National Quitter's Day
Yes - It's A Thing And Falls 2-3 Weeks Into The New Year (Every Year)!
Recent research by Strava - the fitness APP for athletes suggests that there is a time frame in which most people quit their New Year's Resolutions. It is no surprise to find that this typically falls between weeks 2-3 of January. I have long advocated for the use a logical goals when starting a fitness program and not even using the word "resolution" as no one uses it by the end of January. For many of us, a goal achieved usually comes down to starting a new habit and ditching an old (unhelpful / unhealthy) habit. New Year New You? No it is the same old you - just successful new habits if you reach your goal.
How to NOT QUIT Your Fitness and Health Goals
If your #1 desire is to avoid National Quitter's Day (January 14 - usually 2-3 weeks into their New Year's Resolution), then start off with simply moving more and striving to drink more water than normal this first month. That is ALL - walk and drink water. Make time for it and it can be spread throughout the day as well. Just set time as a placeholder in your day for fitness. In time, this time will evolve into tougher workouts, but setting the time first is key to making this habit stick long term. No need to add in more all at once. The goal is to spread this fitness journey out several months so you are not tempted to burn out and quit in two weeks. This list of helpful fitness habits to add each month holds the keys you need to succeed.
The Point Of This How To Not Quit On Your Fitness Goals Is To Create Strong Habits And Never Even Think About Quitting
Here's what you need to understand about this: Just Start Moving - If you are new to fitness, set aside 20-30 minutes a day to exercise and add walking and stretching. Walking 10 minutes after every meal is a start. That is progress. Check out the FREE 45-Day Plan for Beginners.
The most important thing to understand is how to not quit on your fitness goals. Just by adding movement to your life, you will improve your mood and energy levels. If you like to lift or do calisthenics, add workouts every other day at a moderate level so you do not break yourself and experience excessive post-exercise pain that can stall your progress.
Instead of overwhelming your mind and body this first month with multiple simultaneous changes, try breaking up your goals into mild changes that occur monthly. Trying to add fitness routines, eating healthy and breaking bad habits like smoking, eating fast food and drinking alcohol to excess can lead to a perfect storm of failure. Start off by just adding one thing at a time each month.
# 1 - Month One: Just Add Water and Start Moving / Stretching More
- Replacing sugary drinks with water alone can help most people drop 20-25 pounds in a year. Keep this habit going all year regardless of your physical activity. It will change your life. If you need caffeine, get it from unsweetened tea or basic coffees with only a little sugar. Avoid the whipped creams, caramel, chocolates and other high-calorie additives many put into their coffee drinks.
# 2 - Month 2-3: Eat Better And Focus On Your Breathing
- Eat smaller portions (typically) BUT definitely eat better quality food. By a month or two, your body will crave better foods. Find more fruits, vegetables and good proteins like lean meats, chicken, eggs or fish (or plant based proteins). Avoid fast food and processed foods and only eat real foods, nothing fried. Snack on nuts or berries instead of cookies and other sweets. This makes a huge difference in the total number of calories you put into the body. At the end of the day, your weight loss goal will depend on how many calories you are burning through activity and how many calories you are putting into your body. Move More - Eat Better.
- Learn to breathe. Try Box-Breathing to reduce stress. It is easy to do and should be practiced throughout the year. Big inhales and big exhales while relaxing can slow your heart rate and help your body to de-stress from a difficult moment or long day. Deep breathing before sleeping also can help you fall asleep quicker and sounder. Being able to handle stress by breathing control is life changing and takes just a little bit of practice.
# 3 - Month 4- 5: Mix In New Activities And Time To Stop A Bad Habit
- As the seasons change, consider focusing on a new element of fitness such as strength / power, speed / agility, muscle stamina / endurance, and flexibility and mobility. All matter in making you a well-rounded performer and overall structurally healthy.
- Do you have any bad habits? If you do, try to wean off of habits that are interfering with your goals. Do your habits / activities prevent you from sleeping well (too much caffeine / partying late at night), working out in the morning, getting other things in your life accomplished, being as healthy as you could be (drinking alcohol, sodas, eating too much, smoking, drugs). Time to consider just how bad do you want to achieve your fitness goals - Are you serious?
# 4 - Month 6: Drop The Sugar: If You Need A Habit To Drop - Stop Or Reduce Signficantly The Sugary Treats.
- Sugar is addictive and wrecking our health. Processed snacks and desserts are tough to say no to, but instead replace with fruit to satisfy the need for a carb - at least fruit / vegetables have many more nutrients in them than pure cane / processed sugars. Learn the difference between good and bad carbs.
# 5 - Assess Yourself - Remember Fitness Is A Journey
- Time to check your progress with your habits that you created and those you are still working on. How are you feeling? Are you consistent? If not, why not? There is nothing wrong with starting over or finding a new path. What interests you? Set a new goal in performance based fitness - timed run, race, swim meet, triathlon, weight lifting goal, PT test ability. Find something that challenges you and go for it. Personally, I recommend spreading the year into four seasons with a different focus each season.
- As you advance in your abilities, learn more about Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization - complete with Fall / Winter Lift Cycles, Spring / Summer Calisthenics and Cardio cycles and much more.
- If you are just starting out consider the Home Gym Section at StewSmithFitness.com as there are many options for true beginners as well as those who need a push to get moving again. The General Fitness Section is a great option for those with basic fitness / health goals.
- If you are of the tactical athlete mindset but are now over forty and nursing the bumps and bruises of a history of athletics and a physically demanding profession, check out the Tactical FItness Over 40 Series.
Now the thing for you to do is to get moving. Moving More and Eating / Sleeping Better Helps with Less Stress!.
FInal Point to Not Quitting on National Quitter's Day...
You will never think about quitting IF you think about winning. Compete with yourself, the watch, or fighting that inner-voice that says stay in bed, hit the snooze button again. Don't listen to yourself - Talk to Yourself and get moving, keep moving, and never quit.
If you really want to not quit on National Quitter's Day (January 14) check out this amazing new a section at StewSmithFitness.com that focuses on helping people become an asset again. How important is fitness? It can be the difference between life and death - sure not only with you and your personal health and wellness, but for other's in your world too.
Are You Ready? Ready for any situation? You never know… Your life, a loved one’s life, or someone you are trying to help - their life may depend on your fitness level.
Can you carry someone out of a burning building?
Can you quickly react to any man-made or natural threat?
Can you run, sprint, jump, lift, swim, carry…?
Are you an asset or do you need assistance?
Yes - fitness is THIS important...
Any of my programs can help with the answers to these questions, but the Tactical Fitness Over 40 (Four Part Series) is the program that offers a step by step instruction with such titles as:
Tactical Fitness (40+) Foundation Rebuilding (Part 1) - Recovery from Injury or Inactivity (Part 1). This new beginner plan forces you to "treat yourself like a beginner." Even if you do not feel like it, giving yourself a few weeks to easily work your way back into the weight room or any fitness program will pay off and help you rebuild after a long period of inactivity.
Tactical Fitness (40+) - Taking It To The Next Level (Part 2) - Are you ready to advance your fitness level? Well, Taking It To The Next Level after Rebuilding the Foundation (Part 1) is what this 12 week program is all about. Are you Ready to Advance Your Fitness? Progressing into more of an intermediate program with this book will be a steady increase of activity to include running (every other day), adding weights to calisthenics, and other non-impact cardio options.
Tactical Fitness (40+) - Ready to Compete - (Part 3) (Intermediate / Advanced levels) – After you have progressed through the previous phases, you may be ready for something new. Maybe a new challenge or “up your game” to a level that pushes you physically, but also focuses on stress relief and recovery after tough workouts. This program is a great prep for any of the Tactical Fitness, Tactical Strength or Tactical Fitness for the Athlete Over 40 advanced level programs.
Tactical Fitness For The Athlete Over 40 (Part 4) Actively Pursuing Recovery and Maintenance - This is part 4 of the above series that is rather advanced but still focused on adding in an easy day and / or mobility day to the week as a way to recover in the middle of the week. This will enable for a better workout number 4,5, or 6 as the week moves into the weekend. Running every OTHER day with non-impact cardio will reduce stress on the knees. Use of non-impact cardio and swimming pool for mobility is helpful as well. This 4 part series totals 52 weeks of training and can change your life in ONE year.
ALSO if you are a beginner and new to training and not the aging tactical athlete, check out the Home Gym Section at StewSmithFitness.com for more workouts with less equipment needed !
Get Started for FREE
FREE 45 Day Plan EBOOK
These exercises are all pictured in the FREE 45 Day Beginner Plan eBook (link below) and will help you go from zero to 45 in a easy progression that will more than likely keep you on track to go way past National Quitter's Day.
- Free 45 Day Beginner Plan
- Lean Down Food Plan
Good luck and keep the questions coming. Hope the ideas come in handy. For more ideas check out the Article Section of my StewSmithFitness.com Website.
Stew Smith CSCS - If you have any questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
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