MIRKA LOISELLE/THE VARSITY

With everything feeling fresh and new with the start of the new year, many people around the world will be practicing the long-time tradition of making a New Year’s resolution.

Most of the time, such promises or goals are positive, and common ones often revolve around school — such as finishing a degree or getting better grades — saving money or spending less on superfluous causes, wanting to be more social, getting a better or a first job, or improving upon romantic prospects.

Some of the most common New Year’s resolutions are related to health and fitness, including gaining muscle definition, toning your body, eating healthier, or becoming an athlete.

Keeping a New Year’s resolutions is a great thing to strive for in theory but, the sad truth is that many people often fail to stick to them. This happens for a number of reasons, such as self-doubt, a lack of motivation, or because they had set the proverbial bar unreasonably high.

A failed New Year’s resolution is especially likely in the case of health-related goals.

The question then becomes: how does one stick to a New Year’s resolution? Here’s a guide on how to stay motivated to accomplish your New Year’s fitness goals.

Keep it fun

No one wants to do something that isn’t fun. Therefore, if you think of your health-related resolution along the lines of “I have to do this,” rather than “I want to do this,” odds are you will give up and throw down the towel.

However, a practical way to stick to your resolution is simple: keep it fun! This can be done in many easy ways. For example, try to focus on exercises that you enjoy doing during your workout session, and don’t be afraid to change up your routine. You can also try to cook healthy — but delicious — new recipes if your New Year’s resolution is to eat healthier.

Make sure that there is no going back

The human mind can be very clever at times. It’s great at finding loopholes or ‘back doors’ in order to get out of agreements, promises, or even New Year’s resolutions.

Familiar excuses related to fitness-oriented New Year’s resolutions include — but are in no way limited to — “I’m too tired,” “I’m too busy,” and “I don’t have the money.” Luckily, there are simple solutions that can help you successfully lock up this back door and throw away the key.

One thing you can do is invest in a gym membership, which will force you to stick to your regularly timed gym sessions so that you don’t waste your hard-earned paycheck.

Additionally, a workout buddy who shares the same goals could also be a great way to stick to a fitness goal. Having a partner allows one athlete to encourage the other one by making sure that each person in the relationship attends the regularly-planned workout schedule and doesn’t let the other one down.

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