We’re just a couple of weeks in to 2013.

We have carefully planned goals, strategic action plans, and all the determination in the world to fulfill our New Yar’s resolutions. Nothing could stop us!… Right?

While it may seem impossible right now, there may come a day in your future where you are too tired, short on time, or have become simply bored of your typical routine, potentially causing you to fall into a workout-less RUT. Lucky for us, there are many ways to avoid this disaster.

Avoid A Fitness Rut:  Progress Measurement.

You’re probably all much more familiar with this concept than you think! Who could forget those dreaded PE physical fitness tests (with the chin-ups in front of all the boys and the one-mile runs that felt like a lifetime)? Many miles and workouts later, these tasks should no longer be looked at as painful and embarrassing but rather exciting and challenging!

There are many different ways to measure your fitness progress. Think about your goals and what matters most to you. For instance, if you are looking to run a half marathon in less than two hours by springtime, run a timed 5K once a month until then and track your times. If you feel you need an extra push, adjust your training routine by adding in some speed or hill workouts or strength training.

If you’re trying to lose 20 pounds by swimsuit season, keep a notebook of weekly weigh-ins, monthly measurements using a tape measure, and also by monitoring your body fat percentage at least once a month. By measuring your progress, you will be able to tell when you are keeping a good balance between eating right and exercising and when you need to adjust accordingly. In our boot camps, we offer assessments every month – don’t miss yours.

Avoid A Fitness Rut:  Fitness Tests.

Another great way to measure overall fitness is to revisit the traditional fitness test. Grab a friend and head to the park! All you’ll need to bring is a stopwatch and an exercise mat. While one of you times, the other one works. Ideas for what the work should consist of are push ups, planks, squats, and some sort of endurance activity (usually a run). However, you can plan your own fitness test, as long as you keep it consistent! Exercising with friends is a motivator in and of itself but you could even throw in some extra incentive. If you and your friend both improve, why not treat yourselves to a spa day or a shopping trip?!

NOW is the time!

There is no better time to begin measuring your progress than the first month of the year. Think about how exciting it will be to run a 5K in July when you could only run for five minutes in January or how empowering it will feel to do 20 more push ups a minute six months from now. Not only can fitness testing itself be fun but also the very concept of it gives you something to look forward to on this road to better health. Nothing like a little extra motivation!

“Learn from the past. Set vivid, detailed goals for the future. And live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now.” – Denis Waitley