when you take care of yourself and feel on top of your health.  Exercise gives you this benefit; it is one of your most important self-investments.
  5. Be proud of yourself when you actually MAKE IT to class.
  6. Be proud of yourself when you work as hard as you can in the class. This effort will change day to day depending on your rest, energy, and wellbeing. Recognize that doing your best is essential to seeing results.
  7. Avoid self-criticism. There is no such thing as perfection in exercise; we are human beings, and we all have limitations and frustrations.
  8. Choose to focus on gratitude and blessings instead of toxic thoughts. Show yourself some love!

Whatever you commit to in January will spring board you into the new year with a sense of control and purpose. But remember: you don’t need a new calendar page to make a new beginning. The real key to seeing results with your fitness program is consistency, perseverance and patience.  Whether you are good or bad at doing the exercises is irrelevant.

Lose your ego about it and just show up, and work hard, every class to see results because “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you”®- Fred DeVito