Congrats on making it through another year! After a tough 2020, a lot of us are setting goals for “back to normal.” However, after a rocky start to 2021 – it might feel tempting to push those goals back for when things really feel back on track. Not surprisingly, one of the number one resolutions is exercising and/or losing weight. If you’re having trouble motivating yourself to set and keep your fitness goals, use these tips to hit the ground running in 2021!
How to Keep Fitness Goals in the New Year
- Set specific goals
- Keep goals positive
- Break up goals into milestones
- Set time limits
- Find reasons for your goals
- Have someone hold you accountable
- Invest in your goals
- Get rid of distractions
- Do something!
Set specific, measurable goals
When your goals are measurable, it’s much easier to track progress. If you want to get in shape – define what that means. If your goal is to lose weight, determine how much weight you want to lose. Once you’ve got the specifics down, it will be much easier to determine where you are in proximity to your goal.
Below are some examples of a measurable goal compared to a vague goal.
- Vague goal: Get more exercise in 2021
- Measurable goal: Complete a 5K by April 2021
Keep goals positive
A positive mindset is crucial to accomplishing your goals. According to Psychology Today, it’s much easier to “focus on how good it feels to accomplish something rather than how difficult it is to get there.” Phrasing your goals in terms of things you’ll start doing, as opposed to what you’ll stop doing puts you in a better position to succeed.
- Positive goal: Run 15 miles a week
- Negative goal: Stop being lazy
Break large goals up into milestones
Setting one challenging goal might simply feel overwhelming. Breaking down larger goals into smaller, actionable milestones makes the bigger picture feel achievable. Remember to celebrate your milestones as you hit them!
- Overwhelming goal: Run a half marathon in 2021
- Achievable milestones:
- Run a 5K by January 31
- Run a 10K by February 28
- Run 10 miles by March 31
- Run 13 miles by April 30
Set time limits for goal achievement
Notice how the tip above included dates? Setting time limits is essential for goal achievement. When you have a schedule, it’s much easier to assess where you are in relation to your fitness goals.
Determine a reason for your goal
Ask yourself why you’re setting this particular goal for yourself. If your goal is weight loss – why? Have you recently gained weight? Did your doctor advise you to lose weight? How will your life be better once the weight is gone? Remind yourself of the reason behind your goals when you face setbacks.
Find someone or something to hold you accountable
Accountability is absolutely essential when it comes to keeping your fitness goals. In pre-COVID days, accountability was as simple as signing up for a class or finding a workout buddy. These days accountability might be a bit trickier. If you have kids, ask them to help hold you accountable (and they will!). If you have to document your progress on social media, do that. Just make sure to share your goals with someone other than yourself.
If you’re the type of person who struggles to achieve goals, even after you shouted them from the rooftops, try and “trick” yourself by spending some money. Hire a personal trainer, buy some fitness equipment, or even invest in an online training program. No matter what you do, be sure to spend an amount of money that stings just a bit, so you feel it if you realize you’re not capitalizing on your investment.
If you’re prone to distraction, get rid of it. If your kids like to “visit” during your online yoga practice, schedule your session when you know they’re busy. If you can’t resist checking your phone, turn it on airplane mode. If carrying your phone while jogging is a distraction, invest in a running belt to keep you hands-free!
Just do SOMETHING
Promise yourself right now that you will not beat yourself up over setbacks. But do try and do something on those setback days – even if it’s just a walk around the block. This way, you can look back and think, “I may not have accomplished today’s goal, but at least I did something,” and then move on to tomorrow.