This is a dangerous time of the year for millions of fitness fans who made New Year resolutions. The optimism of becoming a pull-ups champ will have given way to the reality of the commitment and discipline required.
Hopefully by now you will have diched that resistance band. You might already be beating your personal best in pull-up reps. This page does not cover techniques or equipment – you’ll find plenty of information about that here. Instead I have looked at some of the mental aspects. This guide covers some tried and tested tips to make sure that your New Year resolutions stay the course into the spring and beyond.
While these mental-game tips are focused on pull-ups, you can easily adapt them to other sport and fitness type activities.
How to Keep Your Pull-Up Resolutions:
#1 – Buddy Up: Going it alone is tough in any fitness activity. This is why gyms are so popular, and why millions of people do their main fitness activities in group classes. While pull-ups are usually done at home and individually, there are still many ways to buddy up. You will give yourself that extra incentive to work out if you know you’ll be letting your friend(s) down by skipping them.
If you can’t find someone into pull-ups, then you can always buddy with someone doing a different form of exercise such as working out in a home gym.
#2 – Set Realistic Incremental Goals: A major reason people quit is that their goals seem painfully far away. If you were looking at 20 reps of 3 different pull up exercises as your New Year goal, your dreams can seem a long way away during the cold nights of January. I recommend you break things up. Make sure your goals are achievable, though not too easy – just enough to keep you incentivised to push harder.
#3 – Celebrate Milestones: This is much easier to do once you have split your goals into small increments. By celebrate I do not mean the proverbial ‘pat on the back’, make a fuss of yourself. Hit 5 pull-ups without a resistance band for the first time? Great! Time to tell the whole office, and to get the (low sugar) cakes in!
Milestones are even better to celebrate when you buddy up with someone. In this case you get to celebrate their achievements, along with your own.
#4 – Keep Your Focus on Why: A neat mental trick is to make a note of the reasons why you are undertaking your challenge. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a goal in its own right of course. When you go the next level of thinking, some important factors are uncovered. You might be undertaking a challenge to look better, and so feel more confident socially. You might be working out to stay healthy for the good of your family or spouse. This can even be simply to prove to yourself that you can stay the course, demonstrating your personal determination.
When so much of your exercise routine is about equipment, technique and resolve, it can be useful to have a reminder as to why you want to meet your goals.
#5 – Make Yourself Accountable: There is only one thing worse than failing in a New Year resolution, and that is having to tell your friends and family that you failed! For this reason, many people keep things quiet. That is the opposite of what you should do if you are really determined to follow through.
By spreading the word among friends, family and colleagues, you’ll give yourself and extra incentive to perform. Social media gives you an extra avenue to add some accountability to your resolutions.
Putting It All Together
Each of these tips can make a difference on its own, when you put them together, they are even more powerful. If you feel that your resolve to achieve your fitness goals is starting to flag, then take action right away. Set smaller goals, and make sure that you celebrate achieving them in a big way. If you can buddy up, that is great. If not, then use social media, or just tell people about what you are aiming for. Finally, keep that all important ‘why’ visible at all times.