The start of the new year brings along well-intentioned fitness resolutions — that may or may not last beyond the first week of January. While the resolutions may have been set with the best intentions at heart, not being able to follow through can be demotivating. And before you know it, another new year is around the corner and you find yourself making the same promises. If you find yourself caught in this endless spiral, it helps to take a closer look at your fitness goals and whether they are realistic enough for you to follow through. An achievable goal can be your anchor on tough days, and can serve as an instant confidence-booster. With the start of a fresh year upon us, here’s how to make this year your fittest ones yet.
❖ Don’t take on too much: The fervour and excitement of the new year can lead you to bite off more than you can chew, so to speak. The problem with setting extremely grand goals is that when you’re unable to keep up with them, it can cause you to feel disappointed and dejected the next time you try starting. It helps to start out with small, achievable goals that you can accomplish.
❖ Get a second opinion: If you’re not sure about whether the goals you have set are achievable, it pays to have a frank discussion with your fitness trainer. Have a candid conversation about what you want to achieve and the underlying reasons behind what you’re trying to achieve. Depending on your previous fitness history and current lifestyle, they will be able to recommend a gameplan that is actually realistic and achievable.
❖ Make it specific: The ultimate trick to ensuring that you achieve your goals is to make it specific, measurable and time-bound. “I will start running” is a vague goal that may or may not take form once the holidays are over and you are back to the everyday hustle. Instead, a concrete goal like, “I will run for 20 minutes every day before work” will ensure that you are actually able to follow through on your good intentions.
❖ Track your progress: Needless to say, there’s nothing quite like the joy of seeing results to help you work harder to achieve your goals. The second you start seeing the results, you’ll love what you see. It’ll make you want to go back and get even better. However, bear in mind that maintaining a day-by-day record is not necessary. Yes, working out daily and having a goal is important, but pressurising yourself by keeping a daily record is not healthy. Record results once a week or once every two weeks.
❖ Celebrate the small milestones along the way: You will need to keep your motivation levels up to avoid slacking in the middle. Once you start recording your results, make sure that you take the time to reward yourself for the progress that you’ve made. Instead of looking at a large goal that can seem unattainable at times, break it down into smaller micro goals and reward yourself for accomplishing these milestones. The boost of confidence from achieving these goals will power you through till the finish line.
Now that you have a few tips for setting achievable fitness goals, what are you waiting for? Start now!