What a year 2020 has been. With all of the lockdowns, home workouts, and online classes via Zoom, things changed a lot for the fitness world. But, it is that time of the year again when we are taking time off work for the holidays. And you know what comes after, right? New year’s resolutions!
“An estimated 74% of Americans have New Year’s resolutions for 2021, while 12% of them don’t believe they will achieve them.”Catherine Choi
New Year’s resolutions are a nice way for us to set goals. It’s the start of a new year. It feels like we are gifted another chance at doing something or building a positive habit or routine. More often than not, according to the statistics, things set us back so we’re unable to do as we planned.
Here are 4 ways you can stick to your fitness related New Year’s resolutions:
1. Long- and short-term goals
“I want to get a six-pack” or “I want to add 10 kilograms of muscle” are typical long term goals. One way to make them much more achievable and measurable is to think of smaller short-term goals within them.
Using the six-pack long-term goal as an example, you’d need to ask yourself a few questions first. What is your starting point? How much body fat do you need to lose so that your abdominal muscles show through? Do you have complete control over your diet?
For someone to have a six-pack, there are a few conditions that need to be met. Having low body-fat and developed abdominal muscles are the main ones. In order to get lower body fat, you must be consuming less calories than they are burning each day. This can be done by controlling your diet more, exercising more, or (better yet) a combination of the two. To build more developed abdominal muscles, you need to perform exercises that target the abs in your regular exercise routine.
Of course, how long you would need to do these things for really depends on your starting point. Someone with more body-fat and less experience with exercise would take longer than someone who is leaner and already works out.
Breaking this down…
So putting this all together. If “getting a six-pack” is the long-term goal, the short-term goals could be something like:
- Losing 1/2 a kilogram of body weight per week. This will be done using a combination of exercise and diet control. It can be measured by taking body-weight measurements each week and adjusting your routine as necessary.
- Training your abs at least twice per week. Abs are just like any other muscle group, they need to be trained hard and regularly to grow optimally.
- Adding in cardio to your regular routine. This will help your body burn more calories which will lead to you losing weight. It isn’t necessary, and some can get by through diet control alone, but it doesn’t hurt!
This should help give you a better idea of how short-term goals can really make long-term goals much clearer. In how they can be achieved and how long it’ll take.
2. Be realistic
This shouldn’t be confused with being pessimistic! A way to not achieve a goals is to talk yourself out of trying. Whatever goal you have, try to determine if it’s even possible for you. Then, find out what a realistic time-frame would be.
For example, someone wants to “squat 200 kilograms in one year” but they currently don’t train at all. It’s probably not very realistic. If someone wants to “increase increase their squat by 10 kilograms in the next year” and they already have good experience training. This would be much more realistic.
The short-term goals should help you realize whether the long-term one is realistic or not, and help you make any adjustments if you need to.
3. Make sure it’s possible for you
This might sound similar to the previous point but it’s more about the potential obstacles that could be in your way. For example, if you work 50 hours a week, you probably can’t workout for 3 hours a day – it’s just impossible. Instead, you could do shorter workouts, maybe 3 times per week, focusing mainly on compound movements to get the best bang-for-your-buck.
Giving yourself goals that are unachievable for you because of any physical, timely or financial constraints can be demoralizing and really put you off making any other goals. Choosing ones that present you with no obstacles means you have no excuses to get out there and get it!
4. It should be enjoyable!
This one is really important. Have you ever tried getting a friend or family member to join you in your workouts? If they like it, they’ll join in and eventually start training on their own. If they don’t, they’ll only do it because they were “forced to” and then they’ll give up shortly thereafter.
Not everybody enjoys the same activities. If you want that six-pack but really enjoy eating a lot, then sorry to say but you’re going to have a pretty unenjoyable experience achieving that goal. If you really enjoy exercising a lot, though, and love being active, then this makes achieving the goal much more enjoyable, regardless of how much you eat (to an extent).
It really depends on the person, but finding something that makes your journey to reaching your goal more enjoyable is so valuable, it can be the difference between you sticking with it or giving up.
Fitness New Year’s resolutions
Well I hope you enjoyed reading this article! Sticking to goals, not just New Year’s resolutions, can be tough, but hopefully with these tips you’ll be able to find great goals you can work towards, stick to, and reach!
Catherine Choi (2020), New Year’s resolution statistics. Retrieved from https://www.finder.com/new-years-resolution-statistics