Making a New Year’s resolution is a common tradition, but it’s the easy part. Sticking to that resolution is notoriously difficult, which is why so many fall by the wayside by the time Autumn starts rolling in.
Don’t worry though, because we’ve put together some advice to make sticking to your goals a little easier going into 2021.
Be Realistic, and Specific
“Get fit” and “work out more” are two of the most common New Year’s resolutions you’ll hear. While you can measure how often you’ve been in the gym or if you’ve dropped a few kilos, goals that are vaguer are harder to measure, and in turn, harder to stick to.
This year, try setting a specific target to aim for. Want to be a stronger runner? Consider making your goal to complete a couch-to-5km program.
Maybe you just want to get comfortable being back in the gym for the first time in a while? Set yourself a goal to get in there however many times you’re comfortable with (twice a week is a good starting block) and hold yourself to it.
Make your goals realistic for your lifestyle and specific to what you want to achieve, and you’ll find them much easier to stick to.
Start Small and Build Up
Just as important as making realistic and specific goals is not trying to take on too much too fast. While pulling the runners out and aiming for 25 ms on January 1st is admirable, it may be disheartening to find you might not be up to it yet.
Taking a walk around the block may not feel like a huge achievement when you’re motivated and ready to take on the world, but the best way to tackle a big goal is to tick off smaller goals one at a time.
For example, if those Sundays spent sprawled on the couch watching the UFC have got you aiming to get in the ring yourself this year, buying your own set of gloves is a great place to start. Hanging them on your door will keep you motivated on those days when you’re on the fence about doing some training.
Enlist the Help of Others
Being held accountable to your goals is a fantastic way of keeping yourself motivated. If you’re not one for team sports twice a week you can still make a pact with a friend to work out together, even if your schedules only line up on weekends.
Social media can be another great way to hold yourself accountable. Consider finding a few friends on an app like Strava and tracking your movements online. Seeing your friends moving is sure to motivate you to follow suit.
There are countless ways to make being socially and physically active go hand in hand, and this tip is particularly useful if you’re one of the many people guilty of spending a little too much free time avoiding both exercising and replying to friends.
Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
The New Year is a great time to reflect, reset and make a change in your lifestyle, but it’s important to remember that you’re making a change for you, not for the calendar hanging on the wall. Harvard Medical School lecturer Dr. Marcelo Campos says: “January first is just a day in the calendar. You can reset your calendar every day for a fresh start.”
That’s not to say you need to give up and start from scratch every time you face a setback, but it does mean you don’t have to wait until the end of 2021 to get those resolutions back on track if you need to update them.
Good luck and Happy New Year!
Keep checking the blog for more tips on smashing all your fitness goals.