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New year, new you, right? That’s what they say, but it’s easier said than done. People struggle to keep up with their New Year’s Resolutions because they try to go too hard too fast. There’s no slowly working towards developing a new habit. It’s just diving head-on, and unfortunately, many people fail to maintain their New Year’s Resolutions, especially when it comes to exercise. We want to make sure that doesn’t happen to you.
You know you need to start living a healthier lifestyle, whatever that means to you. It could be going to the gym, eating healthier, getting outside more, etc. You know you need to do it, so you decide to make a New Year’s Resolution to exercise five days a week. You wait until January 1 to start. You’re super motivated to start living your best life as you make it through the holidays. January 1 comes along, and you get to the gym. A week or two later, you’re still exercising regularly, but you’re starting to feel burned out already.
Why? You went from zero days of exercise to trying to do five. Your body and mindset aren’t equipped to go from one extreme to another. Your body is sore and tired. Your mind is trying to cope with the obligation and expectation to push yourself harder than you’re used to. You’re setting yourself up for failure.
Don’t get us wrong. We LOVE that exercise is one of your goals for the new year. We encourage everyone to live an active lifestyle. However, we want to make sure you’re set up for success! Here’s how you can do that.
If we’re using the exercise example, start with a goal of exercising two days a week. Once you’ve mastered that, go three days a week, and so on. This applies to your exercise routine too. If you aren’t used to running, don’t try to run six miles the first time you go to the gym. Everything surrounding exercise is about starting small and building up to where you want to be.
Don’t be hard on yourself when you don’t hit your exercise goal for the week. Things come up, and life happens. The important thing is to start fresh again next week. Don’t find yourself waiting for the new year to come around to create a new goal for yourself.
It takes 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic. That’s over two months of consistently exercising two days a week before moving on to three days a week. It takes time to develop new habits. You aren’t going to be a brand new person on February 1. But you will be a year later if you have patience with yourself and stay consistent.
You don’t have to dive straight into a new habit. Starting small is okay, and in fact, it’s encouraged! Creating small, achievable goals for yourself is how you’ll start to see real changes. You won’t get discouraged when you can’t commit to five days a week of exercise right off the bat. You’ll celebrate the small wins, like waking up early twice a week to exercise.
Yes, exercise can be fun! Experiment and try new things until you find something you like. If you don’t like the gym, try riding a bike or running outside. You know what we say, more miles, more smiles!
We know you can do it! If you find yourself getting burned out and discouraged when it comes to exercise, try these 7 tips to get over an exercise rut. We’ll also be scheduling social bike rides in 2022. If you’d like to stay informed when these are scheduled, signup for our newsletter.