Almost half of us will promise to make New Year’s resolutions and it’s not surprising that health and fitness goals top the list. Despite all of our enthusiasm and positive intentions, it’s estimated only about 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually succeed in keeping them. So what’s the trick to sticking to your New Year’s fitness goals? Here are 7 tips for giving yourself the best chance of success in 2021.
Many people resolve to lose weight or get fit, but those goals are too vague to be meaningful or measurable. Taking the time to set a SMART (specific, measurable, attractive, realistic and time-bound) goal will increase your likelihood of success.
Making changes can be hard but it’s a lot easier if you have a compelling reason to want to change. Connecting your goals to an important personal value like being a positive role model for your children, or a cherished dream like taking a skiing trip in the Swiss Alps will help give you the inspiration you need to keep going when motivation starts to fade.
People who take time to write down their goals often report achieving more goal success. International bestselling authors, Allan & Barbara Pease credit writing down goals for achieving astonishing personal and professional success in the face of obstacles most people would think couldn’t be reached. Taking the time to read your goals every day re-affirms your direction and reminds you to stick to your plan and make wise choices.
What derails most people from achieving their New Year’s goals is the ‘all or nothing’ mentality. When you inevitably slip up, the feelings of discouragement can cause you to throw in the towel completely. Be realistic and expect a few hiccups along the way. Remember the only failure is failing to get back on track and keep going.
Working out with a friend adds a fun factor to achieving fitness goals, as well as a level of accountability and it might even inspire some healthy competition! The power of pairing up means you can take turns to motivate each other when you need it. Or if you’re serious about getting fit and healthy, investing in a weekly session with a personal trainer can be the key that makes the difference to your goal achievement. The structure and expert advice take all the guesswork out of your efforts and force you to be accountable to someone.
Research shows that having an intention to do something is a good start, but actually planning when and how you will do something significantly increases the likelihood you will follow through and do it! So instead of telling yourself “I’ll go to the gym three times a week”, set aside time in your schedule for training, create a routine you can stick to and write it in your diary or set a reminder in your phone to keep you on the path to success.
See yourself achieving your goals. Make it a habit to mentally play out a scene in your mind of what it will look like to achieve your goals. When you picture success, be sure to imprint it with lots of positive emotion and excitement. You might also want to find an image that represents your goal and tape it onto a vision board, your bathroom mirror or your fridge. Having a visual reminder of your goal is a powerful way of keeping you focused on your goals.