New Year’s Fitness Goals
The Christmas festivities are getting into full steam, but in only a matter of days it will be time to undo the damage and look to set your New Year’s fitness goals.
Estimates vary, but it is believed only about 8% of people who even set these type of goals actually follow through and achieve them. (That means that if you are Mr or Mrs Average you have slightly less than a 1 in 12 chance of success),
It’s hardly encouraging is it?!
So how can you modify the way you set your New Year’s fitness goals to give yourself a better chance of achieving them.
The problem with most New Year’s goals
Not every one sets them, and many people are happy not to. But for those of you who do set New Year’s resolutions, it’s usually because deep down there is something (or some things) that have been gnawing a way at you for a while.
Most of the time you are so stuck in the day to day or week to week routine, that the areas of your life that are in need of change just gets glossed over. Come New Year however, and suddenly a light is shone brightly on the areas of your life you have been neglecting.
The cumulative angst and guilt leads you to want to rectify your oversight in a big way. You set BIG goals, and LOTS of them, to try and make up for the lost time in the preceding months.
The problem is that the thought of these radical changes is exciting – but the thought of breaking it down is less enticing. In other words, there is too much focus on the outcome, and not enough on the process.
It’s only when you break your goal down into bite-sized chunks (inter-mediate goals) that you start giving yourself a chance of achieving the bigger more inspiring goal.
New ways to set your New Year’s fitness goals
There are three process goals that massively increase your chances of hitting your long-term fitness goals. To be effective you need to minimise the risk of injury, find ways to make your training fun, and give yourself enough time to achieve your goals effectively.
I once heard a coach of two Olympic athletes asked, ‘which of your athletes is most likely to win a medal’. His answer, ‘the one that can avoid getting injured’.
Injuries can set your goal back months. So tread carefully, increase your training loads gradually, and preferably get the guidance of an expert or coach. And to further minimise the risk of injuries learn to stretch regularly and book in for massages to restore the health of your muscles.
When setting your New Year’s fitness goal, remember the process should be fun. If you suddenly decide you want to complete your first marathon or triathlon, find ways to make it more social. Hours of running or training alone can become a chore very quickly. Maybe make your first goal to find a training partner.
And lastly, don’t rush! Yes you want change. And yes you want it now. But if you have the patience and commitment to commit long-term you will make significantly better improvements.