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We really haven’t gotten over how the start of 2020 washed our schedule and goals away in the CoronaVirus drain. But, hopping on the good hopes’ bandwagon, it’s surely high time we stop letting ourselves go and structure our fitness goals for this year & beyond, too.

Today, we have Rachel Burns to share with you some extremely realistic & incisive tips on how not to just chase, but actually achieve your new year fitness goals.

Welcome to FitbeWell, Rachel; over to you! 🙂

How to set realistic fitness goals

Are you determined to begin this year by working out more and eating healthier? Making a decision is the first big step and deserves congratulations!

But, the big question always remains –

How to actually keep up with our fitness goals?

We finally said GOODBYE to 2020, full of hope for a better year ahead. Although things weren’t as usual, most of us got a chance to spend some time with loved ones and enjoy good drinks, food, and atmosphere, after this super stressful year.

But, now, we realize that pants feel tighter than before the holidays. If you recognize yourself here, don’t freak out immediately!

Many people throw on a few pounds during winter holidays in general, and this time it was maybe even easier because of all the restrictions, stress, etc.

How to stick to your new year diet resolutions

The essential thing is to decide to not just get rid of this unwanted weight but also to change lifestyle habits. Making New Year’s health resolutions is, indeed, a common ritual. A better job, less work, or more quality time with friends and family are surely a priority. However, the decision to exercise more and take care of health, is the cornerstone one.

Now, most of us have been through all of this and we, for sure, know that deciding and sticking to the decision are two different things.

Everywhere we turn, we see delicious foods and drinks. We know that they are bad for us, but it is always hard to resist the temptation. Besides, isn’t it more appealing to spend the weekend on the sofa watching all the series you missed during the week than running?! Of course, it is!

Who wants to sweat and have sore muscles after a long and exhausting week at work?!

Well, the same question troubles us as well as a myriad of people around the world. Therefore, we decided to look for some help. We talked with medical professionals and fitness trainers and asked them how to set fitness goals and make sure we stick to chasing them.

1. Start Small

Strength training & fitness goals for women

A lot of people make a mistake by setting kind of far-fetched goals.

Well, let’s say, you are not exactly a sports kind of a person. Indeed, you play ball now and then or go for a hike once in a couple of months, but the concept of working out regularly is a complete mystery to you. Then you wake up on January 1st, full of enthusiasm because you decided to change your habits, and you go for a 10 miles run, determined to do it 5 days per week. The chances are that you won’t make it to the second week if you do something like that. It will be hard; your muscles will hurt, and you will lose motivation altogether.

So, what can you do?

Simply set realistic fitness goals! Don’t expect to be able to run a half marathon.

Start by setting small goals – for example, you can do intervals of running and walking for 30 minutes, 3 times per week. You will see that your endurance and strength improve week by week, and it will motivate you to do more. After some weeks, you can add a day or increase the time you spend working out. There will be days when you will lack motivation.

2. Know What You Want with a practical DEADLINE

It is important to know what you exactly want to achieve.

How to achieve your new year health & fitness goals

Saying things like – “I want to lose weight” or “My goal is to become stronger” won’t get you anywhere because they are too general.

For example, if you say, “I want to lose weight!” and you start dieting, at some point, you will lose 3 pounds, right?! We can say it’s some kind of weight loss, but is it what you want? Probably not, and thus you won’t feel satisfied.

On the other hand, if you have a clear idea – say, to lose 15 pounds this is something different. In this case, you know precisely what you are aiming for. Now, what remains is that you set a deadline to it.

If you say that you want to drop 15 pounds this year, it means that you have a lot of time for it, and you will always find excuses to postpone starting your new routine. Imagine instead saying something like – “I want to lose 15 pounds in 2 months, starting from this Saturday”.

Aim for reasonable goals & thus, smart results.

3. Plan your fitness goals

Plan a smart fitness schedule

Another mistake is not to have a plan. It’s not that you have all the time in the world just for working out, is it? On the contrary, most of us are quite busy trying to balance work and social life, and we don’t have so much time for exercise.

Make a simple plan.

Create a document where you will write down which days you plan to work out and for how long. If you want to change your dietary habits as part of your health and fitness goals, make a meal plan and a list of things you need to buy. Remember to make changes that are sustainable in the long run.

4. Find a Workout Buddy

find a workout buddy for accountability

Maybe one of your friends also made a decision related to fitness goals. If so, ask her or him to join you and work out together. It’s always better because you can motivate each other and monitor your progress too.

This is just to make sure that you remain accountable to someone. ALWAYS; even during times when you feel like slacking or giving up.

5. Reward Yourself

Keep in mind that you are working pretty hard to achieve your goals. That’s why it is essential to treat yourself each time you succeed in something. For example, each time you increase the weight you are lifting, treat yourself with something you like. As long as you NEVER overindulge & end up dampening all your fitness progress.

Conclusion

Changing your habits isn’t a simple thing! It takes a lot of effort and time. Sometimes you will feel exhausted or disappointed.

But, the only way to be steady is not to let yourself be demotivated by unexpected hindrances or slow progress in weight loss or other fitness goals.

Remind yourself why you decided to start in the first place and try to keep thinking positively, even if you experience some setbacks.

What is your New Year’s resolution? Do you have short or long term fitness goals you would like to share with us?

Author’s bio:

Rachel Burns for fitbewell

Rachel Burns has been writing on topics related to fitness and healthy eating for 2 years now. She also writes at Gym Expert. As a mother, she really appreciates the ease of raising children with her advice.

Rachel specializes in plant-based diets. In addition to nutrition, she is also an exercise enthusiast.

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