2020 has been far from a normal year for us all, and with only a few days left until the start of 2021 I am sure many of you have been busy thinking about your New Year’s resolutions. Research has found that almost two thirds of New Year’s resolutions are fitness based, and of these, 73% of people gave up before achieving their goal.
So why do so may people give up?
One of the main reasons people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions is because they are too generic and not specific enough. “Exercise more” or “lose weight” gives you no specific goal to work towards, and no way to measure progress towards your goal. Without being able to monitor improvements, it is unlikely you will be able to stay motivated for the whole year. Here are some examples of how you could make your resolutions goal specific:
“Exercise more” —> “I’ll go to the gym/run/walk 4 days a week”
“Loose weight” —> “I want to loose 5kg by [Specific date]”
What should I be considering when choosing my New Year’s Resolutions?
When you are deciding upon your New Year’s resolutions and fitness goals there are several factors you should consider to help increase the chances you will succeed. SMART goals breakdown the 5 components to setting successful goals, and this principle can be applied to resolutions and fitness goals.
Goals should be clear and well defined. You should have a specific area for improvement/ to focus on. This will allow you to effectively plan what you need to do in order to succeed.
There needs to be a way in which you can determine if you are making progress, and heading in the right direction to achieve your overall goal.
The goals you set need to be possible to achieve with the resources available to you and the skills you have. Setting yourself a goal which is too ambitious will likely see your motivation dwindle, and you will deviate from your plan.
Relevant goals are more achievable goals, this is particularly important to sports people. For example, a centre-back who wants to improve their speed and agility would find this less relevant to their position in sport than a winger. In order to make their performance relevant to their sporting position a centre-back should focus on strength and jump height, whilst a winger should focus on speed and agility.
Setting a deadline for when you want to achieve your goal will maintain your motivation and help you to keep to your plan. The time frame you set should be realistic for what you want to achieve.
Here is an example of a SMART goal in a sport and fitness context
A personal training client who goes to the gym 3x a week can currently deadlift 50kg but wants to increase this.
SMART goal: “I want to be able to deadlift 90kg for 5 reps in 3 months time”
Specific- it is clear what needs to be achieved
Measurable- Progress can be tracked by the weight which is lifted and for how many reps
Achievable- As the client can already deadlift 50kg, we can assume they know the correct technique and movement pattern needed. Therefore they just need to apply the Principles of Training to their workouts
Relevant- The client already goes to the gym for strength training and has said they want to improve their deadlifts. Therefore this goal is relevant to them
Time bound- There has been a deadline set for when the client wants to achieve their goal.
Sometimes, if you have a larger goal which you want to achieve, it can be beneficial to break your overall goal down into smaller short term goals. For example if you want to run a marathon in 9 months time, it would be beneficial to set individual goals for when you want to be able to run a certain distance by.
Often a little careful planning can make a big impact on how successful you are in achieving your goals. If you think HLM Sports Therapy can play a part in helping you to achieve your health and fitness goals, get in touch today!