Planning on setting a personal fitness goal this year? Go about it the wrong way and watch 2016 wind up just another year of not following through!
When most people set fitness goals (particularly around the new year) they go for whatever is the “latest greatest” new method for getting fit fast. It’s an easy trap to fall into. If you’ve tried everything in the past only to fall short, it’s probably the program’s fault and not yours. You just haven’t found the right program yet!
The only problem is, this isn’t really correct. The right program is whichever one you’ll stick with. That takes a certain amount of effort and responsibility on your own part. The real problem lies in the way most of us think about making goals.
If you want to make a fitness goal this year, and on that you stand a better chance of actually accomplishing, avoid these pitfalls and make your goals the right way:
4 ways to make better fitness goals this year
Common pitfall: Focusing on results
Instead: Keep your goals habit based
Instead of focusing on losing 10 pounds in a month, focus on maintaining good habits every day for that month. It’s too easy to get derailed when halfway through January you fall behind your target weight loss. But if you focus on making it to the gym 3 times per week, and eating healthy meals every day, not only will it be easier to stay on track (or at least jump back on after a minor slip up), but you’ll actually get the results you wanted in the first place.
By focusing on simply repeating the good habits that you know will lead to the results you want, you’ll more easily reach those goals as well as set yourself up to maintain the good habits in the long term.
Common pitfall: Trying to do too much
Instead: Make your goal small enough you KNOW you’ll succeed
Going from not working out at all, to committing to two a day workouts because you want results fast, is the easiest way to fail at your fitness goals (and likely wind up injured).
Consistency is more important to your success than intensity. As I mentioned before, the very best program is the one you’ll stick with. You’ll never get results from a program that leaves you exhausted and broken after only a couple of weeks. Choose a commitment level that works with your life and your current abilities. Don’t over commit yourself.
The path to failure is taking on more than you can sustain. People spend years in a cycle of taking on too much, failing, and giving up for a while. You’ll get a lot more mileage out of setting up a small habit, and winning at it repeatedly.
And you may find that once you own one workout habit, it’s even easier to build the next one.
Common pitfall: Not showing up often enough to establish a habit
Instead: Make your efforts frequent
It’s one thing to say you’ll get 100 workouts in this year. It’s another to make sure you get at least 2 in every week. The frequency of your habit developing efforts will directly affect how successful you are.
The frequency you choose isn’t really as important as that it’s consistent enough to become part of your routine. That it fits into your life, on the regular, is far more important than anything else.
Common pitfall: Going it alone
Instead: Find a group of humans all working towards the same goals
This one you probably can already relate to. Going it alone can be boring and unmotivating. Finding a group or a coach can make all the difference.
It doesn’t really matter how other people are involved in your workout habit. Maybe you recruit your best friend to go with you, maybe you hire a coach, whatever it is, having other people involved with your habit forming will make a massive difference to you sticking with it.
This is why people on teams do so well. This is why working out with a friend works. This is why having a coach is awesome. Other people make a huge difference.
Looking for a group of people who love to workout, and have fun while doing it?
CrossFit Thumos is accepting new members this January!