With the New Year is just around the corner, many people are going to be setting fitness goals. Many of those same people set fitness goals last year; how many of those goals were met?
The problem with setting fitness goals is that most of us don’t know what we’re doing. Often goals we set our unattainable, unrealistic, or based on activities that we know we don’t like or won’t do.
Here are 5 quick and easy strategies for setting fitness goals
1. Use SMART
The American Council on Exercise recommends you use the SMART program.
• S =specific: make sure you’re specific about what you want to achieve
• M = measurable: if you cannot measure your progress you will never know how you are doing when attempting to hit your fitness goals.
• A = attainable: you cannot lose 100 pounds in 30 days. Ever. It won’t happen. Don’t set that goal. Make sure any goal you set is something you can actually achieve.
• R = relevant: if you’re setting a fitness goal and you have in there about buying pink high heels; that’s not relevant to fitness goals, it’s not going to help you achieve any goals, it’s not even in the same realm of fitness. Anything that you put into your fitness goals should be relevant to helping you achieve or maintain that goal.
• T = time-bound: all goal should have a timeframe whether it’s one day one week one year you should have a timetable for which you are going to complete your goals.
2. Use Rewards
Many people use rewards when setting fitness goals. Spark People recommends the use of rewards when using goals to motivate your fitness. One thing you should avoid when using rewards to guide your fitness goals is using food as a reward system for hitting your fitness goals. You are not someone who should be rewarded with food, like a dog performing tricks. There are other ways to reward yourself and building positive relationships with food starts by not treating it like a prize to be won.
3. Try New Things
If you previously set a fitness goal and failed because you hated the activity (i.e., you hated running) set new goals with new activities that you will enjoy. The great thing about having failed at setting fitness goals in the past is that you didn’t really fail. You just learned one way that doesn’t work for you. Nerd Fitness discusses how many people hate running, but when the New Year rolls around, they set a goal of getting fit by running on the treadmill. If you know you hate a certain activity, try something new instead, whether your swimming, biking, weightlifting, playing tennis or playing dodgeball with your kids a new activity is still activity. Getting fit means trying new things and finding something that will work for you.
4. Start Now
We are all familiar with the phrase that we will start on Monday. For some reason, Monday is a magical day where all goal setting, goal hitting, goal achieving things can happen. This isn’t true, and Men’s Fitness tells you all about it. Don’t wait to start your weight loss goals. Don’t wait for Monday, the new year, or the new month. Start today because it will give you the motivation that you need to get the ball rolling. The longer you will wait, the harder it will be to hit those fitness goals.
5. Go Public
Do you like admitting when you failed? Most of us don’t, in fact, most of us keep our goals quiet because we don’t want to admit when we haven’t achieved them. This is one of the reasons that Nerd Fitness advocates going public with your fitness goals. If you make your fitness goals public, you have a greater sense of accountability, not only to yourself but also to the people with whom you confided your fitness goals. Having an extra sense of responsibility and accountability is going to keep you on track.
With these five strategies for setting fitness goals, you are sure to set some rock-solid goals for the New Year. However, why wait for New Year’s Day to start working toward your new fitness goals. Go ahead, take life by the horns, and start today.