It is almost May, people! Are you still on track with your goals for 2018? Statistics have shown that usually people will forget about their New Years Resolution a couple of months into the year. Why? The reason I hear the most is, “I just got burnt out”. Since working in the fitness industry, I have heard and seen this time and time again. It happens every year when the gym is packed full of people in January and after the first few months of the year, all of the new faces at the gym stop coming in. They start questioning what the point of it is. They become overwhelmed. They are lost on where to start. How can they achieve such a massive goal? How do they know if they are doing the things they need to be doing to achieve their goal? How do they get started?
Does this sound familiar?
What if I told you that you can still be successful? You can! It is completely possible and it is NEVER too late to start again!
There is a proven process and I am about to share that with you. I have given this speech to nearly everyone I have trained and even some family members and friends.
First and foremost, it is key to set a SMART goal. Yes, it is good to be smart about your goals but also set a SMART goal. In case you didn’t know, I am using all caps because it’s an acronym.
Bottom line, your goal needs to be as specific as possible, the ability to be measured using quantitative values, realistic for you and your life, worth achieving in that it will improve your life or those around you (and you are the best person for this said goal), and it must be achieved within a certain amount of time.
This is just the beginning, however! We are working on a big goal here. How are you going to achieve it? By setting smaller goals! Setting and achieving smaller goals will ensure that you do not experience burnout and then lose motivation. When you achieve your small goals, it gives you that fire to keep going. Again, you will want to use the SMART goal method for these small goals as well. It is easy to come up with something you want to do but you have to come up with a GOAL and a PLAN here!
Let’s take the most common New Years Resolution and use it as an example.
“I want to lose weight.”
Fantastic! Good for you for caring about your health! This is a good start but you will not achieve this goal just by stating this fact and not setting up a plan. This is not a smart or SMART goal.
“I want to lose sixty pounds by December 31, 2018.”
YES! Now we are talking here! See how specific this goal is and how it has a deadline? This is perfection. Now we have to specify a plan with smaller goals involved that are still measurable. For example, you can make it a goal to lose ten pounds in January. How are you going to do this? By exercising at least three times per week, cutting down your soda intake to only one can of soda per day, and drinking 100 oz of water per day. Those are smaller goals within a small goal within the large goal of losing sixty pounds by the end of the year.
The important thing here is to document. You have to keep track of your exercise, your water intake, your caloric intake, whatever you want to keep track of to achieve this goal. Some people use a notebook, some people use a fitness journal, and some people use their phones. Whatever works for you, use it! At the end of the month, when you do your measurements to see if you are on track, you will be able to use this data. This will allow you to figure out what you’ve done well and what you need to work on.
Say now it is the end of January and you lost five pounds instead of ten. Don’t get discouraged! Five pounds is still a step in the right direction! Go back through your journal and see what you need to improve on. Maybe you need to workout at least four days per week instead of three? Maybe you struggled with drinking enough water? Do you need your daily caloric intake recalculated? It is important to analyze your data and progress. This allows you to determine whether your goals are realistic or whether you need to adjust them slightly!
Repeat this process throughout the year. Always set goals, measure your progress, record your data.
I know that all of this seems like overkill. Trust me, I get it. It can be tiring to try to achieve your goals and especially frustrating when you are not seeing progress. In the end, you need to have a heart-to-heart with yourself about how worth it the goal is to you. Personally, I’d say if you wanted it bad enough to make it your New Years Resolution, then it is important and you need to stick with it, whatever it takes! If you have forgotten about your New Years Resolution, whatever it may be, it is not too late to get back on board. Start TODAY instead of waiting for 2019 to come around! You will be glad you did!