Setting New Year's fitness resolutions is an annual ritual for many of us. Goal setting is important – but so is being realistic. We have tips on how to set New Year's fitness goals and how to keep them. And most importantly, how to recover when you break a goal.
Many of us set the same New Year's fitness goal year after year after year... and clearly, many aren't achieving those goals. Nearly 25% of all New Year's goals are to improve our health and wellness, most likely due to remorse after holiday splurges. January at the gym has a reputation for long waits to use machines and long lines at the showers. And many regular, long-time gym members know if they can just wait it out, by mid-February, many good intentions are already forgotten and gyms return to being less crowded.
Here are a few New Year's resolution statistics that may surprise you:
- 80% of New Year's goals fail by the end of January - Business Week
- Gym traffic increases 40% from December to January - Washington Post
- Only 8% of people achieve their New Year's resolutions - StatisticBrain
But don't despair! There are steps you can take to be one of the 8% who meets their New Years goals.
3 Tips for New Year Fitness Goals Success
1. Be Honest
Be honest with yourself. If you haven't been to a workout class in years, don't resolve to attend 5 classes each week starting January 1. Instead:
- Set realistic, definable goals. Don't create a general goal to Get Healthy; instead, set a goal to lose 15 lbs and work out 1 hour per day by December 31, 2018.
- Create specific milestones to measure success, such as lose 5 lbs by March 31, 10 lbs by June 30 and 15 lbs by December 31. This gives you definable goals to achieve and helps maintain your weight-loss goal.
- Provide rewards when you achieve each milestone, such as a new outfit you've been wanting. Incentives that are tied to your fitness goal can help keep you motivated, such as buy a new workout outfit to wear in your first 5K.
If no one is monitoring your fitness goal – not even you – it's easy to get quickly discouraged and forget about your resolutions. After all, if you're only disappointing yourself, who else knows? Support and reinforcement of your fitness goals will help you stay focused on your objectives.
- Write down your fitness goals, including why you want to achieve the goal, such as work out 1 hour each day and lose 15 lbs by December 31 so I can run a 5K. Don't just make a mental note; make a contract with yourself that you can see and refer to it for motivation.
- Share your goals with family and friends who will reinforce your commitment to getting healthy and fit.
- Recruit a workout buddy with similar fitness goals so you can monitor each other's success and failures, and provide encouragement and support.
- Schedule workouts on your calendar at the beginning of the year, review each month and adjust as needed so your exercise schedule is always current.
- Set an audible alert for each workout on your calendar so you're never late and can't fool yourself into believing you didn't see it on your calendar.
- Use a workout app.
- Hire an accountability coach to provide encouragement and make daily reminders, motivation and tips to achieve your goals.
3. Be Realistic
Don't be too hard on yourself. Once you miss a workout class or fail to make one of your milestones, it's easy to become discouraged and just give up on your New Year's fitness resolution. Acknowledge that you will occasionally lapse in your fitness goals right at the beginning, otherwise you'd already have met that goal!
What keeps people pushing ahead? Determination. It doesn't matter if you're first, last or anywhere in between. The final and most important key to making your New Year's resolution work is 100% mental.
Setting realistic goals is the first step to achieve your New Year's fitness resolutions. Specific, measurable actions on how you are going to stay motivated to meet your goals and what you'll do if you miss a goal will help you stay focused on your New Year's goals once January is over. #bRealistic
Catherine Russell is Būband's Content Manager