The most common resolutions many of us make at the end of the year are to work out more and choose healthier food options. Unfortunately, many people don’t follow through with their plans, often because it’s tough to change longstanding habits and our goals are too ambitious.  

According to Abby Johnson-Bertran, manager of group experience with GoodLife Fitness, a secret weapon to reaching your fitness goals and achieving long-term success is the New Year's ‘pre-solution.’ Setting and starting resolutions early gives you a jump-start that will help you eliminate pressure, get ahead of the January 1 deadline, and establish long-term habits. 

Here are some of the benefits of setting New Year’s pre-solutions: 

Less pressure

In early December, you'll feel less pressure to achieve – whether it's from others or yourself – because you have more time to adjust. Not only that, but time off over the holidays can be used to start and establish a workout routine so you’re already underway by the new year. 

Habit vs. results

Too often we focus on achieving a quick result, when in reality we want to establish some great habits or behaviours that lead us to see real change. The earlier you can start noticing the small wins and celebrating them, the better it will be for establishing habits. The results will follow. Did you eat a healthy meal? Have you exercised today? Did you get to bed early and sleep well? Small successes lead to big changes.

Beating the binge 

A well-established routine set in motion before the holidays makes you less likely to throw all your healthy habits out the window during the festive season. Instead of trying to reset in January after holiday season indulgence, it will be much easier for you to continue with exercise and a nutritious diet, even if you take a brief break for a few days of treats!

Room for more

With your fitness under control as part of your active lifestyle, you can make other New Year's resolutions that are more fun and less daunting. Take up a photography class, learn a new language, read more books, or finally organize your storage space. Once exercise is established as a regular part of your life, you can tackle other projects and hobbies, knowing you can pull off anything with the right amount of focus. 

Aim for some manageable things. Fit in a workout at least 3-4 times a week, eat more veggies and drink more water. Start early and work your way up. With some consistency, you’ll soon be feeling great and ready to take on a brand new year.