Ahh, New Year's Eve. The one time of year people take a good, hard look at themselves, consider what they'd like to improve, and drink heavily to celebrate their upcoming life changes - all before abandoning them within a week.
Statistically speaking, approximately 80% of people don't keep their New Year's resolution; since fitness goals tend to be the most popular choice among those bringing in the new year, it can be extremely devastating when they never come to fruition. More often than not, the reason has more to do with the goals chosen than the person themselves. Rather than face another failed New Year's fitness resolution, here are three ways to help you achieve your goals.
- Be Specific: When establishing a resolution, it can be easy to fall back on generalities: you want to lose weight, build muscle, or be healthy. While these are technically still considered goals, they aren't quantifiable -- if you don't set measurable limits, you won't be able to gauge your success. In the fitness world, vague results are the same as no results.
- Think Before You Lift: So you've decided your goal is to lose 10 lbs, but where did that goal come from? You certainly don't need to do multiple health tests to determine your exact body fat percentage, it is good to think about why you've set your numbers or goals at what they are; it will keep you motivated when times get tough.
- Resist Outcome-Only Goals: Outcome goals are important as they give you something tangible to focus on, but only setting outcome goals can cause separate issues. Great goal setting should provide insight into how you'll actually go about achieving your goal; for example, if you want to lose 10 lbs in three months, you should specify "I want to do three, 30-minute workouts per week." By focusing on the process in addition to the ultimate goal, you'll be more prepared, which will make committing much easier.
With a variety of classes and active adventures available in gyms all across the country, finding the best fitness experience is up to you. Whether you're interested in strength training programs, silver sneakers classes, or plain ol' basic lifts, there is a place -- and a community -- waiting for you; however, the best fitness experience starts with a mindset. By following the above tips to setting a realistic and specific goal, your odds of success are much more likely.