New Year’s resolutions are an amazing motivator for those who already have the discipline to commit to their new goals.
But for most of us mere mortals, getting off the couch and putting in the needed work and imagination takes more than that.
So why not switch the perspective and treat this New Year as the deadline for finally getting to the finish line?
But before you start leaping with joy, you need to understand that with so little time on your hands, you will need to go that extra mile every day.
To make up for all the binge eating sessions and all the missed workouts.
Let’s take a look at several tried and tested ways to kickstart and maintain your month-long fitness journey, only to serve you as the beginning of a new, healthy lifestyle.
Set realistic milestones
Since the beginning of December is just around the corner, you already have limited time on your hands to do all the hard work.
And that alone means the longer you wait, the more you’re turning this into a mission impossible.
Start by evaluating your goals from the perspective of available time – if you wish to shed fat, how much will be the healthy limit in the given timeframe?
Then divide that number as evenly as possible into weeks, and always keep in mind that the first pounds you lose usually just come from water retention.
If you’re looking to build more muscle, your genetics will play a significant role in the process, but you can affect your body greatly with the right program.
You know by now that moderate cardiovascular exercises will do absolutely nothing for this goal; so, create a plan that involves as many muscle-building exercises as possible.
That means heavy compound movements, including squats, deadlifts, the bench press and the military press, plenty of hypertrophy work, and some HIIT as well.
Maximize your potential by creating a training routine that focuses on your goal, so that you don’t dissipate energy on useless movements and futile effort.
Devise a bulletproof training program
If you (hopefully) have some knowledge of how your body responds to certain types of exercises, and how often you can train, you can now focus on outlining your training scheme thoroughly.
It’s optimal to train approximately four times per week. With well-scheduled rest days between your sessions, and with continuous changes in your program as you progress.
To put it simply, while you need a detailed plan of exercises, breaks, number of sets and reps, you also need to leave some wiggle room, and make your routine flexible.
That will help you reach your end-year goals in a healthy way, as you’ll be able to put more weight on the barbell progressively and gradually.
To add proper stretches and mobility work to keep your body in excellent shape throughout the muscle soreness and all the aches and pains you’re about to experience.
Supersets and giant sets are known to give an amazing kick to your metabolism, so you can both shorten your training time, burn more calories and build more muscle in a shorter window of time.
Make sure that your training program targets your whole body, unless your only fitness goal is to increase your bicep size – in which case, curl away, and don’t bother with the paused squats.
Stick to your nutrition and rest needs
In order to minimize your chances of injury, severe immune system issues and overtraining, you need to optimize your whole lifestyle so that your body can reap the rewards of your training.
It may seem that you are devising your whole life around training. But remember that you’re actually training for a specific goal, and as such, it should be, to an extent, your priority.
That, by no means, should lead you to jeopardize your health, so proper supportive measures are a must.
Consistent and ample rest, every night at the same time, will help your inner biological clock and your metabolism operate at their best, thus enhancing your ability to reach your goals.
Also remember, unless your diet is as spotless as your training regime, you will hinder your own progress.
If you’re uncertain how you should divide your macronutrient intake, how much protein your body needs to burn fat and build more muscle.
Or how much food you need to increase your stamina without affecting your bodyweight, then consult a professional, do your research, and commit!
Choose supportive treatments
With so little time on your hands, you need a strong support system that will serve you to reach your fitness goals in time.
There are many useful techniques you can use to speed up and improve your progress rate, including getting regular sports massages to improve your blood circulation, muscle recovery and prevent injuries.
Making small, but significant changes to your daily habits and overall behavior can also make a meaningful impact on your success.
So skip the elevator and take the stairs, walk to work, or at least part of your way there, take walk and talk meetings instead of the traditional sit-down type.
You can also visit a body sculpting clinic every now and then, especially if you’re struggling with cellulite and stubborn fat around your midsection – these professional treatments can do wonders for such issues.
Monitor your progress constantly
Without constant supervision, you’ll likely stray off your path, leave out an important segment of your training, increase your breaks between sets unintentionally. And even munch on more food than you truly need.
And then you’ll find yourself wondering what went wrong, since the numbers on your scale haven’t moved an inch, let alone your waist.
If you’ve completed step one, which is outlining your milestones in detail, and realistically so, you also need a tracking system to keep a constant eye on your diet and your workout progress.
To that end, you can pick a trusty fitness app to keep track of your daily caloric intake, and to log your workout success consistently.
This also helps boost your motivation as you slowly approach your goal and see those numbers change. And it teaches you discipline that will later help you maintain this new lifestyle.
Remember it’s only the beginning
Finally, no matter how brief this upcoming month may seem, use it as a catalyst for a much longer, more meaningful change in your life.
And even though you might not reach all your fitness goals in the next several weeks. Any step forward that you make is a small victory worthy of a New Year’s celebration.
So use it wisely to fuel your fitness success in the upcoming 2018!
Author: Peter Minkoff
Follow Him On Twitter: Peter Minkoff