A new year and a new decade bring new goals and aspirations. What’s at the top of almost everyone’s list? More time spent working out. Writing it down on New Year’s Eve felt like a great idea. You really were serious about making exercise an important priority moving forward. But now, it’s 2020, and a workout regimen seems overwhelming. Listed below are four surefire tips that will help make your workout dreams a reality.

1. Make a Practical Schedule

A schedule is key to creating a sustainable and effective workout routine. Choose how many days a week you’d like to work out and the duration of each workout, as well. While this seems pretty basic, the most important part of your schedule is practicality. Your schedule should be practical, personal and achievable.

2. Be Okay With Starting Small

Is a 5:00 a.m. workout one of your goals? Great! But you don’t have to start in January at 5:00 a.m., especially if you’re not a morning person. Maybe shoot for an 8:00 a.m. workout. When your body adjusts to morning workouts, push gym time back to 7:00 a.m., then 6:00 a.m., until you get to your goal. The quickest way to self-sabotage goal-setting is to expect perfection from the beginning. It’s okay to build up to a goal. 

3. Write It Down

Yes, almost everyone keeps a daily schedule in their head. But goals become so much more effective when they’re written down. If you create a practical schedule for working out in 2020 but don’t bother to write it down, you’re more likely to not hold yourself accountable. Writing down our workout schedule, especially when you first start establishing a habit, sets yourself up for more success than just keeping an idea of when you’d like to work out in your mind.

4. Mix It Up

One of the most common reasons people abandon their new year exercise goals by February is burnout. If you perform the same workout all of January, by the time February rolls around, of course, you’re sick of doing it. Not only are you tired of exercising, but you’ve also been exercising the same groups of muscles the same way for a month. Effective exercise is a careful balance of new exercises and challenges with increasing challenge levels

5. Be Consistent 

This point sounds contradictory to what we just covered in number 4, doesn’t it? But what we mean by “be consistent” is create a schedule and stick to it. If you vow to exercise five days a week for the entire year of 2020, then do it. Taking even one day off and deviating from your schedule can lead to throwing out your plan altogether and ending up right back on the couch, where you started. Your decision to faithfully stick to your regimen not only solidifies exercise as a habit, but also produces quicker results. 

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