2 in 3 of us set fitness-related goals for New Year’s resolutions each year; however only around 20% of people follow through and complete them.
Here at Form, we want to help you make failed resolutions a thing of the past.
1. Set the right goals
One of the most important steps in smashing your resolutions is to set the right goals. Many of the 75% failed fitness resolutions stem from the fact people don’t have clear measurable goals that are achievable, with an end-date in mind. When setting your goals, be SMART:
Specific: your goal should be clear in exactly what you want to achieve. Replace vague goal statements such as ‘run more often’ to more specific goals such as ‘run 10k each week’, to help focus your efforts;
Measurable: this step is important because it allows you to track exactly whether your goal is being achieved or not. For example if your goal is to ‘lose weight’ or ‘do more yoga’ add numbers such as ‘lose 5kg of weight’ or ‘do yoga twice each week’;
Achievable: while we might like to build 5kg of muscle in a week or do 5 classes of yoga a week, if it’s not possible, we will quickly become demotivated and give up. Think about how you will achieve your goal and if it is attainable under the current conditions. Remember while a lower goal may seem less of an achievement, see it as the first step to achieving a larger, longer-term goal; for example an aim of building 1kg of muscle may be part of a longer plan to build 5kg!
Relevant: make sure your goal is important to you and it is the right time for you to be working towards this aim;
Time-bound: it is important to add a date by which the measurable goal will be achieved, such as ‘nail a headstand by the end of February’. This is important to stop everyday tasks getting in the way of achieving the goal. Without an end date, it’s hard to say at which point you fail in your goal: having this cut-off date provides extra motivation.
2. Make a public commitment
So you’ve set your goals and you’re determined to complete them. One of the most powerful tricks is to make your goals public: share them on social media, on your blog or place them on the wall so everyone can see what you’ve committed to.
This adds extra fuel to the engine of determination: now not only do you want to achieve your goals, you also want to avoid the embarrassment of having to admit that goal you shared so widely has not been stuck to. Try it and see what effect it has on your motivation.
3. Surround yourself with kit that you love to use
Think of the reason behind your new resolutions - look forward to the results. Find fitness equipment that you look forward to using. If you have clothes that you look and feel good in, or a mat which you love spending time on, you are more likely to want to workout making it feel less of a chore.
4. Find the best time of day to workout
Whether you are an early bird or a late riser, we all have our ‘peak’ time to workout. Avoid working out when you are at your most tired, as you're more likely to feel sluggish and unmotivated at these times. There are of course advantages and disadvantages to working out at any time in the day, so try a few different times to find when you have maximum energy and motivation.
Research has suggested that we perform better when working out at a similar time each day as our body adapts for greater oxygen consumption and lower perceived fatigue. So once you’ve identified your ideal time to hit the gym, studio or park, try to go at the same time each day.
5. Plan out your fitness days every Sunday
Take a few minutes every Sunday to plan what workouts you will do each day in the week ahead. Fill out a day-by-day plan of when you will do yoga, cardio, weights, abs etc and a what time (eg before work, at lunch, in the evening). That way, each day there is no requirement to work out what to do and to motivate yourself - just look at the plan and do what it says. It sounds simple, but it really helps!
6. Take rest days and reward yourself for sticking to your plan
While it depends on what sort of exercise you are performing and at what intensity, it’s important to allow your body enough time to recover and rest. Listen to your body and take time-off when it’s needed.
It’s also important to reward yourself for successes you make towards achieving your goal; if you’re on track to achieve your goal, buy yourself a gift, or eat a cheat meal every once in a while. It will help make the remainder of your plan easier to follow and give you something to look forward to.
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