Health & Fitness
How to Measure Your Progress with Your New Year’s Resolution
January was a glorious time. You woke up January 1 with a newfound passion and some serious goals. You were determined to get that six pack or pack on 10 pounds of muscle. Like most guys, you sped out of the gate at full speed. You worked out five days a week for two hours a day. But by January’s end, you cut back on your frequency and justified skipping a day here and there. Now it’s March and you’re not where you wanted to be. It’s time to check in on your New Year’s resolution and figure out a game plan to be successful. The year is far from over, and there’s still time to make 2017 count. Reassess Your Goals You’ve already assessed your results and determined you haven’t succeeded. But instead of beating yourself up, you should reassess your goals. Maybe it wasn’t realistic to have a six pack by March. Or maybe that goal wasn’t specific enough. It’s time to rip up those old goals and get more strategic. If you have aesthetic goals, perhaps your target should focus on body fat percentage. Let’s say your new goal is to get down to 10% body fat (specific goal) and you want to do in that 6 months (more realistic time frame). Once you have more specific and realistic goals, create smaller benchmarks to keep yourself motivated along the way. For example, measure yourself every 2 weeks and reward yourself with a cheat meal when you drop a percentage point. Hold Yourself Accountable Now, your goals are more clearly defined and grounded in reality. But you still need a way to hold yourself accountable. Create a checklist or use a calorie tracking app to log your food. Find some type of daily activity where you’re tracking your progress. This way, you’re keeping your goals front of mind each day and you can physically see your results as they’re happening. Don’t Give Up Just because you missed your original goal doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It just means you weren’t focused on the right thing. This time around, you’ve got your head in the right place. Plus, it’s important to remember that success (especially fitness success) isn’t a linear road. There are curves and plateaus that everyone hits. The true success comes in how you deal with them. Find a Partner Sometimes working by yourself isn’t the right thing. You may need someone else to help you stay on track. A great friend with similar goals could inspire you. Or a nutritionist or physical trainer could be the kick in the butt you need to push through. When someone else is involved, you have a small team rooting for you and making you work when you want to give up. At this point in your resolution, it could be time to bring in reinforcement. It’s easy to look at your New Year’s resolution and call yourself a failure, but that’s the wrong approach. If you’re not on track, simply switch your plan of attack and get back on the road to success.