According to fitness network platform Strava, there’s an official day for when we give up on our fitness goals and resolutions: Quitter’s Day. Quitter’s Day falls on the third Sunday in January (Jan. 17, 2021). So, we have to ask: how are your New Year’s resolutions holding up?
If you’ve already given up or if your resolutions are hanging on by a shoestring, a detailed plan will go a long way to helping you get back on track. You don’t need to wait for a new year, new month or even new week to make positive changes – now is the best time to get started!
Step 1: Set a goal
The presence of goals can impact motivation, commitment, and your results. Setting goals will also identify what success looks like to you.
Using the SMART acronym to guide goal setting. This approach helps to focus your efforts and increase the chances of achieving your target.
S – Specific: Your goal identifies what you want to accomplish, why it is so important to you, and how you will reach your target.
M – Measured: You goal has a definitive marker for success to allow you to track progress towards achievement.
A – Achievable: Your goal is realistic yet challenging.
R – Relevant: Your goal is motivating and relevant to what you want.
T – Timely: Your goal has an end date with specific milestones.
For example, instead of:
“I want to lose weight so I can hike more”
“I will complete the Chester Lake hike in less than 2.5 hours by June 1. By resistance training 3x per week, I will lose 8 lbs and be able to walk up 50 flights of stairs.”
Step 2: Be Consistent
Consistency and commitment to your workouts will be the determining factor in your success. Once your goals are set, the next step is to establish a weekly schedule of exercise and healthy eating. An effective way to schedule your week is to carve out time for your workouts on the same days and times each week. This will allow you to anticipate changes in your schedules and prioritize yourself and your fitness goals.
Some flexibility in your exercise schedule is always required so if you miss one workout, don’t panic! No single workout will derail your progress. Consistency over time is what will create lasting impactful change.
Step 3: Do what you love
Choose activities that bring you joy! You are much more likely to stick to an exercise routine if you enjoy what you are doing. Doing what you love will help keep you committed and make your activity feel like less of a chore. If you begin to feel unmotivated, try finding a new activity to bring the excitement back. Invite friends and family to join in to make activities more enjoyable.
Step 4: Find support
Build a team of supporters who understand what you want to accomplish and why. This team will be there to encourage, motivate and hold you accountable. Telling others about your goals is the first step to getting them on board. How can they help you if they don’t know what you are trying to accomplish?
When in doubt, turn to the professionals. Seek out a Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Fitness Coach or Personal Trainer for expert knowledge and advice.