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Tonal’s Anti-Resolution Guide to Getting Stronger in the New Year

a women sits in a cross-legged yoga position with one hand on her heart and the other on her stomach

Given the time of year, we’ve decided to innovate some changes to the new year’s tradition of resolutions.

Love them or hate them, make them or not, resolutions tend to play on people’s minds as December starts to wind down. While they start well-intentioned, many resolutions are abandoned a few weeks into January. We think the solution is to choose small bite-sized actions that are more personal to you over generic resolutions.

In light of that, we’re giving the tradition of making resolutions a much-needed makeover. Here’s our anti-resolution guide to getting your mind, body, and soul stronger this year.

Get specific

Instead of broad statements like “start a diet,” “start working out,” or “get in shape,” be intentional about what being stronger this year looks like for you. For example, if you’ve never been consistent with working out but want to make it happen, having clear objectives in mind can help.

Try this: 

  • Start a four-week strength training program on Tonal. This will put you on a path to attain your goals, and you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment as each week goes by. 
  • If you’re not feeling a program, but want to create a good habit, commit to working out at least once or twice a week, and make it simple and easy. For example, you could try at least one yoga class every week in January. As you progress, you will most likely find yourself wanting to add more workouts.
  • Find different ways to move your body. A lot of people ditch their fitness goals because they get bored or stuck in a rut. Tonal has a variety of workout content and programs that will help you kick off the new year right. Whether you’re looking to get into strength training, barre, yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, or dancing, you’ll find many ways to stay motivated.  

Make it your goal to lay down a foundation for something to build on in January. Instead of piling pressure on yourself to go all-out, choose smaller goals that aren’t as daunting but still the start of a stronger you. 

Create a plan

Got a big goal in mind? Putting a plan in place will help you get there. Make your big goal more manageable by breaking it down into actionable steps. For each step, have smaller line items that you can check off regularly. 

Try this: 

  • Create a list like this if you want to get in shape: set a small goal to work out a few times a week, implement strength training and conditioning, walk or take the stairs where possible, and make time for mobility exercises. 
  • Here’s what your list might look like if you want to eat better: prioritize veggies with every meal, enjoy foods you love from time to time, so you don’t feel deprived, and try to eat one meal a day without any distractions. 
  • Or put a number alongside your goal. For example, if you want to get stronger, your goal could be to bench press 30 pounds, and each week you can add a little more weight. If you want to build core strength, your goal could be to plank for 5 minutes, and you can work your way up. 
  • If you need an incentive, how does getting stronger by 1% every day sound? Coach Natalie’s Stronger Every Day program builds discipline and will help you get consistent with working out as you get in shape. Learn more about our Strength Score.

As you work your way through more doable tasks, you’ll take real steps toward your bigger goal. Stay motivated and aware of your progress by celebrating your easy and difficult wins along the way.

Pro Tip: Celebrate your fitness journey on Tonal. Use Achievements and workout streaks to build on your progress from day-to-day. Not only do you get to mark key moments and milestones like hitting 50,000 pounds or your 50th workout, but instead of generic resolutions, you can use these features as stepping stones toward bigger fitness goals. 

Make Time for Yourself 

Most resolutions are about giving something up. Instead of that, give yourself the time, space, and energy to fulfill your goals. Whether you want to do a pushup on your toes, eat healthier, practice more self-care and gratitude, or be more mindful and present — it all starts with being firm and resolute about the time you make for yourself. You can make a positive impact on your life in as little as five minutes a day.

Try these ways to make more time for yourself:  

  • Energize yourself by getting a better night’s rest.
  • Reduce the amount of time you spend on social media. 
  • Take out some time to meditate — even a few minutes a day will make a difference. 
  • Block off 60 minutes on the weekend to cook delicious and nourishing meals for your lunches.
  • Build strength in certain movements by practicing them for a few minutes every day.
  • If you’re busy and short on time, choose activities that will work hard for you. For example, yoga has many benefits beyond just movement and is an effective way to practice self-care, gratitude, and being more present. 

Pro Tip: Check out Tonal’s meditations. Coach Allison’s Envision Your Goals is perfect for the new year, and Coach Jared’s Breathe to Succeed is a wonderful way to introduce breathwork if you’re not into meditation but still want to get into a mindful space.

Make a Vision Board

Vision boards are a good substitute for resolutions, and many people swear by this creative tool, including Oprah Winfrey. Can kicking off your new year with a vision board really help you accomplish your goals? The visualizing method is often used by athletes, professionals, coaches, and people from all walks of life. There is research published on how visualizing and cultivating a strong mindset can lead to success. 

Try this:

  • Decide whether you want your vision board to reflect long-term or short-term goals.
  • Spend some time visualizing how those goals look on you. 
  • Next, grab all your old magazines and newspapers, and browse through them intentionally. Snip out words and images to help tell the story of your goals and stick them onto a large piece of card or the pages of a notebook. 
  • Put your completed vision board somewhere you can see it. 
  • Feel free to make updates to it. 

While you’ll still have to put in the work, a vision board can help picture what strength looks like for you. Think of it this way, would you prefer a stunning collage to channel your goals or a list of things to give up?

Anti-Resolution Cheat Sheet

  • Old resolution: Go to the gym
  • Anti-resolution: Workout where you are

Given all the uncertainty with gyms in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the optimum way to get strong and fit right now is to work out where you are, and it’s never been easier. Tonal transforms any room into the ultimate workout space, and thanks to our library of content, you’ll never get bored. Prioritize movement throughout the day, stretch in the morning or evening, regularly walk after lunch or dinner, and reduce the amount of time you spend sitting. 

  • Old resolution: Go on a diet  
  • Anti-resolution: Just eat more nutrient-dense food 

You don’t have to go on a diet or deprive yourself to eat well. Make it more interesting and fun by enjoying a variety of nutrient-dense food like veggies, protein, and healthy carbs. 

  • Old resolution: Give up alcohol/give up coffee
  • Anti-resolution: Drink more water instead

If you want to do a dry January or give up caffeine, by all means, go ahead, but if you’ve tried it before and lost interest halfway through, there are better things you can do. Put “drink more water” on your list of resolutions, or try swapping out one of your daily coffees for a herbal tea or matcha latte.

  • Old resolution: Giving up anything cold turkey
  • Anti-resolution: Find healthier alternatives 

Some people can quit cold turkey, but that doesn’t work for everyone. Excessive sugar, social media, and smoking are just a few examples of things people want to give up for their well-being. Try creating wholesome substitutes for the habits you want to stop, thereby replacing them with something that’s ultimately better for you. 

Finally, instead of a resolution, pick a word for the year.

Create a positive change in your life by ditching resolutions and identifying with a word. This practice is championed by many people around the world, including Melinda Gates, who wrote the tradition “encapsulates her aspirations for the year ahead.” Our word for the year is stronger — share yours with us in the Official Tonal Community.

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