Let’s face it, we’ve all closed our eyes at one point or another and wished for a quick fix solution or a speedy route to our dream destinations. According to a Nielson poll published in their article A Healthy Salute To New Year’s Resolutions the most common New Year’s Resolutions in 2016 were to “stay fit and healthy” at 36% and “lose weight” at 32%. Results from 2015’s survey were nearly identical. So it’s not surprising when January rolls around to find gyms world-wide are filled with New Year’s Resolutioners hoping to make a lifestyle change and commence their fitness journey. Yet studies also show 54% of those who establish New Year’s Resolutions give up on them within 6 months, with only 8% ultimately succeeding by the end of the year.
So how do you give yourself the best chance of being one of the 8%? You to start getting specific and accountable!
So forget that vague statement you tell yourself such as “I need to lose some weight” and “I really should get fit” and swap is for a S.M.A.R.T. goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound) and write it down!
To give yourself the best chance of accomplishing your goal, it needs to be clear and easy to understand.
Take the common resolution I previously mentioned “stay fit and healthy”. This is too general as there are countless ways to stay fit and stay healthy. To make this goal more specific you can ask yourself, How do you want to do this? Do you want to lose weight or gain strength or muscle?
Example: I want to lose weight
Example: I want to gain strength
Now write your own down.
Now that you’ve picked your goal, let’s use “gain strength”, it is not enough. How will you know when you have reached your goal is it isn’t measurable? You can make your goal measurable by adding a number.
Example: I want to lose 5kg
Example: I want to bench press 40kg
Example: I want to go to the gym everyday
Now make your goal measurable and write it down.
As they say with business, it’s always best to underpromise and over deliver. I think this is a great idea to take into the gym when you’re a beginner. So instead of jumping to set a goal such as going to the gym for 45 minutes every day, which is unrealistic for most, take a step back and look at what is realistic for you.
Example: I want to lose 2.5kg
Example: I want to bench press 30kg
Example: I want to go to the gym 3 times a week
Now make your attainable and write it down.
As I stated previously, readiness to change and level of preparation are powerful predictors of New Year’s resolution success. Setting goals that are important to you is critical. Think about it, if you want to improve your cardiovascular health but hate running, are you really going to want to run everyday for 12 weeks? The answer is no. Examine your goal so far. Is it meaningful to you? Is it attached to something deep and personal within you? Does it call and motivate you? Does it fit in with where you are in your life at the moment? Will it hurt if you do not achieve it?
If it does, move onto the final step, if not take a good look at your goal. Make the changes you need to ensure it is relevant to you and your life and write it down.
How can you work towards a goal if it doesn’t have an end date? Having a specific end to a goal is not only a great way to motivate you to get started, but to keep going. With an end date in mind you can cross of the days as you work towards your goal and enjoy your mini wins along the way.
Example: I want to lose 2.5kg in by 5th March 2017
Example: I want to bench press 30kg by 3rd June 2017
Example: I want to go to the gym 3 times a week during the month of August
Write it down.
Have you written it down? Yes. Good! There you have it, your goal in red, blue or black… or another colour if that’s your style. Now that wasn’t so hard was it?
If you really want to give yourself the edge and put the icing on the cake, you can take an extra moment and apply the 3 R’s; reason, remind review. These 3 R’s could be the difference between you achieving your goal, or letting it slide by once it leaves the forefront of your mind and life’s little challenges start to present themselves.
Now next to that goal write down the reasons you want to succeed. If you’re struggling to find some reasons ask yourself, what will change if make this commitment? How will these changes make you feel? How will you feel different if you see out your commitment?
Keep it in a notebook, on your phone, on computer, or better yet, stick it somewhere you will see it every single day as a reminder to keep actioning little everyday steps to help getting you that one bit closer to your goal. This is especially helpful when you find yourself tempted to choose an excuse over a gym session, or you find yourself tempted to throw in the towel.
Remember to review your goal and your progress at frequent intervals, perhaps weekly or fortnightly. If you have not made as much progress as you planned to, don’t beat yourself up, simply evaluate the reasons this has occurred. It could be that your goal was too much of a commitment, or perhaps it doesn’t mean as much as your thought it would to you. Taking this new insight, adjust your goal accordingly.
And there you have it.
It may take time and perseverance, but keeping taking it step by step and you will soon find yourself making progress.
Do you have any health and fitness related S.M.A.R.T. goals? Let me know, because I’d love to hear them!
Need a bit of a hand when it when it comes to your health and fitness goals? Please get in touch. Konquer fitness (aka. me) provides local bootcamp style and one-on-one personal training sessions in a friendly and supportive environment. Based in Rivervale, every training session focusing on konquering your limitations, doubts and fears so we can make room for you to gain the confidence, strength and health you’ve always wanted. Whatever is holding you back…together we will Konquer it!
Need help with accountability? Want to be part of a supportive and motivational group? Want to join women of Perth and share your health and fitness journeys? Join Perth Female Health and Fitness Community on Facebook. It’s a FREE Facebook group create to provide a supportive and motivational place for the women of Perth to come together and share their health and fitness journeys.