A survey has been conducted by Forbes to calculate how long New Year’s resolutions last among people….

53% of people gave up within 3 months, and only 1% made it to the full 12 months.

It’s safe to say there is a problem in how we approach goal-setting, and since “improve fitness” was the most common resolution, we have to change how we approach exercising in 2024 to stick to our objectives.

But how could one do that?

Make It Your Identity…Not Just A Phase

As we all know, starting a habit is easy, it’s keeping it up that gets tricky. 

This is because most people (myself included) tend to establish a habit to remove an unpleasant feeling.

“I want to lose weight” translates to an individual wanting to remove that unpleasant feeling of being overweight, and therefore wants to take action.

This is a good way to approach exercise, but there are many downfalls to this method: What if you lose weight, would you stop exercising then? Or “I lost weight for 2 weeks in a row, I’ll take this week off”.

A better way to rewire your brain to stick to exercising is a concept introduced by James Clear in his book Atomic Habits. He stated that changing how you think about the habit and making it part of your identity increases the chances that it sticks around.

For example: “I want to lose weight” could become “I’m a fit person” or “I’m an active person”. 

My personal example for this year was to start taking ice baths every day. I told myself “I am someone who takes care of his mind and body”, and it’s a habit that is still going strong to this day!

By thinking like this, you change how you view yourself and give more importance to the habits, simply because you are now personally connected to them.

Get Familiar With The 4 Phases Of The Journey

Alex Hormozi, a famous internet personality and YouTuber, talked about 4 stages each individual goes through when indulging in a new activity:

Uninformed Optimism. The part where you get that surge of motivation and you are ready to dive head first into your new fitness habit.

Informed Pessimism. Slowly, you realize that it’s not as easy and rewarding as you first thought. This is the part where you realize what it’s going to take.

Crisis Of Meaning. The make-or-break phase, where you either quit and tell yourself “This isn’t what I signed up for”. You question everything, and you fall out of your comfort zone.

Informed Optimism. Few people get to this stage. This is where you decide to rewire your brain and change how you approach the new habit. You get excited again for the journey, but you are now informed!

Knowing these steps is important because you get familiar with your feelings, and take more control of yourself.

Track Everything (And Hold Yourself Accountable)

In 2024, technology continues to play a significant role in shaping our fitness journeys. 

Leverage the power of fitness trackers, apps, and smart devices to monitor your progress. 

While tracking is the best way to monitor your progress, it also is a great way to get satisfied with your results, and this is because you can see every win.

Imagine a week where you went 3 times to the gym (for the first time)…I promise you that you will feel on top of the world!

Track everything!!! The number of times you exercise, your repetitions, your sets, your weight,  your weight limits, your BPM while running, etc.. There are many self-improvement apps at our disposal, use them.

Put Yourself In The Best Conditions To Succeed

Our environment shapes our behaviors, there is no cheat code to it.

Our lifestyle, our schedule, our entourage, our mental health, and everything that surrounds us dictate how we act on a daily basis.

Putting your mind and body in a good space is key to you reaching your resolutions. Don’t be afraid to redesign your life and adjust yourself to get a workout.

If you get tired in the evening, try to exercise in the morning. Prioritize a workout over going out with your friends (Going out after exercising is a great feeling, for those who didn’t know).

And finally, the most daunting subject in the fitness world is paying attention to what you eat. A healthy eating habit goes hand in hand with exercising…they boost each other.

Notice how I didn’t say diet, but healthy eating habits. Switch to whole foods, get your macros in, and sub in some superfoods or super-drinks…there are many ways to stay fit and hydrated.

You don’t have to track every calorie you eat or drink…this isn’t a convenient way of life. 

The saying goes: ‘’the best workout is the one you stick to”, this applies to eating habits as well!

Keep Adjusting

One thing about building a habit is that it requires building. Exercising is a pretty major change in one’s life, and the individual has to adapt to it.

Most fitness habits fall apart because they don’t get adjusted.

There are going to be moments where you won’t be able to work out, or the workouts won’t feel as productive, or you feel you haven’t made progress…

These moments are normal. It’s important to recognize when these moments happen and tell yourself it’s temporary.

Falling short is expected, and not a major problem. The best way to approach this problem is to simply adjust. If one type of exercise isn’t working for you, change it.

There are many ways to reach a goal, you just have to find yours…whether it’s getting stronger through powerlifting, swimming or cycling for cardio, or even practicing jiu-jitsu for weight loss.

Trial and error is your best friend on this journey. Try new things you see online, copy someone’s habits, and stop doing exercise that hurts too much. 

It’s supposed to be hard, but not unbearable…Once your habit is shaped and it fits your life like a puzzle, it will all pay off.

Ask For Help…It’s Your Right One of the worst feelings out there is working so hard on something, and seeing it going to waste.  Asking for help, especially in the fitness community, is…expected. Nobody figures it out on their own. Ask for an opinion on which exercises to do, the proper form, and what to eat to support your journey. Help can also be in the form of a training partner. The benefits of a fitness partner-in-crime are endless, from motivating each other, holding ourselves accountable, spotting your form, correcting each other, you name it. However, it’s important to not rely on a training partner. This is because your schedule could interfere, and you end up missing some sessions for a reason out of your control. Instead, what I do is set a schedule for myself where my partner is available, and if he/she doesn’t show up, I could still do a solo session. Go The Extra Mile (Smarter, Not Harder)

I suggest going the extra mile to ensure you keep yourself on track and get excited about your progress.

But how can you go the extra mile without burning out? 

This is the tricky part…Less is more in fitness, and you have to manage yourself and listen to your body.

Going the extra mile can mean recovering your body by going into a sauna after a workout, for example. Or hire a personal trainer for more support. Or reading and informing yourself about the best practices. 

Remember, we’re in 2024, resources are limitless, and you are one article away from reaching your goals!

Final Thoughts

Setting resolutions is easy, it’s respecting them that’s hard. Changing our approach is crucial to reaching a successful year in fitness.

And this approach is not only limited to fitness, it can translate to every other area of life.

If you have a habit that you would like to keep up but are struggling to do, now you know that is something you can work on…and that starts with rewiring the brain.

Rayen Monzer is a soccer player and passionate health writer who aims to inspire people to live their best lives physically, mentally, and spiritually. He is the owner of Ray’s Lifestyle Field, a blog about improving one’s health through physical exercise and activities.

(This article was reviewed by psychologist Fouad Monzer)

The post How To Approach Exercise in 2024 appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

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