Each New Year, there’s lots of motivation and hope that comes from setting new goals, planning to implement new routines, and getting to start fresh. And this year particularly, the chance to reset and build new habits is particularly appealing.
That said, after the momentum and the excitement of New Year’s resolutions have passed, it can be hard to continue working towards those goals. The stats on New Year’s Resolutions are discouraging, and only something like 8% of people actually keep up with their resolutions throughout the entire year.
But, that doesn’t mean that you should give up on your fitness goals for the new year. Instead, be strategic about how you set, work towards, and accomplish your goals. Doing so will help you be in that elite group of people that are able to meet their fitness goals and live a healthier life. Here are some practical tips to help you do that.
Set Attainable Goals
Perhaps the best thing you can do to ensure that you meet your New Year’s fitness goals is to set attainable goals. It’s tempting to set aspirational goals that sound really good but that you are not prepared to achieve.
For example, if you’ve gotten out of the habit of running, setting the goal of a spring marathon isn’t realistic. To meet this goal, you’ll face weekly mileage goals that are overwhelming to keep up with. In contrast, the goal of a spring 5k might be a better fit and will give you weekly mileage goals that you can achieve.
Being realistic about goal setting is crucial. When you sit down to make your fitness goals, remember that you’ll be better off in the short and long-term if you accomplish small goals than if you set larger goals that you can’t accomplish.
Also, when setting goals, think about the things that you enjoy doing. Most people have heard the adage that “the best exercise is the exercise that you’ll do.” This saying is a cliche for good reason and you should keep it in mind when setting goals. Don’t set fitness goals based on the type of exercise you think you should be doing. Instead, focus on what you enjoy doing. This will make it much more likely that you’ll stick with it and achieve your goals.
Have a Clear Plan for How You’ll Meet Your Goals
Once your goals are set, come up with a specific plan for how you’ll meet your goals. For example, if your fitness goal is to exercise 3 times a week, have a plan for when that will happen. This should include the time of day that you’ll exercise, what you’ll do, where you’ll do it, and how long you’ll do it.
It can help to even go a step further by actively planning for scheduled workouts. For example, if you’re planning to exercise when you get home from work, have your clothes laid out and ready to go. Or, if your goal is a 3-mile run in your neighborhood, plan the route the day before. The more specific, scheduled, and prepared you can be, the more likely it is that you’ll complete your workouts.
Most people have experienced what it feels like to go out too strong in a race and then struggle to finish at a much slower pace. The same thing often happens when it comes to New Year’s fitness goals. With the momentum and excitement of the New Year, it’s easy to start strong and overdo it. Just like with racing, this can actually have negative long-term effects.
Keep this in mind and start slow. If your goal is to exercise six days a week and you’ve been in the habit of only working out one or two days, start the year with the goal of exercising three days a week. After a few weeks of accomplishing this, slowing scale up.
Connect with Other People that Have Similar Goals
Making goals with other people makes it more likely that you’ll meet your goals and makes it more fun to work towards them. While this year it might be hard to regularly workout with other people, you can still find ways to connect by sharing your goals, planning workouts, and reporting back about successes and failures.
Whether it’s with a local fitness club, a trainer, a co-worker, a family member, or a friend, connecting with others and sharing your fitness goals makes it more likely that you’ll be successful.
Set Up Short-Term Goals
Finally, make sure that you have some short-term, mini-goals to help you stay on track. It can be hard to stay on top of daily workouts when goals seem too long-term or far away. Avoid that common pitfall by having mini-goals that you’re working towards.
For example, if you’re working to be ready for a fall marathon, plan to run a 5k in the spring and a 10k in the summer. This will help you stay on track and give you successes to mark and celebrate throughout the year.
While New Year’s fitness goals can be inspiring and exciting, they can also be hard to achieve. But, by being strategic about how you set and work towards your goals, you can help set yourself up for success.
Help to further set yourself up for success with Crazy Compression socks. Not only will they help with muscle recovery, but they’ll also make it more fun to work out. And, if you have a workout buddy, these could be the perfect gift to help them start the year off right!