New Year Resolutions – make it happen!

Often we make new year resolutions that don’t ‘stick’ because we didn’t give it enough thought. Maybe 2020 was your year to finally focus on your health and fitness, but then COVID hit and you threw it all in the ‘too hard basket’.

This is where you need to start thinking differently about goal setting so you can start to see the changes you are after. Make the time to reflect and review where you want to make changes in your life, then create a well planned goal so you can stay motivated and know when you’ve ‘made it’!

Mindset Coach Georgia Ellis from Bluechip Minds says goals fall into 2 categories, mundane and inspirational. It’s important to understand the difference as we may end up with a goal that doesn’t inspire us into action and may leave us back where we started with no change.

Does your goal light you up and excite you? Does it also scare you a little and you have absolutely no idea how you can make it happen? A great goal challenges you to step out of your comfort zone and tackle things head on, this is where the growth happens and you start to see what you are capable of.

Simply saying you want to be fitter and stronger is just not enough to get you moving when you aren’t motivated. Bring more meaning to your goal, find out why this is so important to you. There has to be more depth to your goal; include an action plan, how you are going to tackle obstacles and what is the reward at the end?

Here are the steps to help you set a meaningful achievable goal for 2021:

Step 1: Download the I Want Fitness Goal Setting Worksheet.

Step 2: Spend time reflecting on what you want to achieve in 2021. Choose something that excites you and also scares you a little bit. Don’t think about it, just allow your thoughts to create your ideas, no matter how ‘out there’ they may seem.

I’m going to use the goal of getting fitter and stronger as an example, my goal statement is:

By April 2021, I want to be able to complete 5 push ups on my toes and run 5 kms comfortably because then I will know I can achieve anything I set my mind to and it will represent that I am fitter and stronger than I am now.

Step 3: It’s good to check that you have met the SMART goal criteria in your goal statement. Make adjustments where necessary, it’s ok to make mistakes and work on this statement until it is exactly how you need it to be.

SPECIFIC – Your goal can’t be wishy washy or a broad statement like ‘I want to be fitter and stronger’. Add a meaningful ‘why’ to your statement. The above example is very specific and I have also included my ‘why’ in my statement so I can see what my motivation is for doing this.

MEASURABLE – State how you can measure this goal. How much? How many? I know I will have achieved this goal when I can do 5 Push ups on my toes and run 5kms.

ACHIEVABLE - The statement is achievable because there is no reason why I can’t. It can be done in this timeframe and is not unreachable.

REALISTIC – Ask if this goal fits in my life right now? Is this something I really want to achieve? Do I have the time in my daily life to work towards achieving this goal? There is no point in aiming for something that you can’t give your time and dedication to on a daily basis.

TIMELY - refers to a target date to work towards. It’s not something that is too far in the future that I will lose interest and the date will help keep me motivated to take action so I can reach my goal.

Step 4: Decide on a reward for achieving this goal.

Sometimes the reward can be a motivation to achieving a goal. In this example, the reward could be the achievement itself (5 x Push ups on your toes and 5km run). Other examples of rewards might be a massage, new runners/workout clothes, a hike to your favourite lookout or getting a new book.

Step 5: Examine your ‘why’ for wanting to achieve this goal. It is crucial that you dig deep into this as if it is not meaningful enough then it won’t motivate you. For me, feeling proud of myself and my achievements is something that will push me along when I’m not feeling motivated.

Step 6: You need a plan of action. Consistency is the key to achieving your goal. My action plan would be to start doing push ups consistently. Workout how. How am I going to achieve this would be getting help from a fitness professional, start learning correct technique and practice every day. For my run, start walk/running 3 times a week, how? Map out 5kms from my home and listen to the couch to 5km app on my phone so I can build up to running.

Step 7: All great intentions will have obstacles get in the way. It is good to plan on how you are going to overcome them before they happen so you can move on past them without them stopping you in your tracks. You may encounter an injury and your plan to overcome is to see a Physiotherapist so you know what to do to get back on track. You may encounter lack of motivation so you may plan to re-read your ‘why’ this is important to you or listen to some music to get you ‘pumped’ to train. List as many as you can.

Now you have completed the goal setting worksheet. Write out your goal and put it on the fridge or as a desktop wallpaper. Have it on the mirror in your bathroom, put it in your phone, have it next to your bedside table. Consistent reminders keep your goal fresh in your mind and will help you keep focused and determined to make it happen.

If it’s not working out for you, maybe you’ve set the wrong goal or an obstacle came your way that you hadn’t planned for. Keep reviewing and adjusting your goal where necessary until you’ve nailed it, then set a new one.

You’ve got this!