10 New Year Hacks For Your Strongest Start To 2024
It’s the time of year when everyone is talking about resolutions, intentions and grand plans to reinvent themselves in the new year.
We love a fresh start and a big fitness goal as much as anyone, but we know that goal-setting and resolutions are often the shiny, sexy, easy part of aiming high. Sticking with it, making progress and ensuring you don’t fall off the wagon are the tough parts.
So to help you launch in 2024 with a bang and keep moving forward with power for weeks and months to come, we’ve pulled together 10 tips for your journey - whether you’re joining the Sweat Challenge, trying a new Sweat program or preparing to take your existing routine to a whole new level. We’re backing you every step of the way. New year,
new you more empowered you. Are you ready?
1. Pursue what energises you
One of the most common mistakes we make when setting goals or intentions is to choose something that we think we should aim for or that people around us are trying to achieve. If you’re surrounded by like-minded people, this might not be an issue, but following the crowd doesn’t tend to go hand-in-hand with empowered goal-setting.
When you’re thinking about your direction for 2024, listen to your body and tune in to how your health and fitness goals make you feel. Your best friend might be inspired to start her running journey or work towards a marathon, but what gets you fired up is the idea of lifting heavy weights.
Yes, your motivation will come and go as you progress towards your goals, but if that fire in your belly isn’t even there at the beginning, it’s already a losing battle. Your goals are yours and yours alone, so make sure they feel personal and powerful to you.
2. Tell your loved ones
Put your hand up if you’ve ever set yourself an audacious goal, but kept it to yourself for fear of looking stupid if you don’t achieve it. Yep, our hands are definitely in the air. While it’s completely normal to experience a fear of failure when you’re setting goals, we encourage you to share your aspirations for 2024 with at least one person you trust - someone who has your back.
Speaking your goals aloud makes them feel more real than when they only exist in your mind, and sharing them with another person immediately creates accountability and encouragement that you didn’t have before. If staying on track is something you struggle with, it can help to ask your friends and family for support and regular check-ins to keep you going strong. You might even find yourself a workout buddy in the process!
3. Just start!
We talk about designing SMART goals and making a plan, but there’s only so much you can do before you need to just get stuck in and take action.
If you’re determined to finish a Sweat program from start to finish, pick a day and time for your first workout and get it done. If you’re trying to nourish your body a little better, pick some new recipes or make a grocery list and tick it off your to-do list. If you’re nervous about joining a gym but know you want to, don’t think too much. Go to the gym, sign up, get a tour, and then decide when your first workout will be. Setting goals happens in the mind, but as soon as you can, take some action to get the ball rolling!
4. Focus on building momentum
Taking that first step feels incredible. You’re exhilarated, proud, almost buzzing in your skin, and now is the moment to build on that and keep striking while the iron is hot. As you enjoy the excitement of a fresh start, make it your mission to build momentum now.
Already completed your first workout? Schedule your next one immediately. Woken up early a few times in a week for a walk? Amazing! Now aim for a two-week streak. What you’re trying to do here is solidify these new behaviours as healthy habits, so that on days when the excitement fizzles out, your new lifestyle will still be part of your ingrained routine.
5. Expect your drive to drop
That clean-slate feeling of starting a new year is so energising. But is it enough to carry us through for all 366 days of 2024? Of course not. Expecting your motivation to wane doesn’t mean you’re taking a pessimistic approach, it’s about being realistic, ahead of the game, and of course - human.
Think about how a lack of motivation affects you and what you can do to make sure it doesn’t stand in the way of your goals. Remember - you have the power to take action even when you don’t feel like it.
Ways to keep moving forward:
- Don’t let motivation dictate your workout schedule. Plan each session at the start of your week like an appointment in your calendar and stick to it.
- Do a weekly grocery shop and have your meal ideas on the fridge or somewhere you can see them. If you’re short on time during the week, do this on a Sunday and get a meal prep session in.
- Choose your workout clothes the night before to make the process even easier - this way you can just get up and go in the morning.
- If starting your workout is the part you dread, don’t think of that as your starting point. Begin with a five-minute walk.
- Keep a note of how exercise makes you feel and what it adds to your life to tap into the power of intrinsic motivation
- Give yourself the flexibility to take a rest day and recharge your body, then come back even stronger!
- Try the five-minute rule. Exercise for five minutes and give it your all, and if you still want to quit after - that’s up to you. For most people, getting through the first five minutes is the hardest part!
6. Make fun a priority
As much as chasing goals can be a grind at times (if it was easy, everyone would do it), we truly believe fun needs to be part of the process. The more your habits make you feel good and leave you feeling pumped, the more likely you are to stick with them in the long term.
If the idea of working out doesn’t exactly fill you with excitement, there are plenty of ways to make it more enjoyable.
- Choose a training style you actually enjoy or go for something new to spice up your routine
- Work out with a friend
- Create some epic workout playlists to keep those motivation levels high
- Follow your Sweat trainer on socials - feeling a connection to them can make it more meaningful to follow a program
- Connect with the incredible Sweat Community in the Forum - chances are there’s somebody out there feeling exactly the same as you
- Change up your workout location or time of day.
7. Make micro goals you can celebrate
Big, hairy, audacious goals are amazing - until you realise how far away you are from achieving them. The answer? Micro goals! Break your big goal down into smaller chunks that will let you know you’re making progress and give you something to feel proud of, long before that final win.
Running a marathon could be broken down into shorter distances or times. Performing a 50kg deadlift could be split into many smaller weightlifting goals. Completing an entire Sweat program could have checkpoints each week or month. Set yourself up for success by creating regular opportunities to celebrate.
8. Ditch comparison
This is you against you. We’re all about the power of people and having the support of the Sweat Community and our trainers can be a game-changer, but it’s important to focus on your OWN achievements and progress.
Constantly using other people’s journeys as a yardstick for your own progress and success is likely going to leave you feeling defeated or driven by unhealthy competition, so learn to celebrate the people around you while knowing that the path you’re on has nothing to do with them. You’ve got this.
9. Don’t be afraid to pivot
What do you do if you set a goal, only to realise a few weeks in that you’ve got huge regrets and this isn’t the goal for you? You pivot. Fitness is about feeling good in and about yourself, and we will never tell you to continue pursuing a goal if it’s draining the life out of you.
If you know what your new goal is, go forth! Otherwise, it can help to consider what you’re not enjoying and what you expected your journey to feel like to figure out what the best new path forward might be.
Maybe your goal was to complete a HIIT program, only to discover that high-intensity interval training exhausts you and hurts your joints. No problem - fitness isn't one size fits all. Maybe your pivot looks like changing to a Pilates program or a low-impact strength program like PWR Strength!
10. Be part of a community
As the African proverb goes, if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Being part of something bigger than yourself can keep you inspired, show you what’s possible, and provide you with a community of people to support and cheer for you - on your best days and your worst.
Immersing yourself in a community can mean being active on the Sweat forum, making friends at your local gym, following other members of the Sweat Community on social media, or making your own fitness community with your friends, family or coworkers. Find your people and power each other on!
Show 2024 what you’ve got
Ready to make 2024 your strongest year yet? We can’t wait to see what you’re capable of.
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.