It is often said that it takes 21 days to establish a new habit. If you’re one of the countless people that made a fitness resolution for 2015, that means your new workout goal should be a routine by now, right? (No pressure!) While “new year, new you!” slogans get thrown around casually every January, I don’t jump on that bandwagon because I make a personal commitment to my body 365 days-a-year. That’s no easy feat when you hate exercising. Crossfit? Spinning? Run club? Sorry, not this girl. But having a healthy and toned body is not only a priority for me, it’s kind of part of my job. It took me years of competing in beauty pageants to learn how to eat optimally, and train to tone my muscles but keep my curves in check. My friend and personal trainer Monika Paez of Bella Forma Fitness has been one of my greatest assets in living a more fit life. Together, we compiled this list of tips that we hope will help you achieve your fitness goals this year.
My current fitspo comes courtesy of new gear from EXP CORE. The black crop legging is definitely my new favorite gym companion, thanks to sophisticated fabric that allows me to move freely while keeping me dry. (Can we talk about the sexy mesh cutout?? Ob-sessed.) With so many fun patterns and designs, I love that EXP CORE is stylish enough to run errands in before or after my workout.
I’m wearing: Mesh Racerback Print Sports Bra, Mesh Inset Crop Legging, Texture Block Zip Front Jacket all by Express EXP CORE | Nike Sneakers (similar here and here.)
1. Write it Down
This is the best way to determine what steps you need to take to accomplish your goal. When you put pen to paper and write down your New Year’s resolutions, you automatically turn your thoughts into something tangible. Studies show that keeping a written record of your progress can also help you succeed. Buy a cute notebook and start a fitness journal. Log your weight each week, write down what you eat, and record how you’re feeling regularly. A written track record not only gives you a reality check (Wow, I ate how many calories at lunch?), it helps you uncover unhealthy patterns and pinpoint trouble spots.
2. Make Your Resolution Manageable
Don’t make it a fantasy. If you’ve never hit the gym, don’t plan on going six times a week. Instead opt for two to three times a week for the first month. You can try some fun group classes which won’t be as intimidating as standing in front of a pull-down machine and wondering if it’s used to sit when you’re tired. (It’s not. LOL.) If you’re not sure what classes you like or get bored easily, try ClassPass. This new super-membership recently launched in Miami and gives you a pass to thousands of classes at the top group fitness studios for just $99 a month. Love Green Monkey, Pure Barre, and Soul Cycle, but don’t want to commit to three pricey memberships? With ClassPass you can attend up to three classes at any partner studio each month – and unlimited classes across the board. Talk about a genius idea.
3. Baby Steps
Resolving to run over 100-thousand miles in 2015 can be pretty scary. Running 25 miles a week? My stomach turns into knots just thinking about it. What about a mile every other day? Breaking it down will help encourage you to reach your goals. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and giving up, this way you have a chance to feel good about yourself because YOU CAN DO IT!
4. Treat Yourself
When you hit those hard-earned benchmarks – 50 laps around the track, holding a handstand, curling 20 pounds – treat yourself! Choose a reward that won’t undo all of your hard work, like a mani/pedi, a massage or some new fitness wear. I always say, there’s no better way to get in the mood for something than to dress the part, so treating yourself to some fun new workout attire is the gift that keeps on giving. I’ve started the year off strong and stylish thanks to my new EXP CORE gear from Express.
5. Visualize It
If you’re anything like me, then it’s important to “see” your goals. Make a vision board of what your goals are and use it as a reminder whenever you feel lost or discouraged. I like to place different pictures of my goals around the house. Want to lose weight for spring break or a summer cruise? Keep an inspiration picture of your goal weight by the pantry, or hang a bikini by your scale. Remember: out of sight out of mind. Having these reminders in your immediate surroundings will help keep you on track.
6. Make the Time
We all have crazy schedules. Nine out of ten times it will be easier to just skip the workout and go run errands. The solution? Make yourself accountable. Schedule your workout in your daily planner or on your iPhone and make it as important as a meeting with your boss. Even if you have to tell a little white lie, inform others not to call you from 5-6pm because you have a meeting. (It’s technically not a lie….you’re meeting with “GYM.”)
7. Plan Ahead
Remember when you were in preschool and your mom packed your lunch? The least of your worries was, “what will I eat for lunch today?” Give yourself one less thing to stress about and pack your lunch the night before. Besides peace of mind, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of calories by having full control of how your meal is prepared. Don’t forget to throw in some extra snacks like a green apple, raw almonds or protein bar for unexpected moments.
8. Stay Close to Home
There’s a new state-of-the-art gym that opened 20 miles from your house and they ‘re having incredible sign-up deals, of course you need to take advantage of this ASAP. NOT! If you plan on being successful, you need to consider those lazy days where you just want to stay in bed and cuddle with your furry friend. (Umm, every morning?) Those days will be harder to actually go to the gym if you know you have to drive 30 minutes and deal with traffic. However, if the gym is a block from your house you’re more likely to go and get in at least a 20 minute workout. It might not be the best gym with the latest equipment, but the truth is that working out is the same anywhere.
9. Don’t Do it Alone
Ask friends and family members to help you so you have someone to be accountable to. Invite a girlfriend on a gym date. Hey, at least you’ll get some good selfies while resting in-between sets.
10. Get More Sleep
Forty percent of Americans don’t get enough sleep, and sleep deprivation is linked to depression, weight gain, early aging, and irritability, which is in turn linked to more disagreements and greater dissatisfaction. An added benefit of more sleep is it helps achieve other goals, like weight loss and organization. They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing!
Get more tips from my personal trainer Monika Paez by following her on twitter @monikapaez_
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Photos by Bella Mente