Welcome to 2015! Now that we’ve tackled the strategies to making effective New Year’s resolutions, it’s time to focus in on keeping them.
Jessica Bashelor, owner of The Handle Bar, an indoor cycling studio with two locations in Boston, has five tips to help you stay on track with your fitness goals this year.
1. Take advantage of peer pressure. Instead of drinks with friends, Bashelor suggests planning a fitness date. “Plan at least one class a week with a friend and make a date of it,’’ she said. “Sure, one class a week isn’t going to work miracles, but that steady time slot will get you in the habit of a routine. Let’s face it; going with a friend will require your follow-through! It’s easy to flake on yourself, but harder to bail on a friend.’’
2. Reward your initiative and gear up. It’s a lot more fun to work out when you already feel good about yourself. “Treat yourself to a new pair of sneaks, cycling shoes, or a yoga mat,’’ said Bashelor. “The new gear will have you looking and feeling fresh, all of which are important ingredients for success when it comes to you and your body.’’
3. Make fitness a regular appointment. It’s amazing how powerful a schedule can be. “Booking your class a week in advance locks you in both mentally and financially. Write it on your planner. Do not cancel. Do not waste your hard-earned money,’’ said Bashelor, who says signing up in advance is even more important when gyms are crowded at the New Year. “At The Handle Bar, our classes often fill up. Signing up last minute and getting turned away is just another way to get out of a workout.’’
4. Introduce yourself to your instructor. If someone is expecting you, you’re way more likely to show up. “Let [the instructor] know that you plan to do big things for yourself this year. Share your goal…they would love to hear it!’’ said Bashelor. “Once you’ve put yourself out there, that instructor will not forget. Boom—you’ve got a personal reminder to stay on track and a new acquaintance.’’
5. Enlist yourself as your biggest champion. Supportive friends and coaches are important, but you have to do the work to create a healthy lifestyle. “Keep your eyes on the prize, but know that it’s your own two feet (one in front of the next) that will take you there,’’ said Bashelor. “Have the confidence in yourself that you can climb this mountain.’’