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Spring has sprung, and it is not too late to accomplish that New Year’s resolution of getting fit in 2023. To make it happen, however, you need one that is realistic and fits your lifestyle.

Tim Skjellerup, who runs Rome Fit Body Boot Camp, gives tips on how to start a fitness routine in the spring. Tim and his wife, Alicia, opened Rome Fit Body Boot Camp in July of 2019. Tim has an ISSA Nutrition Coaching Certification and a certificate for coaching CrossFit Level 1. He knows that it can be hard to get back into a fitness routine once you have stopped, but by following some gradual steps, you can get there.

Just get started. Don’t wait for the circumstances to be perfect. The stars will never be aligned; start where you are and take the first step, whether that be getting up and drinking more water or walking.

Begin with the end in mind. With a fresh start, you need to begin with the end in mind and determine what your goal is for your future self. Make sure your goal is very specific, reasonable, and has a clear, realistic path. Write down your goal and your expectations for your timeline and management. Keep your expectations in check. Little steps lead to big improvements, even if you just start with one glass of water.

Safety first. Ease in and go slow. If you want to lose 30 pounds, you need to make sure you are doing it in a safe way and within a healthy timeline. Losing a pound and a half per week may be more realistic than losing 30. Sit back and look at what your lifestyle looks like. Is two hours a day of workouts going to be realistic with your family, lifestyle, and daily routine? Start with something you are going to be able to consistently stick with, but make it safe.

Consistency. This is key. Look for a stable lifestyle, not just a quick fix. Everyone is different, and only you know yourself. Start hydrating well and making healthier food choices right off the bat. Most people need a step-ladder approach.

Habit stacking. Pick one small habit that is easy for you to do and build off of that. For example, Skjellerup loves hearing his Keurig brew in the morning and enjoying a cup of coffee. He began setting a full glass of water and his fish oil supplement next to his Keurig the night before. “So, the only thing that is going to stop me from drinking that water in the morning is pure stubbornness,” he says. “Setting my water and fish supplement next to my daily routine of brewing my Keurig starts my day off with a good decision, which helps my self-esteem, and one good decision will make another good decision happen.” It’s like a domino effect. Also, setting your workout clothes out the night before is a great step to getting you motivated. You can go to bed knowing you’ve set yourself up for success in the morning. “On purpose with a purpose — and taking small steps to do it,” says Skjellerup.

Discipline. More discipline equals more freedom. The healthier you eat during the week, the more going out to eat that steak on a Friday night becomes a reality. Instead of having “cheat days,” look at it more as having the freedom to eat a dessert after a dinner night out if you are consistent with eating healthy during the day. Avoid an all-or-nothing mentality. If you eat something not on your plan, for example, a cupcake, one cupcake could end up making you throw up your hands and say, ‘I already blew it today so I will just skip my workout.’ Instead, have a plan in place.

If you are sick and quarantined, make sure these little slips don’t turn into full-blown falls. If this happens, make a decision that you are going to do the next right thing, which is to get into the right workout the next day. Rome Fit Body Boot Camp also offers home workouts, which are great alternatives if you are home quarantined. Other options are going for a walk, or just a simple task of picking up a glass of water, and boom — you are back on track. Say no to the next bad food choice.

Don’t get yourself down.

If you slip up, you cannot dwell on it. Tomorrow is a new day, get back to it. “We are all human beings, and none of us are perfect,” says Skjellerup. “We are all just trying to get a little bit better than we were yesterday.”

Do your research and don’t be afraid to ask. “The biggest thing that holds people back is investing the time and not even being sure you know what you are doing or if it is working,” says Skjellerup. Making sure you are doing the proper workout is key to avoiding injury. Making sure you do the proper workout is key, which means if you need to ask an employee or get a coach, do so.

Get an accountability partner. You need someone to tell you what you need to hear but not what you want to hear. You need your partner to say, “Hey, that wine and cheese fest sounds good, but what are the rules you are going to set for yourself?”

Self-care: put yourself first (and get your family involved, too). Everyone is busy. Being fit, however, doesn’t mean you need to go to the gym. Busy moms can still spend time with their families and work out at the same time. Get your family involved. Go outside. There are also various workouts on YouTube for kids that make it fun and work on adults too. The biggest thing to keep in mind is, you do not have to commit hours a day to having a healthy lifestyle. “Make sure you realize you are not being selfish as a mom by taking care of yourself in a reasonable manner,” Skjellerup said.

Tiffany Mills, of Rome, started a fitness routine in May 2021 at Rome Fit Body Boot Camp. As a new mom, she felt she had no time for fitness; she was extremely busy, tired, stressed, and had no idea where to even start. Once she gave Fit Body Boot Camp a try, she fell in love. Her certifications now currently include 200-hour Certified Yoga Instructor, Certified Nutrition Coach, CPR/AED, and she is actively obtaining her 300-hour Yoga certification and her certification in Certified Personal Training.

Mills’ advice on starting a spring fitness routine? “Just start. I know it’s scary and overwhelming,” she declares. “You fear where your fitness level falls amongst a group of people — but at Rome Fit Body everyone fits in. We know fitness and weight loss aren’t a ‘one size fits all’ deal, so it’s important to give new things a try,” she continued. Bottom line: everybody is different, so don’t compare your fitness routine with others’.

Be consistent. “Start small, adding in one new habit at a time,” says Mills. “As a new mom of two, we try to include the kids in as much as we can. You’d be surprised how much fun it can be and how much they enjoy it! Walking is the most underestimated calorie burner, so we would just go on a lot of walks together, play I-spy, hunt for pinecones, and squirrel watch! Create obstacle courses and do it with them. They think you’re being fun, and you are, but you’re also just keeping everyone active and engaged.”

Mills is also adamant that it’s important to share these goals with your spouse or partner, too. “Having the support around you can help accelerate results by holding yourself accountable”, she says. “If losing weight is the goal, then nutrition becomes a huge factor, and that means eliminating as many temptations as possible. So having that partnership is vital.”

Lastly, reward systems. “Reward yourself for the things you accomplish, make small goals and after each one, give yourself something to look forward to,” says Mills. “The bigger the goal equals the bigger the reward.”