Today’s blog post is from Paige Johnson, Personal Trainer at Learnfit.org

2017 is well underway — and although many of us began the year with the best of intentions, we may have already all but abandoned our New Year’s Resolutions.

New Year’s Resolutions are fun to make but are not always easy to keep. It’s no wonder that only about 8 percent of people who make resolutions actually find success with them. The new year arrives and we start thinking about how this could be the year we focus on fitness. Before you know it resolutions are made and we hope we can make it happen, even though we failed to follow through in the past.

It is possible to achieve your health and fitness goals and stay on track for good. You might have to change your perspective and priorities first. Most people focus on losing weight or looking a certain way. Superficial goals will not keep you going long term. You have to be determined to get healthier and fit because it is good for your body and mind. Weight loss and muscle tone will naturally come if you continue to seek a healthier body and lifestyle.

And if you’ve already thrown in the towel on your resolution and are looking to get back on track, don’t sweat it! Forgive yourself for your missteps, reevaluate and perhaps even adjust your goals, maintain a positive outlook on the future, and try the following tips during your next attempt. Before you know it, you’ll be back on the path to success.

Ease into your exercise routine if you have been out of the loop or are new to working out. Schedule some specific times to workout during the week and try not to skip them. Work up to going at least 3 times per week. Stick to low to moderate workouts until you feel stronger and more confident in what you are doing.

Find the type of exercise routine that you can tolerate or even love. It might take a bit of experimenting at different gyms, classes, or sports until you find the right ones. You may like indoor rock climbing and boxing, so you can do both or switch it up when you get bored with one of them. If you try something and hate it, don’t feel bad about taking it off your list. You are more likely to keep up a workout program if you actually enjoy it.

Think of some realistic goals that you can reach in a short amount of time by getting active, like running a 5K or losing 5 pounds. Short term goals that are within reach can boost confidence and keep you going to the next goal once you reach them. Reward yourself when you hit these milestones by getting a new piece of workout gear, then make a new goal to strive for.

Commit to staying active even when it’s difficult or your schedule gets crazy. You can plan for situations that could threaten your active lifestyle, like work trips, holidays, and vacations. Getting even a small workout in once in awhile when you are out of town or your schedule is disrupted can keep you from getting derailed. Mini workouts are better than none at all.

Adopting healthier meal choices can be difficult. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to completely overhaul your diet immediately. Introduce healthier choices gradually so you can get used to eating more fruits and vegetables without getting frustrated or hungry. Over time you can start to limit sugar and other junk food as you learn to make healthier meals that you enjoy.

When you need to slow down or get injured, you can still find ways to exercise and be healthy. Swimming or pool workouts are easy on your joints and can be done by almost anyone. And when you are ready, you can easily go back to your previous workout program. Staying healthy and fit is a way of life and if you treat it as such, keeping your new year’s resolution will not be that hard after all.

About the author: Paige Johnson considers herself to be a fitness nerd. She has a great love for strength training. In addition to weight-lifting, she is a yoga enthusiast and avid cyclist.

Photo credit: Photo via Pixabay by Skeeze