Are Your 2011 Fitness Goals Fail-Proof?
Gift-giving. Volunteering. Donating to charity. Cooking for holiday parties. You’ve done a lot of giving this month, haven’t you?
Well the New Year is fast-approaching, and get ready, because it’s going to all about you. And, as you know, New Year’s Resolutions are prime opportunity to decide how you want to improve your life and set those new goals in motion.
If fitness resolutions are on your mind, here’s how to create a list that’s destined for success.
Step #1 – Decide what you want.
What do you want to do in the New Year?
- Mastermind a healthy grocery shopping strategy?
- Survive a 100-mile bike ride?
- Exercise before work?
- De-flab your armpits?
- Discover the madcap joy of hula hoop cardio?
(If you answered yes to all of the above, then your wish list is identical to mine. Creepy.)
OK, do you have your goals in mind?
Step #2 – Write your goals down—and expose them.
You’re 100 times more likely to be successful in your goals if you write them down.
Yes, I made up the statistic, but seriously—nothing makes people commit faster and stay accountable long-term than writing stuff down. Especially when we’re aware of thousands of watchful eyes.
Why else would so many of us be hooked on this fitness blogging community? Sharing goals and exchanging progress reports with peers is ridiculously effective.
(So feel free to share your New Year’s fitness resolutions in the comments below.)
Step #3 – Figure out which strategy will work for YOU.
Are you a procrastinator who also happens to crumple under last-minute pressure? Or are you someone who excels at performing one activity at a time and methodically checking them off your list one-by-one?
Maybe you apply Zen-like focus to your New Year’s Resolutions. You prefer to fully engage in one type of training until you’ve mastered it, and then move on to something new. If this is you, you’ll probably do best laying out your 2011 calendar and blocking out a few months for each goal.
If you’re like me, you prefer a subtler exercise courtship. Me, I like to dip my feet in, experiment, make a fool of myself, and conquer an activity at my own comfy pace. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from camping out in the self-help section at Barnes & Noble, it’s that this gradual repetition and reinforcement makes new habits invincible.
That’s why I’m going to tackle all of my goals at once. Or rather, start them all at once, and spend the year plodding away at them.
(P.S. Rumor has it, it can take a smoker up to 7 tries to successfully quit smoking. It’s that hard to rewrite some habits. So the sooner you start moving toward your goal, the more prepared you’ll be to handle inevitable backpedaling along the way.)
Another big factor in your “fitness goal style” is how to quantify your fitness goals. Maybe you do best with an end goal—say, to lose 5 pounds a month, or 60 pounds by the end of the year. Or maybe having such a specific goal makes you claustrophobic, and you know you’ll do better with a commitment to exercise 3-4 times a week and see where the pounds fall.
So, you know, do a little soul-searching. And don’t be afraid to craft a strategy that works for you, even if you’ll never see it in the pages of a Tim Ferriss book.
Drawing a blank? Start with a draft.
If you aren’t sure what you want to accomplish in the New Year, feel free to jot down a few ideas in the comments section and see how they feel.
If you’re just in the mood for something new, but not sure what, read this.
If you’re in the mood to go out and buy a bunch of new gear you’ll never use, read this.
Bonus: 3 More Ways to Make Your Fitness Goals Happen
- We have an entire section devoted to goal-mastery and it’s going to explode in the New Year. Subscribe to our email list or RSS feed (button’s on the homepage) and keep the knowledge coming without even lifting a finger (well, except to open your email or news feed).
- For those specific questions about how to reach your goals, fill out the question form and we’ll send you a speedy personalized answer. Yes, free. We love our readers that much.
- Finally, you can follow me on Twitter and I’ll harass you about your progress for the next 365 days. Clearly, this is most valuable option. 😉