Setting New Fitness Goals For 2015

Happy New Year, JoyRiders!  A new year is the perfect opportunity to renew your fitness goals and pledge to make a fresh start.  Out with the old bad habits or excuses for not working out -- and in with a new, positive outlook and a renewed commitment to becoming healthier, stronger and more fit.

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You’re ready to make a change, but how do you start setting fitness goals that are actually do-able? Setting goals and meeting them requires a strategy. Here are some of our tips at JoyRide:

1. Make a list. It’s important to first write down everything you want to accomplish, whether it’s on a Post-it, in your phone or as a Facebook manifesto. Next, break it down further by assessing which are short-term goals and long-term goals.  

2. Set one goal at a time: I usually have a hard time narrowing down my lengthy list of self-improvement resolutions and goals: increasing my patience level, improving attention to detail, being present, understanding fantasy football and trying golf.  I am self aware enough to know that if I tried to tackle too many of these goals at once, I would rapidly become overwhelmed and likely throw in the towel. But, ask me to pick one goal, such as taking a deep breath to improve my patience level, and it seems much more do-able.

3. Break it down into bite-sized chunks. Saying you want to work out six days a week seems lofty if you currently only work out six times a month.  Instead, try setting a short-term goal of adding one more workout a week to your schedule.  Or, try to commit to taking an indoor cycling class every Monday. Once it becomes a habit, you’ll start looking forward to that class and you’ll miss the energy boost when you can’t go.

After you’ve made that Monday class a habit, try to add another workout to your schedule, like a JoyCircuit or Pilates class. Once you’ve built up your regime gradually, it becomes part of your every day routine -- and hopefully a lifestyle.

4. Commit publicly:  Announce your goal(s) to your friends and family.  Sharing your goals and resolutions makes you accountable and helps keep you motivated to stay the course. No one likes to quit in front of an audience.  Spread the word.

5. Buddy Up. Talk to friends and see if they have similar fitness goals. Make a plan together!  Knowing you’re meeting someone at a cycling class (or even for that inaugural Tabata attempt) is the best motivation and keeps you accountable. You don’t want to let her/him down if you don’t show!  [Note: look out for our new Buddy rides in Darien!]

6. Try a new class or cross-train.  You’re addicted to your biweekly cycling class, but you’re a little nervous to kick it up a notch with Tabata or Interval + Endurance.   You’ve heard that high intensity interval training is an excellent way to burn fat and torch calories, but let’s face it: you’ve seen those sweat-drenched riders leaving class gasping for breath and you’re not sure if you can hack it.  Yes, you can!  The only way to make real progress is to reach outside your comfort zone.  After that first new class, you’ll feel stronger physically, and mentally, you’ll be able to tackle that next challenge with more confidence.

Cross-training is also crucial for your overall fitness and reaching your goals. Whether you’re looking to increase muscle strength or shed a few holiday pounds, strength training is a key element to toning and/or weight loss. The more lean muscle you have, the faster your metabolism is and the more calories you burn all day long.  So, add in a circuit or Pilates class to your cycling routine, and you may see results even quicker.  [Read more about the importance of cross-training here: http://bitly.com/1xuvNww.]

7. Put your money where your mouth is.   With a new pair of cycle shoes or pack of classes, you'll be more inclined to show up and less inclined to see that money go to waste.

8. Think about the benefits, not the difficulties.  A common problem we sometimes have is thinking about how hard something is.  An indoor cycling class is so difficult! I am not in good enough shape to take an Interval + Endurance ride! Instead of thinking about how hard it is, think about what you will get out of it: lose weight, build confidence, feel great, get stronger, find fortune, and fame, etc.  Congratulate yourself on small successes and stay positive.

9. Do your personal best: Whatever your 100 percent looks like, give it. It feels great to find your personal best. Whether you are painting a landscape, running a race, playing an instrument, or completing your first indoor cycling class without turning green, do it with gusto and give it all of you've got.

10. Don't sweat the slip-ups: It will happen. Rome wasn’t built in a day!  The good news is every moment is a chance to re-set. If you fall back, pick yourself up and get right back in the saddle.  Don’t dwell, move forward and save your sweat for the studio.

No matter whatsuccess is earned. There are no shortcuts to being the best you can be. No one is born successful, even if you have a natural ability. Put forth the effort, add in a positive outlook, and you will feel stronger, healthier to confidently reach your goals. 

Start today and create healthy habits for the new year!  Book your JoyRide here: joyridestudio.com