1. Say it out loud
Make your fitness goals explicit! Know what you want to achieve specifically, and outline to yourself how you plan to get there. A survey over at StatisticBrain found that people who explicitly stated their New Year’s resolutions were 10 times more likely to reach their goals. Say it loud, say it proud and you’re already on the right path to a healthier, fitter you.
2. But, say it only to yourself
Setting fitness goals, just like any other type, is something we get excited about. It’s almost a tradition to discuss especially New Year’s resolutions. However, psychologists have found that this actually has a detrimental effect on our ability to complete tasks that move us toward those goals. By sharing your intention, your brain thinks you’ve already done something to achieve it. It gives you a false sense of accomplishment that will actually lead you to work less. So, instead of telling everyone and their brother that you’re going to run a marathon this fall, just go ahead and go for a run.
3. Create realistic short term goals
When wanting to make a big change in your life, like committing to a fitness habit, it’s easy to overdo it. It’s very tempting to tell yourself you’ll run two miles every day for the next six months. But, that’s a lot of days. After two weeks, burnout or boredom will take over. Solution: set shorter term goals. Set your goals out for three to five days from now, see what you can accomplish in that time frame. This will give you a realistic finish line, a moment to feel the gratification of meeting your goals before setting new ones.
4. Abs are made in the kitchen
One of the worst feelings in the world is launching into a great fitness routine, meeting your goals, rocking the gym, trying new classes – but not seeing the effect on your waistline. This might be what new runners or lifters get the most discouraged about. The best way to make sure your mindset and your workouts are on track is to make sure you’re not only committing to a smart workout schedule, but also that you’re committing to a healthy meal plan that will fuel your body and keep your mind focused.
5. Be flexible
Despite our best intentions, no one is perfect. You’re going to oversleep, you’re going to have to work late – don’t forget that your schedule isn’t set in stone! Don’t let one missed workout or one too many snoozes get in the way of the entire program. Be kind to yourself, but commit to getting right back on plan.
Meeting your goals is a matter of making them a part of who you are. Your fitness habit isn’t something you turn on and off. You’re not “dieting” – you’re living better. By staying focused on what you can accomplish in the short term, being kind to yourself, and creating a fitness plan with some give, you WILL meet your fitness goals in 2017.