It’s the new year and new year’s resolutions have been a main focus point for many of us over the last fortnight, but did you know that 80% of new year’s resolutions are failed by February? Today we’re going to go through some simple tips to help you achieve your goals for this year!
What is a new year’s resolution?
Traditionally, people would create a new year’s resolution to give themselves an aim to improve their life for that following year; and in my mind as a trainer, that sounds like something I encounter every day with my clients – goal setting. The only difference is that for some reason, when people set a new year’s resolution, they decide to set totally unreachable goals. So in this article I’m going to give you 4 foolproof guidelines to follow to make sure you set the right goals and actually achieve them!
Set the right goal
This is THE most crucial part of any new year’s resolution, if you’re drunk on the 31st December, vowing to cut out drinking for the whole of the following year, you’re going to end up disappointed. So make sure your goal is something you really care about, for instance, wanting to lose some weight and reduce your risk of chronic disease so you can grow old enough to watch your kids grow up – that has some sticking power, and a great driving force behind it.
Sit down for 30 minutes and think of every goal you want to achieve, and then go through these questions:
– Why do I want this?
– How will I do it?
– What are the possible barriers to achieving this goal? How will I get around these barriers?
– Who can help me to achieve this goal? (This one is especially important as building a like-minded community around you is an excellent way of keeping on track).
After half an hour you should have a solid goal for yourself for the following year.
Make it SMART
This is classic Personal Trainer jargon but it’s used so often for good reason, it actually works!
S – Specific – your goal has to be specific
M – Measurable – you need to be able to measure your success against something
A – Achievable – make sure it is actually possible to reach your goal
R – Relevant – make sure your goal will have an impact on your life once you achieve it
T – Time-based – give yourself a realistic deadline to reach your goal by,
To make things simpler, let’s use this method to set a goal for someone wanting to take up running for the first time.
S – Specific – To run 1km in 5 minutes
M – Measurable – this goal has two measurable aspects, the time (5 minutes), and the distance (1 km)
A – Achievable – although 1km in 5 minutes will take some work, it’s definitely achievable.
R – Relevant – let’s say this person has the ultimate goal to run a half marathon, so being able to run 1km in 5 minutes will be a great step towards that ultimate goal. Even if this is their only goal, being able to run 1km in 5 minutes will be a great improvement in their physical health
T – Time-based – as a total beginner this person could give themselves a whole year to achieve this goal
Set mini goals
Having a whole year to do something is great because it gives you time to achieve it, but it also gives you a whole lot of time to procrastinate! Setting yourself mini goals is a great way to get around this issue. Using the example of the runner from before, we could say each month we want to reduce the time by X amount of seconds, depending on the start time. Not only is this a great way of keeping you on track, but it also gives you a great feeling each month that you’re able to reach that mini goal!
Give yourself leeway
It’s very important to give yourself a plan and to stick with it, but sometimes something unexpected might happen which can effect your ability to stay on track towards your goal. That’s why it is important to give yourself a little bit of flexibility, instead of feeling overwhelmed and quitting straight away, simply create a hierarchy of what’s going on in your life, work through it and fit in progress towards your goal whenever you can. It’s a great way to reduce the stress caused by your goal, but it also helps to incorporate your goal into your life.
If you would like some professional help setting and/or reaching your goals, please get in touch and we can arrange a FREE consultation.
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