New Year’s resolutions are always fun to write – especially the ones related to fitness.
‘I’m going to get a six pack.’
‘I’m going to get a bikini body.’
‘I’m going to train four days a week.’
‘I’m going to limit the beers to once a month, instead of once a day!’
The problem is, they’re also the most difficult to stick to. Most people are great for a few weeks in January. But by the time February and March roll around, gyms are getting quieter and quieter as the very same people are resorting back to their old habits.
Why does this happen? It’s simple. Most people’s resolutions are way too unrealistic and don’t fit their lifestyles.
If you’re looking to finally nail your goals in this coming New Year, we’ve got five tips that’ll help.
1. Assess your lifestyle
Before writing your resolutions, the first thing you need to do is assess your mandatory lifestyle.
This is one of the first things we’ll always ask new clients about in the initial consultation.
Are you a marketing director who needs to entertain clients three or four nights a week?
Are you an investment banker who may need to work till 2 am in the morning?
Are you a student with plenty of time to do anything we ask of you?
Everyone’s lifestyle is different. This isn’t an excuse for you to use if you’re not in the shape you want, as everyone can get results.
Instead, what it will allow you to do is create your training and nutrition goals to fit around your life.
Trying to do the reverse will only lead to frustration, boredom and the dreaded rebound (once the January motivation wears off!).
2. Have a SMART goal and prioritise
The next step is set a goal following the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time) principle. Just saying you want to ‘lose some body fat’ is a recipe for a wayward diet and zero progress.
A better goal would be:
‘I want to lose 20 pounds (specific) of body fat in 15 weeks (measurable, achievable, time), so I can look great on the beach this summer and fit into my clothes again! (relevant).’
Once you’ve set this goal, write it down, stick it on your fridge and make it a top priority in your life.
That’s really the key to this all.
If you can prioritise your health and fitness goals consistently, sticking to your New Year’s resolutions will be no problem.
3. Create the right habits
To make new fitness goals fit with your lifestyle, you need to create good habits.
No matter what the specific goal is, the clients who do best at Ultimate Performance tend to follow these habits:
- Eat every 2 to 4 hours.
- Every meal must contain protein
- Eat veggies at each meal
- Eat a mix healthy fats daily
- Keep your carbs low glycemic and timed after training and/or before bed
- Drink 3+ litres of water
The great thing about these habits is that they’re extremely flexible to different lifestyles, and can be tailored to what works best for you.
4. Hold yourself accountable
Once you’ve determined your lifestyle, set your goals and started to follow some good habits, you now need to be held accountable to it.
The reason our clients do so well at Ultimate Performance is our obsession with doing anything and everything it takes to help deliver the client’s goal.
Accountability is rarely spoken about, but without it, even the most perfect diet won’t always be sustainable.
Hiring a trainer is one way, but the easiest and often the best method is to tell all your family and friends what you’re trying to achieve. It will make you accountable and more likely to stick to your goals.
Another great tip is to find a great training partner.
This will create a whole new level of accountability. For example, if you’re not feeling up to training, but your partner is, you’re not going to want to let him/her down by not showing up.
5. Set performance goals in the gym
To keep yourself coming back to the gym, training needs to be fun.
It also needs to have a focus. Setting yourself performance goals can provide the impetus to stay consistent through periods where you may want to flag.
Instead of just setting a body composition goal of losing 20 lbs in 15 weeks, add something like, ‘I want to be able to perform 10 bodyweight chin-ups with perfect form in 15 weeks’.
Now break it down further into smaller chunks, so you give yourself small wins often – three chin-ups by week 3, seven chin-ups by week 8 etc.
The New Year can provide great motivation for many people who want to get into shape again.
It’s important however to set proper goals, create the right habits and hold yourself accountable to these resolutions.
Something written in a hungover state on New Year’s Day can be all too easily forgotten come February 1st, so make sure you write it with a clear mind and revisit it often to see if you’re on track.
Getting into shape isn’t easy, but no goal worth doing is. If you follow the steps we’ve outlined today, it’ll become a lot easier.