Did you resolve to take more control of your health this year? It’s not too late to execute your new year’s resolution. However, it’s easy to say that you will do something and difficult to actually do it. The results from a recent study revealed that 56% of most people who set new year’s resolutions give up by the sixth month. But for you to achieve your fitness goals, you need to ensure that your fitness compass is facing the right direction. Here are seven secrets to help you achieve your fitness goals.
Do you make the same fitness goals year after year but never follow through? You’re not alone. Resolutions are just the bare minimum when making fitness goals, and they can be difficult to achieve without smaller steps to help you get there.
When embarking on your fitness journey, the first step is to create a plan. This should be a well-planned strategy on what you will do and how to get there. Without a plan in place, your fitness resolutions will have no meaning. Therefore, get started by making SMART goals:
- Specific: The first step is to make sure that your goal is specific. Saying that you want to lose weight isn’t specific enough. Instead, you should think about what you want to accomplish, how much weight you aspire to lose, and how to lose weight. For instance, you can say: “I will lose 3 pounds every week, and by my next birthday I will have lost 40 pounds. To achieve this goal, I will eat clean and exercise 5 times every week.”
- Measurable: The next step is to ensure that your fitness goals are measurable to help determine if you are achieving them. For instance, if your goal is to lose weight, your measurable goal should be to walk on the treadmill for about 20 minutes every day. However, you should record your workouts and progress to help you stay on track.
- Achievable: Make sure that your fitness goals are realistic. A goal to lose 10 pounds before your wedding that is two weeks away, is both unhealthy and unrealistic. You will most likely give up on your goal and start feeling like a failure when you don’t accomplish your goal.
- Relevant: You need to make sure that the fitness goals you make are relevant to your interests, needs, and abilities. Therefore, don’t set goals like running a marathon and you hate to run. Instead, select a goal that you will be able to commit to. Ideally, this should be something that excites you and keeps you interested.
- Time-based: Do you have a specific time that you want to accomplish your goal? Ensure that you have a clear timeline that gives you enough time to monitor and evaluate your progress.
Find your why
You know how important fitness goals are. However, when you set your fitness goal without knowing why, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. Whether you’re approaching your 20th high school reunion, training for warrior dash, or your doctor just told you that you should turn things around, you need to have a specific reason that motivates you to reach your healthier place.
Make small changes
You don’t have to do everything all at once. As people say, “slow and steady wins the race.” Both short and long-term goals are vital to your fitness resolution. However, don’t focus too much on the long-term goals. Instead, focus on making simple changes. For instance, you can plan to hit the gym three times every week. For greater chances of success in your fitness goals, start small and develop a routine.
You obviously have a busy schedule – work, appointments, meetings, social events, family, and social media. You have 24 hours in a day to do everything, and you need to spend some of that time on yourself without feeling like you’re wasting time. Remember, when you feel good about yourself, you will be able to succeed in other areas of your life. Additionally, you will be less stressed, and your doctor appointments will reduce because you’re taking better care of yourself.
There is strength in numbers
Are you a lone wolf and prefer to be alone in your fitness journey? Most fitness enthusiasts, runners, weightlifters, swimmers, and cyclists train in solitude. However, self-imposed isolation can hinder your progress. On the other hand, a fitness community or just a workout partner can positively impact your effort.
Some of the benefits of having a workout partner include:
Accountability: When you get home from work and you still have a workout planned, you can decide to skip it because you’re too tired. After all, who will know you skipped your workout? But if you had a friend or coach, you will be more reluctant to disappoint them by skipping your workout. If your friends aren’t accessible and you can’t find a coach, there are other options that you can consider like joining a fitness community. You can also join an online forum and document your workouts.
Intensity: You will be more likely to train harder when working with another person or a fitness group due to the Köhler motivation gain effect. Because you don’t want to appear weak, you will be more likely to push harder than when exercising alone.
Self-confidence: When you see others do something, you also believe in yourself that you can do it. Therefore, when you exercise with a person or group of people who do tough stuff, then you also believe that you can achieve your fitness goal because you’re doing it together. Self-comparison will help to enhance your confidence.
Knowledge: When you have a fitness partner with whom you share a common goal, you will learn more about your fitness niche. You can also share ideas, learn what’s working for them, and ask each other questions. What’s more, it can be a great way to acquire new workout ideas and explore new ways of doing things.
Maintain a healthy mind-set
Your body and mind need to be in sync with each other. During your fitness journey, you will sometimes experience negative thoughts that can sabotage your progress. “Look at how big you are,” or “you will never do this” are some of the negative thoughts that may creep into your mind. Whenever you get these thoughts, boot them out of your head immediately. You should also train yourself to focus on positive, encouraging, and loving thoughts. To do this, look yourself in the mirror when you wake up and say something positive about yourself.
Keep a training journal
Another great way to stay motivated to achieve your fitness goals is by keeping a training journal. There are two main ways that a training journal can help you:
- You’re able to monitor your progress: It is common for most people to overlook where they started from. However, it’s necessary to look back once in a while and be proud of what you have been able to achieve.
- You can improve what you measure: Whether you write your training journal by hand or type it, seeing the numbers will keep you motivated. You will see where you started, what you have accomplished, and where you want to go next.
There’s no exact formula for accomplishing your fitness goals. However, SMART fitness planning, finding your why, making small changes, committing yourself, finding a workout partner(s), maintaining a healthy mind-set, keeping a training journal, and staying motivated will help you achieve your fitness goals.