Celebrity fitness experts explain how to exercise more in 2020 — using Microsteps and sustainable behavior change.
As we approach the New Year, making resolutions is top of mind. Setting goals for exercise and movement is one of the most popular resolutions made in the U.S. According to a YouGov Onmibus survey, 59% of respondents had “exercise more” as their New Year’s goal. But while we all start out with the best of intentions, actually keeping those resolutions can present an insurmountable challenge, with most people giving up by mid-February. Only one in five Americans stuck to their 2018 resolutions — with only 6% of people reporting that they stuck to their resolution completely.
Thrive talked to the top fitness trainers across the country for their secrets to making sustainable, manageable changes to your life, and getting in more movement with smart, achievable Microsteps instead of grandiose resolutions. Here, they give you motivating tools and tricks to pave the way to a successful New Year.
“The reality is that it takes effort on a myriad of fronts to make the work associated with your goal far more manageable and achievable. The first step is to identify your motivation. As in, why is it you want to achieve this goal, and why are you choosing this resolution? How will your life improve if you stick with it? If you have this why, it allows you to tolerate the how — which is the work associated with achieving the goal. Plus, work that has a purpose becomes a passion. Work without purpose can just feel punishing — which is why so many people quit.
That said, having a plan that allows you to get real results that is also in line with who you are and what resources you have available to you is key. For example, if you pick a crazy strict diet, the chances of you sticking to it are slim. If you join a bootcamp gym, but you dread the hard workouts, you won’t want to go. So be sure you stick with the simple science of not overeating, choosing foods in their most whole and organic form when possible, and moving your body as often as possible. From there, pick the food you love, and the types of workouts you enjoy in order to help ensure your success. Even if the path takes a little longer, there’s nothing wrong with that. The key is progress: Every step in the right direction is exactly that — a step in the right direction.”
—Jillian Michaels, A.F.A.A., fitness expert, life coach, and founder of Jillian Michaels App
“Whether you are a person who makes completely fresh resolutions as 2020 approaches or not, looking back on your year with the intention of positively reframing or restructuring for the future is a great start. Think specifically about what aspects are already moving in the right direction and look for some simple ways to create continued forward momentum. A positive mindset is key to making resolutions stickier and suggests getting started with these simple tips!
Build on a solid foundation. Goals should be tiny, measurable, and attainable and are often “stickiest” when they build from an already positive place. For example, if you’re someone who does a great job of going to the gym at lunch, perhaps start also paying attention to how many times you get up from your desk in the afternoon. Tracking steps or time standing at your desk may seem very 2005, but you might be surprised by how much traction you gain on fitness or weight loss goals with more consistent daily movements.
Book your week. Take your goals 7 days at a time and treat you time toward your resolutions like meetings and appointments. Booking classes on the MINDBODY App is awesome because they add directly into your Outlook calendar. Many of my clients automatically schedule around them now without even thinking about it.
Be kind to yourself. If you’re starting small with your resolutions, they shouldn’t leave you overly sore, uncomfortable, or in pain in any way. A small goal is just 5-10 mins of increased activity. If you have been fairly sedentary, walking the stairs for 10 mins at lunch is a reasonable, actionable first step.”
–Kate Ligler, Wellness Specialist at MINDBODY
“Connecting to a deeper purpose captures the power and determination of our emotional body to see our goals through to fruition. For instance, if you want to lose weight to get healthy or build confidence, be specific about why, and what it will look like in your life. Will it affect your interactions, how you feel in your body, your confidence, how you move, how you see yourself, your health, or your ability to live long and appreciate life? Try to attach a feeling or picture to it in your mind — something simple that you can come back to quickly and often. Then, before you get out of bed each morning — or anytime you remember — take a minute to visualize what your day ahead would look like with that quality. For extra stamina, you can also post a reminder of that quality or picture somewhere you won’t miss it. For instance, if you really want to lose weight so you feel better and live longer, then post a picture of someone you love that you want to enjoy life with, as a symbol of the happiness it represents. Or if you want to get healthy to build the confidence to build a life you love, post a pic of something you might do or somewhere you might go in that life you want to build as the wallpaper on your phone.
Less is more: Start with just 10 minutes a day of movement you enjoy. The habits we stick with have the biggest impact on our long-term health, so start simple to create a lasting habit you can commit to. Also, if you find something you enjoy, you’ll be much more likely to stick to it then forcing yourself to do something you hate.”