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7 Powerful Tactics To Make (and Keep) Your Health & Fitness Goals

It’s that time of year that many people declare their ambitious goals and resolutions for the new year.

Unfortunately, while their intentions are admirable, most will fail.

In fact, only 8 percent of people actually keep their New Year’s resolutions, according to one commonly cited statistic.

There are many reasons people can’t stick to their resolutions, from setting too many of them to getting derailed by small failures.

In this brief article, I will teach you 7 tactics that are proven to help you climb into the prestigious 8 percent of successful resolutioners.

Tactic 1: Make Resolutions Manageable

Most people set themselves up for failure by doing too much too soon.

If you’ve never been to the gym before, then committing yourself to working out for 2 hours per day, 7 days a week will doom you to failure.

The key to sustainable change is to make small habits and grow them gradually. If you want to run a marathon, but have never run before, then you should start by simply walking a few miles per week, then graduate to jogging and (eventually) running.

Tactic 2: Write It and Measure It

All goals must be specific and measurable. As the quote goes, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

You need to figure out the exact steps to get from point A to point B in your journey to achieving your goals.

If your goal is “I want to lose weight,” think about how to make this more specific and measurable by bringing numeric benchmarks, time, and specific actions into the goal setting equation.

For example: “I want to lose 20 pounds of fat before May 1st, 2018 by eliminating processed foods from my diet and weightlifting at the gym 4 days per week, Monday through Thursday.”

Now THAT’S a specific goal.

Once you have your specific goal nailed down, you need to measure your progress toward achieving that goal.

If you are trying to lose fat, you MUST weigh yourself on a daily basis. Doing so is the only way you will know for certain whether your plan is succeeding.

If you are trying to build muscle and strength, you MUST track your progress in a workout journal. Here’s the simple workout journal that I use and recommend.

Tactic 3: Keep a Schedule

The most committed people go to the gym at the same time every day.

I go to the gym in the morning at 6:30 AM, Monday through Friday. And I see the same people there every day, putting in the work.

Occasionally, there’s a new face, but they don’t show up every day and after a few weeks they’re gone.

To make sure this isn’t you, sit down with your weekly schedule and build in an hour each day to hit the gym. On your rest days, you can use this hour to go for a bike ride, hike, or something else that gets you moving.

If you try to convince yourself you’ll fit in a workout sometime after that last meeting, after you finish studying for that upcoming exam, or once the kids go down for a nap, failure is certain.

Chances are a last-minute invitation will come along, weather will foil your plans, the kids won’t nap, or you just “won’t feel like it.”

Write your workout on your calendar, set up daycare, and rearrange things around this one hour as if it were any other important appointment you have to keep.

And once this time has been set in stone, you MUST maintain a non-compromising attitude about getting to the gym.

My plan is simple. I lift heavy weights 5 to 6 days per week and mostly in the 4-6 rep range.

  • Chest and calves on Monday.
  • Back and biceps on Tuesday.
  • Legs on Wednesday.
  • Shoulders and triceps on Thursday.
  • Legs on Friday.

I also eat a high protein whole food vegan diet. I plan my macros and meal prep accordingly.

So what’s your plan? You MUST have a plan with a schedule or you are destined for mediocre results if any at all.

Tactic 4: Get a Workout Partner

You need a workout partner. If you’re struggling with sticking to your diet or exercise routine, you can make it easier on yourself by joining forces with someone who is on the same path.

I HIGHLY suggest you find a committed workout partner, preferably someone who already lifts regularly and can teach you exercises. But be sure they know what they are doing!

If you are just getting started with weightlifting and don’t know someone who can lift with you and show you the ropes, you might consider hiring a personal trainer. Good personal trainers will give you an effective workout plan, show you the proper form for all the best exercises, push you in the gym, and make sure you stay accountable.

Tactic 5: Get an Accountability Partner

You also need an accountability partner. Consistency is key to your health and fitness goals. Countless studies show that having someone keep you accountable for getting to the gym will increase your adherence, which will increase your results.

There will always be 101 reasons to skip your workout, and the #1 reason people quit on their goals is that there are no real consequences for their inaction.

So who should you choose?

Choose someone you trust. Someone who you know won’t accept your lame excuses for skipping your workout or downing a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

Tactic 6: Keep It Interesting

Eating healthy foods and working out should be fun, not misery.

Everyone – including me – has days that they don’t look forward to going to the gym, but if you keep things interesting and fun then you won’t have too many days that you don’t feel like getting in the right nutrition or workout.

Think beyond the treadmill and the weight rack.

I encourage you to add variety to your exercise program by experimenting with things like yoga, rock climbing, team sports, and everything between.

The variety will make every workout more enjoyable and you’re likely to find a fitness activity that you truly love.

Tactic 7: Be Forgiving

Even if you follow all of the advice I’ve laid out in this article and craft the perfect goals, you still are likely to lose steam after a few months.

Once the excitement of your new lifestyle has worn off – or your results plateau – it’s easy to justify taking off a few days or weeks.

I see this happen to most people, so don’t beat yourself up if (when) it happens.

It’s really about long-term progress. If progress stalls for you, that just means that you need to tweak your plan a little bit to start making progress again.

For example, if you have a goal to lose 20 pounds, and you’re following a diet that helps you drop the first 10 pounds, you’ll need to adjust your caloric intake to take off the next 10 pounds.

Don’t let stalled progress lead to an “Ah, screw it!” moment and cause you to cancel your gym membership and go back to your old ways.

We all screw up from time to time. There isn’t a single person on Earth who hasn’t stumbled on their path to success, especially when it comes to health and fitness. Just never give up!

Putting These Tactics Into ACTION

So, those are my 7 Powerful Tactics to Make (and Keep) Your Health & Fitness Goals.

But they are worthless if you don’t apply them in your own life. I want you to take action right now.

As in…this minute.

If you don’t start taking action, you will wake up one year from today and be in exactly the same place. Don’t let this happen.

Whatever your goals are, show the world, and yourself, that you’re serious by taking action, however insignificant that action may seem…RIGHT NOW.

To jumpstart action and get you on the right path to achieving your goals, I’ve created a MASSIVE ACTION WORKSHEET for you.

Before you do anything else, I want you to download, print, and fill in the worksheet. If you don’t have a printer, then still open the worksheet and write out all of your responses to the questions right now. You can print it later.

Once you’ve filled it all out, I want you to make copies and stick them somewhere you will see it often (on your refrigerator, mirror, desk, whatever).

I also want you to publicize your goals by sharing them with an accountability partner, your friends, and your family.

Send ME a picture of your Massive Action Worksheet ([email protected]).

Do this right now. Not in an hour. Not tomorrow. Right now.

I want to leave you with a quote from the famous motivational speaker Jim Rohn, “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.”

It’s your choice. Discipline or regret.

Download your accountability worksheet and fill it out right now.


About the author

Leif Arnesen

Leif Arnesen is a vegan bodybuilder and founder of The Vegan Gym. He earned his BS from Lehigh University and holds certification as a personal trainer with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University. Leif is also the author of The Complete Guide To Building Vegan Muscle. Leif can be contacted at his website or by emailing [email protected]

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