With the indulgence of Christmas just days away, many of us are awaiting the turn of the New Year to get back into our fitness and get 2018 off to a good start. While the majority of us start the year off with the best intentions, research shows that up to 90% of us do not stick to our resolutions. This is largely due to setting unrealistically large goals and pushing ourselves too far too quickly. If you want to make a change for the better in January, we’ve got some tips on setting goals that you can actually meet to keep your motivation up! Our tips are focused highly on fitness and exercise goals, but many of these tips can be applied to almost any resolution!
1. Set SMART Goals
SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Setting goals in this way help you to gauge your success and to ensure that you set yourself a realistic target. For example, you might set a goal of exercising three times a week for the next month for a minimum of 30-minutes. You can create a chart or tick sheet to track your progress and this will help to keep you on track!
2. Start Small
Don’t start the New Year off with unrealistic expectations like “I want to drop four dress sizes in the next month” or “I want to be able to bench 300kg for 100 reps in the next two weeks”. This is essentially setting yourself up to fail, and the disappointment that follows when you fail to meet your goals will only set you back further. Make short-term goals that you can stick to, which might be making small changes in your diet, your exercise regime or even your sleeping pattern will make a bigger impact than you might initially expect. Gradually increasing your goals as the year goes on will help to drive your motivation and keep you working towards your ultimate end goal.
3. Track Your Progress
Whether you chose to use a wall calendar, a personal diary or a simple tick sheet, having your goals laid out on paper is a great way keep track of how you’re getting. You might find that you need to factor in time for exercise into your schedule, so adding this to your weekly diary will help to remind you to go for a run or to head to your fitness class. You can also track things such as your run times/speeds and how good/tired you felt after a class, this will help to show your fitness improving over time and keep you on track!
4. Don’t Get Hung Up on the Sad Step
All too often people get hung up on the number they face on the scales, and although this is a figure to keep track of, you certainly shouldn’t be weighing yourself every day. It’s much better to keep track of measurements and fitness levels rather than weight as your weight has a great tendency to fluctuate. There’s nothing worse than thinking you’ve put in a lot of hard work over the week only to find you’ve not dropped any pounds but potentially even gained! When ‘losing weight’ through exercising, your body loses fat but builds muscle, which is heavier and therefore can often seem like you’re getting nowhere. Put the sad step away and focus on how you look and how you feel to track your progress.
5. It’s Ok to Have a Day Off
Sometimes you simply need to take a day off from your routine for your sanity and your health. Some days you’ll find that you simply need to push through and get your workout out of the way, but other times you simply need to know when to stop, particularly if you sustain an injury. Prevention is better than cure, so ensure that thorough warm-ups, correct gear and proper technique are used. If however, you do sustain an injury and are in need of sprain pain relief, then one of our cooling bandages will help to reduce the swelling and ease the pain, getting you back on track in no time!
6. Try Something New
If you’ve tried to set goals before and failed, why not try something new? Often the reason people don’t manage to stick to their fitness goals is that they they simply cannot find the passion for the sport. If you really dislike running, take the first few months of the year as an experiment and test out a variety of sports to find one that suits you. Whether you trail a game of squash, a Zumba class, an aerial hooping lesson or rugby, the options are unlimited! Once you find a sport that you truly enjoy, attending lessons, classes or workouts will no longer seem like a chore and it’ll become an important and enjoyable part of your schedule in the future!