The most popular New Year’s Resolution is always to get in shape. Gyms are overrunning with, “resolution runners,” in January, but almost always empty again by March. How can you avoid falling into the resolution, relapse, repeat cycle? Well, step one is to set goals that are realistic and actually achievable. Here’s a look at how to set achievable fitness goals for 2019.
Is it possible to lose 100 pounds in a year? Sure. Is it likely? Probably not. Perhaps the easiest way to set yourself up for failure is to set a large goal that is too lofty. Doing this makes it easy to feel like you’ve gotten off track or have somehow failed. When you feel that way, you’re more likely to abandon your goal altogether. So, in order to achieve your goal, think small. Start by setting an ultimate goal, and then set smaller goals that work towards to big goal. Don’t focus on losing 100 pounds. Focus on losing 10. And then another 10.
Make it SMART
Experts agree. When it comes to accomplishing any goal, no matter if it’s fitness related or not, the best way to do it is to set a SMART goal. That stands for:
For example, let’s start with the popular, “I want to go to the gym more,” resolution. Make it SMART by saying, “I want to lift weights for 20 minutes twice a week for the next six months.” When you do that, you’ve set a specific goal of lifting weights that is measurable (two times a week) as well as attainable and realistic. By putting that six-month timeframe on it, you’re also keeping the goal timely.
Now that we’ve talked about how to set good goals, let’s brainstorm about what an achievable fitness goal may look like. Since everyone’s level of individual fitness will vary, different things will be achievable for every person. If you’ve never taken a run, setting a goal of running a marathon by June may not be achievable. But if you’re already an avid runner, that goal may be very achievable. So keep your own starting fitness in mind. Popular fitness goals that are achievable could include:
- Hitting 10,000 steps per day at least twice per week
- Lifting progressively heavier weights over a six month period
- Increasing your water consumption until you achieve the 68 ounces per day recommendation
- Limiting your fast food intake to once per week
- Limiting your total dining out experiences
- Go for an evening walk after dinner at least three times per week
Be Kind to Yourself
Finally, remember to be kind to yourself. Everyone stumbles with fitness goals. It’s important to forgive yourself and get right back at it. Remember that new habits can take up to three months to become routine and that introducing anything new into your daily routine is going to take effort. It’s important to remember what motivated you to set your goal in the first place.