New year, old routines or new? Right now, you may be thinking about turning over a new leaf. One of the best ways to ensure you make progress is to set goals for yourself. Goal setting can be a bit of an art, so this article will look at how to set up goals that will stick.
Consistency is key
What does it mean to be consistent? Well, it’s best to aim to do a little every day and get into a routine. Things like fitness and weight-loss are long-term goals and require both a long-term mindset and patience. Fitness benefits tend to be incremental, and go to the people who work patiently rather than the weekend warriors. If you only get a tiny bit fitter every time you workout, you might not notice it weekly, but if you workout consistently those gains add up.
S.M.A.R.T. goals are your secret weapon
SMART goals are popular because they help you make good targets and avoid all of the pitfalls when deciding your next step. For a goal to be SMART, it needs to be:
Specific – clearly define your goal. Rather than saying ‘I want to get fit’, try ‘I want to be able to run 1k’.
Measurable – this is where numbers come in handy. You need to be able to measure your goals to know how to work towards them and when you’ve achieved them. For example, you could set an overall goal to run 1k, and start this goal by running 250m by next month.
Achievable – this is where you should know yourself, or even benefit from professional, like a P.T. , to help understand what is reasonable in the short term versus the long term. You don’t have to be the greatest athlete to get a lot out of fitness, so set a goal that suits you. For example, perhaps you can do three pull-ups right now so you might want to set a goal of doing 12 pull-ups. That would show some great development but isn’t too far ahead. If you’ve chosen a big long-term goal, then you should break that down into a series of smaller goals. Weight loss goals might need to be even more gradual, and if you want to lose a lot of weight remember that it’s better to be consistent than to push yourself too far.
Relevant – choose meaningful goals. For example, if your main goal involves being an energetic parent who can play football with their kids, it would be better to choose a goal that improves your cardiovascular fitness rather than one that increases your bicep size. Increasing your run duration would be a great goal for this, and would see you running comfortably around the pitch in no time.
Timely – you’ve got to give yourself a deadline other than ‘someday’ because it helps focus your attention and plan the timescale on which you’re going to achieve it. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither does your fitness need to be. If you want to go from couch to 5k, don’t be afraid to give yourself ample time to reach that goal, because slow progress is better than burning out.
These are just a couple of the tips which we share with our members and ways which can help you get ahead and stay ahead in 2022. Make sure you plan on paper what your goals are so that you can work towards something clear and tangible. You got this!