Actionable Tips on How To Achieve Your Fitness Goals in 2018 And Beyond
The New Year is here, and with it comes big hopes and wishes. It’s the perfect time to write down some goals and make this year different.
Looking back over the past year, are you currently more or less fit, than you were on January 2017?
Have you tried to make fitness related goals in the past? Were you successful?
If not, don’t worry. You are not alone.
According to some studies, 80% of people will have given up on their goals by mid February.
Busy professionals probably make up a good chunk of that 80%. You can’t blame us- we are so busy with other obligations.
It doesn’t have to be that way. There are a few ways that you could jump start your New Years the right way, and start improving your health and fitness for 2018 and beyond.
Let 2018 be the year where you become a new version of yourself.
This Post Covers:
- Why It's Difficult to Stay Focused on Achieving Your Goals
- Simple Strategies to Help You Accomplish Your Fitness Goals
- Examples of Realistic Fitness Goals Anyone Can Achieve
Why It's Difficult to Stay Focused on Achieving Your Goals
There must be something wrong with our approach to New Years Resolutions if 80% of us fail within 6 weeks.
After analyzing the most common fitness related goals, we noticed a pattern of common mistakes people make when setting their resolutions.
Have you made any of these Fitness Mistakes?
1. You Try to do Too Much
If someone hasn’t taken high school math, you wouldn’t enroll them in a college level physics course. It is important to begin exercising at a pace that is appropriate to your fitness level.
- Do not go to the gym and spend an hour and a half lifting weights
- Do not go to the gym and run on the treadmill for an hour
- Do not go to an intense spin class for 45 minutes
- Do not drop your caloric intake by 1000 calories on January 2nd
If you aren’t used to doing any of these things, then you are setting yourself up for failure.
Anything that is a drastic change from what you are used to will not be sustainable.
It is simply too stressful on both your body and on your mind.
So What Should You Do Instead?
Set a small goal!
A small goal that you can incorporate into your daily routine that won’t be a huge burden on your difficult schedule.
A small goal helps set the stage for larger things to come. Each small goal should collectively add up to one large goal by the end of the year.
When you make small goals, you set yourself up to win multiple times throughout the year.
There are many "small goals" that you can make such as:
- Go to the gym 3 times a week no matter what, or
- Increase your daily walking by 2000 more steps a day, or
- Lose 1 inch off your waist, or
- Be able to do 5 consecutive pull-ups etc etc
When I first bench pressed 300 lbs, I got there by making small changes throughout the year. When I hit 250 lbs, my next goal wasn’t 275, it was 255, then 260 and so on.
Having a long term goal is very important, but it’s the little goals in between that will help get you there.
This leads us to the second biggest mistake...
2. You Make Unrealistic Expectations
Nothing that is worth having comes easy. It requires time and effort.
You didn’t expect to graduate from college in 1 year did you? You didn’t expect to have a lot of money in your savings account after 3 months of working did you?
Why is improving your health and fitness any different?
If you want to lose weight, or get stronger, or be able to keep up with your kids, it won’t happen in 12 weeks, or in 90 days. It is important to face the task with the right mindset.
Health and fitness is a lifelong journey, not a finite challenge.
Don’t get me wrong, you can certainly experience massive improvements in the way you look and feel in a 3 month time frame, but consider the big picture.
Fitness is not a destination, it is a process.
Focus on the long term. Decide that 2018 is the year where you will no longer be who you were before-
not for the next 90 days,
not for the summer,
not for your wedding,
but for the rest of your life!
This leads us to the third mistake ...
3. Your Goals Are Poorly Defined
It is important to understand the difference between setting a goal and setting a target. Let’s say you want to lose body fat.
Here is an example of the goal: “I want to lose weight because I’m fat.”
Everyone would agree that this goal isn’t very specific.
The more specific your goal is, and the stronger your reason for wanting it, the more likely you will accomplish it.
A better goal is, “I want to lose 10 lbs of fat by my next doctor's appointment in April, because I need to improve my blood pressure and I’m tired of being out of breath all the time.”
Who do you think is more likely to accomplish the goal?
I’ll be the first to admit that you don’t always have control over accomplishing your goal exactly as you define it.
That’s why you also need to have a target.
The target represents the measures you are going to take to achieve your goal.
The target is where you must focus all of your efforts.
The target for the above goal would be:
- I will walk 7000 steps every single day no matter what
- I will strength train two times a week, no matter what.
- I will not consume another can of beer until April
- I will consume a vegetarian meal once a week.
As you can see, you have full control over the target.
Even if you fall short of your goal, you can still be a success because you have accomplished your target.
You can feel safe in knowing that you put in the necessary work to get as close to your goal as possible.
You also get the added bonus of establishing the habit of making yourself better.
When Brittany sets her goals, she makes them realistic and well defined. In January, her goal was to squat 225 lbs and deadlift 300 lbs- she gave herself until the end of the year. Her target was to squat and deadlift two times a week with the intention of increasing the weight each week. Needless to say, she accomplished her target and her goals ahead of schedule!
Strategies To Help You Accomplish Your New Years Resolutions
So what can we conclude from these three mistakes?
Your New Years fitness goals should be
Take one step at a time. Improving your fitness requires a series of small victories that compound over time. Try and lose 1-2 lbs at a time. Try and lift 5 more lbs each week. Try and get one more rep. At the end of the year, these add up tremendously
Don’t overcomplicate the process. You are a busy professional. Your goals need to be simple enough that they don’t cause a large burden on your schedule.
Be as detailed as you possibly can when setting your fitness goal. Don’t forget to also set a target- a task that you will have full control over, no matter what.
The goal has to have a strong sentimental value to you. If you don’t know why you want the goal, then it isn’t worthwhile. The person who wants the goal bad, will be more determined.
Set your goals high, but make them achievable. Don’t expect to lose 50 lbs and have a six pack in 90 days. It is important to have many small victories to keep building momentum.
Make a Check List
Do your 2018 fitness goals satisfy all of the above criteria? If so, you are well on your way to improving your health and fitness.
Do you want to start exercising this year, but don't know where to begin. That is why we are creating our Exercise Templates for Busy Professionals that can be done in just 35 minutes a day. Learn more at our New Year's Announcement.
Let us help you achieve your fitness goals this yeat
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