We are a little over a week into the new year! Did you make any health or fitness goals? There are many people who think new year’s resolutions don’t work…but I do, if you have the right tools. When making a goal or a change to your life, the most important thing you can do is to make it a part of your life. Make it a habit. In order to stick with something, it has to become part of who you are. And to do that, it can’t be too hard or too big at first. It has to be realistic. I’m going to teach you how to make realistic health and fitness goals that you can crush!
How to set realistic fitness goals-
When you first start out setting goals, you don’t want them to be too unattainable. If they are you’ll end up failing or quitting and you’ll just be more discouraged than before. You’ll think you’re a failure, when in all actuality, the goal was just too much all at once. For example, if you are currently not working out at all and eating whatever, whenever, it’s going to be really hard to change overnight from that, to someone who eats only chicken and veggies and exercises 6 days a week for 2 hours. Or to lose 20lbs in a month.
Now I am, of course, not saying you only have to eat chicken and veggies and workout for 12 hours a week, but those are the types of goals I see people making. They make too many and they make them too big. It’s not attainable. We can’t just change into a completely new person because of the date on a calendar. Change takes time. Habits take time. And the journey is just as important as the goal itself.
The best thing you can do is to start small and make goals you can actually achieve AND stick with. You want your goals to stretch you but you don’t want to make them impossible. If it doesn’t stretch you, you’ll continue doing the same thing you’re doing now. But if they’re too big, you’ll fail.
Write them down, then break them down-
I want you to think about the health and fitness goals you would like to make this year and write them down. I want this to be a yearly goal, not a weekly or monthly goal. If you want to lose 20lbs this year, workout 6 days a week or start counting macros, that is all totally attainable!
Now I want you to take that yearly fitness goal and break it up into smaller chunks. You might not be able to jump right into working out 6 days a week, but certainly you can workout 1 or 2 days a week right? My suggestion is to make a long term goal, break it down into manageable smaller goals and crush each of those smaller goals. Workout 1 to 2 days a week, for several weeks or even months, then add a day. Then workout for 3 days a week until you’re comfortable with that and add another day. That is how you will succeed and that’s how you turn this into a lifestyle, not just another new years resolution that never gets accomplished.
If you have ever looked up goal setting, I’m sure you’ve come across SMART Goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. You can use these guidelines for fitness goals, business goals, budgeting goals..you name it. You want each of your goals to follow these guidelines.
- Specific- The goal should be clearly stated. Instead of saying “I want to start working out”, be very specific and detailed. Decide exactly how many days and for how long each day you want to workout for, where, what workouts your going to do and who you’re going to workout with.
- Measurable- You need to be able to track your progress. If you just say “I want to start working out”, that is not measurable. Instead, say I want to workout for 45 minutes, 3 times a week. You can easily record that and track what you do each week.
- Attainable- Like I mentioned above, your goal needs to be realistic and attainable. Saying you want to lose 20lbs in a month, may not be attainable but certainly losing 2lbs a month is. Smaller bite size pieces is the key here.
- Relevant- You have to make sure your goals are important to you and that they align with your other goals. Don’t set a goal to please someone else or you’ll never have the drive to achieve it. Your end goal needs to be your motivator to continue exercising or eating healthy.
- Time-Bound- Have a set deadline. If you want to lose 1-2 pounds this month, set a date that you want to achieve it by and stick with it.
A few more tips-
- When setting health and fitness goals, you need to define exactly what you want. Find some inspiration pictures to hang on your fridge, make a vision board or write them down. If you just blindly go at it, you’ll have no direction and you’ll never know if or when you make it to your goal.
- Realize there will be setbacks and “failures” I use the word failures very loosely because the only real failure is not trying. If you have a setback or a perceived “failure”, try try again. It will happen. Have it in your mind, that at some point you’ll “fail” so that when it does happen, it’s not a complete shock and you are mentally prepared to handle it.
- You will have to make sacrifices for your goals. No doubt about it. If you want to lose weight, you’ll have to say no to some certain foods. If you want to workout more, you’ll have to say no to sitting in front of the tv for hours every night. It will take sacrifice but it is well worth it when you finally check that goal off your list!
- Tell people. The more people you tell and that will hold you accountable, the more successful you’ll be! Tell people to check up on you and ask about your goals. Offer to do the same for them. Make it a fun game to see who can achieve their goal first! Get creative about how you’re going to achieve this goal!
- Take actionable steps towards your goal, every single day. If it’s a rest day from working out, use today to plan out what your going to do during your next workout. Set out your clothes the night before. Do something every single day to motivate you and push you towards those goals.
If it’s that important to you, you’ll make it happen. Motivation is not there 100% of the time, but you have to make it such a priority in your life, that even when the motivation isn’t there, you still do it anyways. I was tired this morning and wanted to sleep in instead of going to the gym. But I knew if I did, I would regret it. I feel so much better both inside and out because I got up and went. In fact, it’s even more rewarding to go when you don’t feel like it than when you do!
If you have any questions or suggestions, be sure to leave them in the comments section.
You’ve got this friends!