Setting smarter New Year’s resolutions

With the New Year well on the way, many of you are going to be starting to think about what you should be setting as a New Year’s resolution. Many of you will be making those goals health and fitness related and that’s awesome!

Heck, getting a few fitness classes booked or starting at a local gym is great first step! But there is much more that needs to happen for you to be successful long term.

As you go about setting your resolutions however, there are a few important things that you should be keeping in mind at all times.

The first thing that you should do to ensure that you set yourself up for success is to set multiple goals to work towards. When all you have is one goal in place, then if you aren’t making fast progress towards this goal, you’re far more likely to become demotivated to continue.

If you have a few goals you’re striving to reach however, then you can focus on a different goal if one isn’t quite progressing as you had hoped.

Chances are good at least one goal will be moving forward, so that can help give you encouragement to keep up with your efforts. Patting yourself on the back for smaller goals will be great motivation!

Next, also be sure that you set both short and long term goals. Some people make the mistake of only setting long term goals, but this can set them up for problems because at times, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Short term goals keep you focused with each passing week that goes by and will ensure that you stay the course with your program. Short term goals should be stepping stones along the way to your longer term goal, so make sure that they are formulated properly.

The next important thing that you must do as you set your goals for your fitness program is to stay realistic. Many people often feel highly inspired at this time of the year and tend to think they’re going to make big and dramatic changes.

While it’s true that you may put in a bit more effort now than you have before as it feels like a ‘fresh start’, don’t overdo your goal set.

Be realistic as to what you can likely accomplish. Look at what you have been able to accomplish in the past and build on that slightly.

Remember that those who stay realistic and take smaller steps often do far better than those who try and make dramatic changes and strive towards a goal that’s just a little too intense for what they’re capable of. Setting that type of goal will likely just leave you feeling frustrated and more likely to fall off the fitness bandwagon.

The next vital thing you must do as you go about your fitness program is set some good rewards. When you have a good reward system in place, you’re going to feel that much more accomplished after you reach your stated goals and that can serve to be wonderful motivation pushing you forward.

Just remember that rewards only work if you only give them to yourself if you do achieve success. You need to hold yourself accountable with this – if you aren’t making the effort you should be and don’t reach the goal, don’t give yourself the reward.

Finally, the last thing that you should do as you set your New Year’s resolutions to work towards with your fitness program is to get some support from others.

Whether this is a personal trainer, a family member, or a close friend, make sure that you have someone there for you who you can turn to for support during the difficult times.

So there you have the main points to remember as you set your goals for the coming year. Set these properly and you will have much greater success as you move forward with your fitness program.

Jack Wheeler is a personal trainer and owner of 360 Fitness in Red Deer.