Whether you’re working on your New Year’s resolutions or have been putting your health and fitness plans into action for some time, how do you keep that momentum going? Our goal is to help you maintain this motivation well into the year. In fact, our goal is to help you make health and fitness a lifestyle.
When you think of your goals as a journey rather than a destination, they’re more likely to become long-term. And that’s what you want, isn’t it? To maintain your goals indefinitely and feel good physically, mentally, and emotionally each and every day? In fact, focusing on an end result can limit your success. It’s actually one of the reasons why nearly 90% of resolutions aren’t achieved. So, we’re here to help set you up for (long-term) success and teach you how to make fitness a lifestyle.
Read on to learn how to sustain your new healthy habits, push past your barriers, and lead your happiest, healthiest life.
Top Tips to Make Health & Fitness a Lifestyle
Define Your Why
You’ve set your resolutions, and you’re working toward your goals, and that’s amazing! But ask yourself why. Why do you want to achieve your goals? What is your purpose? Why is this important to you? Maybe you want to run a marathon, reduce your sugar intake, or add more plant-based foods to your diet — but why? And how will you get there? Getting clear on your purpose and setting specific goals is linked to greater success, performance, and achievements.
A great way to attain your health goals and make fitness a lifestyle is by setting “SMART” goals, that is, goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timed.
Specific: What is your goal, and what will achieving your goal entail?
Measurable: How will you measure your progress?
Attainable/achievable: Is it realistic? It should be challenging but within your capabilities!
Relevant: Why did you choose this goal? Does it align with your values and lifestyle?
Timely: How long will it take you to achieve this goal? Is this a realistic time frame?
RELATED: How to Set Fitness Goals That Stick
Repeat Small Habits Daily
No matter if you’ve reached your goal or are still working toward it, continue taking small daily actions that align with your overarching goals. The micro-habits you complete daily (like drinking a glass of water upon waking, meal prepping your breakfast the night before, or winding down your day with meditation) are the habits that set you up for long-term success. We have to get comfortable with repeating tasks that may not result in immediate rewards. Sure, you may feel more accomplished walking 10 miles versus walking 10 minutes, but which habit will you be able to sustain long-term? Start small, stay consistent, and then continue building from there!
Here are some small daily habits to consider:
- Move daily, even if it’s short and sweet! This could be a quick HIIT workout, parking further away from your destination, or walking your dog around the block
- Carry a water bottle with you and sip throughout the day
- Do something mindful every day (such as meditation, breathwork, journaling, or yoga) to lessen stress and boost mental health
- Eat the rainbow by filling your plate with as many colors (i.e., various fruits and veggies) per day as possible
Call On Healthy Swaps
Rather than depriving yourself of the foods you love, call on healthy swaps and find ways to make your favorite foods healthier. By honoring your cravings in a healthy way, you’re more likely to stay on track with your goals and sustain healthy eating habits long-term.
Here are some healthy swaps to consider:
Soda Swaps: Coconut water, seltzer, kombucha, or cold-pressed juice are great alternatives!
Dairy Creamer Swaps: Make a homemade dairy-free cashew or coconut milk creamer, or opt for an unsweetened dairy-free store-bought alternative
Energy Drink Swaps: Try a matcha latte, oolong tea, or black tea
Chips & Crackers: Make veggie chips (like kale or beet chips) or roasted chickpeas, or purchase a healthy store-bought cracker alternative made with nuts and seeds
Pizza: Make healthy homemade pizza with cauliflower or almond crust, or get creative with a mushroom or flatbread base!
Pasta: Try zoodles or spaghetti squash for a plant-based option, or opt for store-bought pasta made with chickpeas or lentils for a healthy protein boost
Milk Chocolate: Try cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder, or healthy store-bought paleo chocolate like Hu Kitchen
Granola Bars: Make your own energy bites or protein balls made with things like oats, dates, and nut butter
Cookies (or cookie dough!): Make raw vegan cookie dough balls made with a protein-rich peanut butter and chickpea base.
RELATED: 23 Easy Swaps For All of Your Favorite Foods
Pivot When Necessary & Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
Life is full of setbacks, roadblocks, and challenges. Be adaptable, and don’t be too hard on yourself! If you skipped a workout, overindulged in dessert, or fell off the bandwagon, that’s okay. It happens to the best of us! Rather than give up on your goals or get down on yourself, use it as a learning experience and continue on.
And remember: we can’t always control our circumstances, and we’re always changing. Maybe it means adjusting your goals to fit your current situation or circumstance. If you’re on a work trip with no access to a gym, maybe you go for a walk or do a FitOn workout in your hotel room. If you get injured or sick, maybe you adjust your time frame or shift your goals to focus on nourishing your body or boosting your immune system. If you’re struggling to stay consistent with your goals, maybe they’re too far-reaching for where you’re at now — set mini goals to help you get there!
There’s no black-or-white way to make health and fitness a lifestyle. It’s about finding what works for you in a way that’s attainable and sustainable.
Get More Sleep
Think about your health and fitness goals. Do you want to lose weight? Build lean muscle? Boost your energy? Improve your brain health? Regulate your hormones? Boost your metabolism? Eat healthier foods? All of these very different goals have one thing in common: sleep! Whether it’s metabolic and cardiovascular health or digestive function, sleep is a prime player in nearly all processes. If you’re short on sleep, you’re hindering your ability to achieve or succeed at your goals. If you really want to make health and fitness part of your daily lifestyle in 2023, start with sleep!
Don’t know where to begin? Try our 14-Day Better Sleep Challenge!
Know Your Roadblocks
If you never have time for breakfast and know you’re going to order the sugar-filled latte and pastry at the drive-through, plan ahead and meal prep! If walking into your kitchen means opening your fridge and grabbing a snack (even after you just ate), make a plan to replace this habit! Knowing your roadblocks—– whether it’s skipping your morning workouts or snacking when you’re bored — can help you sustain healthy habits and avoid or overcome hurdles.
Make a list of all the things you struggle with or areas where you need support. Then, write down what it will take to overcome these roadblocks or healthy habits you can replace them with!
Surround Yourself with Support & Inspiration
If you want to be successful, surround yourself with people and things that will support you and your goals. Maybe you find people that have similar goals or ambitions as you, listen to an inspiring podcast, fill your Instagram feed with positive sources of motivation (and unfollow anyone who makes you feel less than), or make a vision board. The key is to find outside sources of inspiration and motivation that keep you pushing towards your goals!
Find Ways to Stay Accountable
If you want to make health and fitness a lifestyle in 2023, find ways to stay accountable with your goals. Even the most driven, successful people struggle to stay motivated — don’t get down on yourself! To keep the momentum going, call on internal and external support — a little accountability goes a long way!
Here are some ideas, based on different goals:
Fitness Goals: Find a workout buddy, join a FitOn challenge, get your co-workers involved, sign up or schedule your workouts in advance.
Nutrition Goals: make a new healthy recipe with your kiddos once per week, plan a day to meal prep or grocery shop, tell others about your goals.
Mental Health Goals: Schedule a therapy session, plan a walk with your partner or friend, read, or listen to a podcast.
Self-Care Goals: Block off a time in your calendar, invite a friend to join you for coffee, book an acupuncture treatment or massage.
And Remember: Do it for YOU
Want to make your 2023 health and fitness goals stick? Do it for yourself! Remember, this is YOUR journey. Avoid comparing yourself to others’ progress or goals — no two people are the same! The key to making health and fitness a daily lifestyle is finding fun and effective healthy habits that work for you and your goals. Come back to these health hacks if you’re feeling stuck, and remember, it’s a journey! Things might shift or challenge you, but try to stay consistent. Seek support when you need it, be kind to yourself, and have fun with it!