5 Keys To Keep Your Fitness Resolution
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5 Keys To Keep Your Fitness Resolution

Tranforming a resolution into a lifestyle and making it stick.

5 Keys To Keep Your Fitness Resolution

Three years ago, I made a New Years resolution to start working out, get bigger and get in shape. Now, three years later, I look and feel better than I ever have at any point of my life. People always ask me, "Austin, how did you do it?"

That "it" is the one thing that many Americans fail to achieve each year: sticking to a New Years resolution, particularly fitness resolutions. As a bodybuilder who started with a resolution himself, I would like to have my DJ Khaled moment and share five major keys to ensure that you keep your fitness resolution in 2017.

Key 1: Setting specific goals

This is the first and most common mistake I see with people who flunked out of their resolutions: they didn't set achievable goals for themselves. They went with the whole "I'm going to go to the gym," and that's all they did. By setting goals for yourself, you can construct a plan to help you visualize and achieve that goal. Saying "I am going to lose five pounds in a month" is obtainable, while "I am going to lose weight" is too general and will become discouraging. Being specific leads better results.

Whether you are losing weight or trying to build muscle like I did, being able to visualize yourself obtaining those goals is the first step to keeping your resolution.

Key 2: Finding an accountability partner

If you are new to going to the gym, the idea of being around a bunch of strangers for an hour a day can be intimidating, especially if you are self-conscious about your body. Finding someone who will commit to the resolution as much as you will can make keeping the resolution twice as easy.

There were days when I first started where I wanted to be lazy and give up, but my gym partner kept me in check, and vice versa. Eventually, each other's motivation became competition, which changed our mind state of working out from a chore to a fun challenge with great benefits.

Key 3: Write everything down

It takes years of experience before you can walk into a gym and employ the perfect workout off the top of your head-- years of finding out what works for your body and what does not. Until then, write down everything that you plan to do in the gym and follow that plan religiously. Then, make notes afterward about what you liked and what you did not like about that particular workout and craft your future workouts off of the notes you made. Sites like Bodybuilding.com have hundreds of articles to help point you in the right direction with exercise and nutrition (below is an example of a customized printable workout log available at Bodybuilding.com).

Additionally, keeping track of your diet is an excellent way to ensure that you reach your fitness goals. Recording how many calories you consume and your macros (protein, carbohydrates and fat) and matching it up with your progression will make it easier to make adjustments to your diet and your workouts in the future to match your fitness goals. Speaking of dieting...

Key 4: Abs are made in the kitchen

As a coach once told me, abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym. Improving your diet is the easiest thing to do to see results faster. For example, eating more smaller meals more frequently instead of three large meals per day will assist in a journey towards weight loss.

Avoiding empty calories (foods with a high-calorie count but lack significant macronutrients) allows you do be less strict with your portion sizes. Also, fueling before a workout with carbohydrates and after a workout with protein is the winning combination for lean muscle building and proper recovery. Whatever your fitness resolution may be, having the proper diet will make achieving your resolution easier.

Key 5: Having the right attitude

Not every day will be your best day. There will be times where you are lagging behind and feel like you are not making any progress. We wouldn't be human if we didn't make mistakes and slip up on our resolutions sometimes; even as a bodybuilder who loves going to the gym each day, I have days where I want to throw in the towel and say "forget it."

However, by pushing through the challenges and mental struggle associated with a fit lifestyle, I am a better person both mentally and physically. If you need motivation, there are hundreds of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages out there to remind you of why you started your resolution in the first place. Having the right attitude will turn your New Years resolution into a lifestyle, and you won't regret it for a second.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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