With 2020 underway, people across the world have set out new goals as their New Year’s resolutions. It seems the most popular resolutions involve fitness and health.
According to a 2018 Forbes article, “Studies have shown that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them.”
What can people intending to make physical fitness a priority in their lives do to make their resolution a reality?
For Christi Enfantino, owner of Cold Storage CrossFit in Hollister, setting realistic fitness goals and establishing why you are starting your fitness journey are key factors to success.
“People need to establish their motivator or their ‘why’ when setting realistic fitness goals,” Enfantino said. “Your ‘why’ needs to come from deep inside and speak to your soul. Your ‘why’ needs to be tangible, measurable and observable.”
In addition, Stefani Gabriele, a fitness instructor at Gold’s Gym in Hollister for the last 16 years, said it’s important to remember the benefits that come from working out.
“Being an active person is one of the best stress relievers in the world,” Gabriele said. “Working out releases so many natural endorphins and brings signals to the brain to make us a happier person. Honestly, it’s like a natural therapy.”
Surrounding yourself with motivating people, such as a fitness instructor and/or friends in a fitness class, can help keep you going, Gabriele said.
“I try to be a good motivator. Of course I encourage people to attend my group fitness classes because I feel some people need a group to stay motivated.”
Enfantino said group workout settings can add an extra layer of accountability to fitness routines.
“Workout buddies and group classes are great for accountability,” she said. “Camaraderie is second to none when keeping things fun and challenging. Things like fitness apps that keep track of workouts and food journals can be great tools.”
Other common strategies for keeping fitness goals include finding an activity that you want to take part in, setting a designated time to work out, changing your perspective and/or eliminating negative self-talk that keeps you from starting.
“It doesn’t matter your age, it doesn’t matter your shape, it doesn’t matter your size. Being fit isn’t any of those things,” Gabriele said. “People should just get in there and do it because we all must start somewhere.”
Starting a fitness journey does not require joining a gym or spending large amounts of money. Walking a dog or taking up running around your neighborhood or at a public park in the community is free. There are workout videos on Youtube that can be done at home, and fitness apps available on smartphones and tablets.
But what happens if you hit a plateau, become too busy, or motivation seems to be fading?
To Enfantino and Gabriele, reflecting on why you started, as well as re-evaluating your goal and motivation, are essential.
“When things come to a stop or you have hit a plateau, you should ask yourself if it’s a ‘can’t do’ or ‘won’t do,’” said Enfantino. “If you come to the conclusion you can’t do this, then the goals you’ve set are too large. You may need to scale down.
“If the answer is ‘won’t do,’ then we are talking about motivation. When we have motivation issues we need to revisit that ‘why.’ And most likely we need a stronger motivator or reason to commit to something that doesn’t come easy. Starting and sticking to a fitness routine is a pretty big challenge so it needs a pretty big ‘why’ to keep the ball rolling.”
Said Gabriele: “We must try to remember that working out is a lifestyle and we must make it a habit. If we remember why we started, we won’t let life get in the way of our goals and we won’t stop. So repeat in your minds, ‘You got this’ and ‘Don’t stop, won’t stop!’”