It is almost time to make New Year’s resolutions again. If you made a resolution last year to stick to fitness goals, you may have noticed how difficult it was to actually stick to that. So how can you do things differently this year, so that you are actually able to enjoy that beach-ready body come summer? It is all about setting realistic goals that you can actually achieve.
Think About Your Goals
First of all, you need to be very clear about what you actually want to achieve. This may just be one thing like losing 10 pounds. But in addition, you may also want to have a six pack, toned arms and have the ability to do a certain amount of dead lifts. Once you know your goals, it is time to get started and actually stick to it.
Write Down Your Goals
You will need to make sure that you have a list of what your goals are.
“Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, did a study on goal-setting with 267 participants. She found that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down.”
Have a list of goals that you exactly want to achieve and have copies of it placed in various visible places. This will allow you to refer to your list daily. It is about being constantly reminded of what you actually want to achieve.
Team Up With Someone With the Same Goals
Next, it is much easier to stay motivated if you work on the same goals with someone else. Find someone who also wants to work out, like a friend, your partner, a coworker, or anyone else. You will keep each other on track, also because you don’t want to let the other down by cancelling on a gym appointment.
Work With a Personal Trainer
Personal trainers aren’t cheap but they are certainly worth the money. If you have home gym equipment functioning as a clothes horse, then a trainer can help you to make sure that you actually put it to good use. Even if you only hire them for a short period of time until you know what to do with your equipment, you will see a return on your investment.
Track Your Progress
Writing down your goals is hugely important. However, writing down your achievements is just as important.
“You can set a variety of personal goals, and each kind will require different methods of measuring progress.”
You need to know, after all, whether or not you are on track towards achieving your goals. Additionally, it will help you to set new goals when you have completed one. It is recommended to write a review at least once a month, but some goals require more frequent measuring. Also do an annual review before you set your New Year’s resolutions.
Visualize Your Goals
Having goals is one thing, but actually seeing the results of achieving these goals is a different ball game. You need to be able to see yourself once you have achieved your goals. Some people are able to create mental pictures, others prefer making a picture board. A picture board, whether mental or physical, is basically a collage of images that represent the completion of your goals. Before and after pictures also work as a great motivator.
Take It Slowly
Make sure that you don’t expect the world in one day. Don’t go for the impossible. Any progress is good progress, even if you would prefer it if things went a little bit quicker. What you need to do is to ensure that you do not get frustrated with your own efforts, because that could actually ruin things. If you have set yourself a goal of losing 10 pounds in a certain period of time, but you only lost 8, don’t be hard on yourself. Losing those 8 pounds still represents progress.
As a follow up to the previous advice, you have to be realistic. Is it really possible to lose 10 pounds in that set period of time? Life tends to get in the way of things and for all our best intentions, things just come up. Hence, make sure you factor in such eventualities, particularly in terms of setting time scales in which you want to achieve your goals.
Allow Some Flexibility
You should also make sure that you aren’t too rigid with regards to your goals and schedules. Perhaps your intention is to go to the gym every Monday, for instance, but you find yourself caught up in a family affair on a particular Monday. Simply move your day to Tuesday for that week, rather than beating yourself up. Or maybe you aren’t able to get to the gym at all that week, but you can do other things to burn some calories, such as parking a little bit further away from your place of work.
Have a Break
Every once in a while, you will need some real “me time” as well. Read a book, go to the movies, visit a nice restaurant. Routines are good for us, but they are also tedious. By taking a little break every once in a while, you stop yourself from getting obsessed and you are better able to reach your goals.
You Have Achieved Your Goals – Now What?
If you stick to all of the above, you are in a much better position to achieve your fitness goals. However, once you have ticked off everything on your New Year’s resolution list, what will you do next? The and then what question is a very important one.
“Reaching the goal is a temporary mark and a means to an end. Setting the goal and hitting the goal is actually the starting place, not the destination.”
Indeed, this is all about mindset. Remember why you wanted to set those goals? Usually, it has something to do with the idea of being happier, healthier or anything like that. So now that you have arrived there, you need to set new goals and actually enjoy the results of all your hard work.