Whether it’s January and you’re a resolution-making kind of person, or it’s September and you’re a parent, teacher or professional student, it’s the time of new beginnings, and of return to routine – which makes it an ideal time to establish a new healthy habit.

Here are 3 tips to help set you up for success and establish a new fitness routine. 

How to Establish a New Fitness Routine

1. Know Your Goals

By now, most of us have heard the benefits of making goals that are S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely). You can find our downloadable S.M.A.R.T goals worksheet here.

SMART is a good system, but what it really boils down to is this: before you begin, know what you want to achieve, create a timeline to help you get there, and don’t set yourself up for failure.

For example, you might want to achieve 10% body fat in the next six months but, based on your genetics and body type, it might not be realistic for you.

We suggest you make your fitness goals action-oriented, because those are things you can control. To succeed at an action goal, all you need to do is show up and do the work. Examples include “Exercise three times a week for the next three months,” or “Run a 10K,” or “Complete 10 chin-ups unassisted.” Those are action goals.

Achieving those goals is completely within your control, no matter what your age or genetics.

in home personal trainer in Collingwood working with two people
A workout buddy can help you stick to your health and fitness goals.

2. Make Yourself Accountable

It’s sad to say, but breaking a commitment to ourselves is an easy thing to do. So it is important to take steps to keep yourself accountable.

Find a workout buddy and set up some workout dates. Download an exercise app to help you track your workouts. Hire a Personal Trainer!  Bribe yourself with rewards (non-food related), or threaten yourself with consequences (such as vacuuming the car). Make fitness contracts with your friends. Use our handy Habit Tracker to stay on track with your habits.

Nobody knows better than you what you need to keep yourself on track, so dig deep and figure out what kind of help you need to keep yourself accountable.

Our Habit Tracker is an excellent tool to help you stay accountable and see how you can improve.

3. Track your progress

Because getting fit and healthy doesn’t happen overnight, it can be easy to overlook all the progress you’ve made.

You can paint a room in a day, and marvel at your achievement. But getting in shape happens over time, and because of that, you might not notice that you don’t get winded walking upstairs anymore, or that you can carry all those groceries into the house without having to break out the painkillers and an ice pack afterward.

That’s why it’s important to note where you started (measure yourself, take a picture, note how long you can run, or how heavy a weight you can lift) so that you can return to those stats three months down the road when you’re feeling particularly low on motivation.

We set our goals looking to the future, but it can be even more helpful to look to the past and see how far we have come.

Get Started

So, good luck getting your new routine started! If you need help, Nielsen Fitness is always here to help you set your goals, track your progress, and keep you accountable. We offer personal training in Toronto, Collingwood and surrounding areas. If you don’t live in our service area, no problem! We offer virtual workouts so you can train with us from anywhere in the world. Click here to book a free, no-pressure consultation.

Updated on January 11, 2023.