The New Year is here and everyone is hitting the gym ready to tackle their fitness goals.

However, going full steam ahead and doing an overhaul of your entire routine both in and out of the gym has a high probability of making you feel overwhelmed. That can lead to frustration, and then you’re back at square one.

Instead, start picking apart ways to make healthier decisions. Use these tips to create lasting habits that lead you into the New Year — and beyond.

1. Start Puny, Think Mighty

Big goals are like heavyweight titles, and you’re in the featherweight division – for now. A 2020 scholarly scribble in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise says starting with puny goals is the secret sauce. And a 2019 brainy piece in Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences backs it up. So, forget the gym-hero daydreams and start with a walk. Yes, a simple, boring walk. Why? Because science said so. Aim for those 10-minute strolls that even your grandma brags about on Facebook. Keep it up, and soon you’ll be the one flexing in the family photos.

2. Find Your Fun or Suffer the Treadmill

Here’s a shocker: doing stuff you loathe will forever be as enjoyable as a root canal.  So if you dislike lifting heavy, don’t center your entire routine around that. You’ll find a reason to quit. Although it should be common sense, there is science to back this up: a 2017 study published in Frontiers in Psychology and a 2013 report from Psychology of Sport and Exercise found that fun or enjoyment is the glue to sticking with your sweat sessions. In other words, explore and try out different activities to see which ones you like most.

3. Track It, or It Didn’t Happen

Research published in 2016 in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine found that self-monitoring weight and physical activity led to greater weight loss and weight loss maintenance compared to subjects who didn’t self-monitor. Whether it’s with an app or old-school pen and paper; it might be worthwhile if you’re aiming to finally make a New Year’s resolution stick.

4. Make It Convenient

Weave your training or activities into your schedule. Don’t shoehorn them in. A 2018 study in BMC Public Health reported that providing yourself with easy access gets you moving. Get your stuff out the night before, find a gym in proximity to your home or work, and schedule time that fits comfortably into your day-to-day.

5. Stack Your Habits

A 2019 report in Nature Human Behaviour suggested that piggybacking new habits with old were more likely to stick with the new behavior.

Here’s what that might look like:

Cue: As you get ready to leave for work (your existing habit), you remind yourself to take the stairs (your new habit).

Action: Instead of taking the elevator, you take the stairs. You might even time yourself or count the steps to add a little challenge.

Reward: After successfully taking the stairs, you might reward yourself with a small coffee or a pat on the back for sticking to your new habit.

6. Recruit a Buddy

Research published in Preventive Medicine and Health Psychology found that recruiting someone to train with you leads to more progress. A few positive effects include:

  • increased motivation
  • improved performance
  • enhanced mood and well-being

7. Exercise Patience & Prioritize Recovery

Research published in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that it takes roughly 66 days for habits to stick. Don’t take that as gospel, but the point is that habits don’t take shape overnight, and you won’t see changes in body competition overnight, either. Sometimes, you will feel like giving up, slacking off, or too sore to train.

Prioritizing recovery as part of a fitness routine is crucial for long-term health and athletic performance. And it so happens our partners at Charlotte’s Web have a customizable CBD recovery set you can pick up to aid your recovery efforts.

The Recovery Gift Set (gummies, hemp extract oil, and balm or balm stick) features a blend of ginger, turmeric, and full-spectrum hemp extract with CBD, Ginger and turmeric are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce muscle soreness and speed up recovery time​*.

Studies indicate that CBD can help modulate the body’s inflammatory response after workouts, potentially aiding in quicker recovery and readiness for the next training session. This can be particularly beneficial following exercise-induced muscle damage, which is a normal part of the muscle-building process but can lead to temporary inflammation and soreness.*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This entry is sponsored by Charlotte’s Web.