Maryland’s Thomas Cothren discusses ways to maintain fitness goals and motivation throughout the New Year

Thomas Cothren from Maryland was once a person suffering from addiction and an unhealthy lifestyle. Working with clients on their mental health journeys, he was inspired to take control of his own life and take the steps necessary to recover from his addiction and lose over 100 pounds!

In the following article, Maryland’s Thomas Cothren discusses how to stick to long-term fitness goals, how to be sure to follow a plan, recruit a workout partner, and gain momentum to keep that New Year’s resolution for longer than just a month or two.

Every year, most people make New Year’s resolutions related to fitness and healthy living, and most of them have failed, forgotten, or given up by the end of January. Is there a way to achieve these goals by the end of the year and beyond?

Thomas Cothren of Maryland has a few suggestions to follow when trying to keep New Year’s promises. To keep motivated, make goals visible, create an achievable plan, track progress, and keep a positive attitude. To maintain long-term success, follow a fitness plan with a friend, start small, make it a habit, and be specific.

visual targets

Many people find it helpful to create some sort of poster or storyboard to put up in their gym, on their fridge, or some other place they see it every day. It could represent what you want your body to look like, where you can go, or what you want to be able to do.

Fresh Start’s Thomas Cothren says this strategy makes it easy to remember what the hard work is for and boosts motivation.

Create an achievable plan

When setting goals or resolutions, it is important to consider personal abilities to determine what is appropriate and what is not. Everyone is different, so what works for a fitness influencer on Instagram most likely won’t work for a single mom of two.

Thomas Cothren of Maryland says the plan should be tailored to the individual. Setting small goals is the best way to ensure these lifestyle changes are sustainable over the long term. For example, losing 100 pounds in a year is a pretty big goal. Instead, set a goal of losing a healthy 4-8 pounds per month and go from there.

Start small

Many people fail on their New Year’s fitness goals because they try to start too big too fast. Instead, the plan should consist of sensible steps based on lifestyle, time commitment, affordability, etc. For example, someone who wants to exercise more shouldn’t start by building an entire home gym.

Instead, Maryland’s Thomas Cothren suggests starting with some simple bodyweight exercises and slowly expanding your collection of exercise equipment as you progress. By dedicating just 15 or 20 minutes of physical activity to begin with and gradually increasing the time commitment over the following weeks, many can avoid the rapid burnout that often occurs within weeks of starting a new job.

Track every little progress

Maryland’s Thomas Cothren says one of the best ways to stay motivated on a fitness journey is to track every possible progress. Whether it’s the number on the scale, inches lost, calories burned, steps taken or anything else, tracking these details will make it clear how much even a few weeks of effort and dedication can achieve.

Make it a habit

One reason many people fail to achieve their fitness goals is because they don’t make it a part of their daily routine. When something isn’t a habit, it’s incredibly easy to forget or find excuses for skipping it. To really make fitness a part of your lifestyle, it has to become automatic.

Set specific goals

Maryland’s Thomas Cothren says that when trying to lose weight, it’s not enough to just say, “I want to lose weight.” That’s a good place to start, but it’s not really a concrete goal.

By using details and being specific, such as: For example, losing 1 pound a week or 5 inches around your waist will make you more successful as these are concrete goals to work toward. If the main goal is to be more active, set a goal for number of days per week or minutes per day – something objective and defined.

do it with a friend

Many people struggle to stay motivated when working alone. One of the best ways to stick with long-term fitness goals is to work out with a friend. Whether it’s hitting the gym together or tracking each other’s progress on an app, having someone else involved will surely increase accountability and increase motivation to keep going.

stay positive

Perhaps most importantly, the best way to stick to a fitness resolution is to stay positive. There will no doubt be bumps along the way, but it’s important to focus on what’s working and what’s already been accomplished, rather than allowing a little slip-up to shatter confidence and motivation.

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