Fitness Tips: December 31, 2018

How to set goals and stick to them



As the new year unfolds, let's take the time to assess how well we're doing in setting goals and achieving those. Have you managed to stick to the resolutions made last year?

Life can get hectic and we often set goals for ourselves that seem like a great idea at the time but prove to be nearly impossible to achieve later on. Here are some tips for setting realistic goals and how to stick to them:



  • Think S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-based)
    Goals should be specific and have time-based benchmarks. The more specific the goal, the easier it is to achieve and stick to. For example, “I want to lose weight this year” will be much more difficult to stick to than “I want to lose 10 lbs. by the end of July and fit into my favorite pair of jeans.” Make it even more specific by breaking this goal down further: “I aim to lose 1 lb a week for the next 12 weeks.”

  • Write your goal down and think about it every day. Write it on a post-it note and stick it somewhere visible, such as your bathroom mirror or the refrigerator door. Try to keep the wording as positive as possible.

  • "A goal without a plan is just a wish" – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
    Come up with a clear plan on how you will achieve your goal. This also needs to be specific and time-tracked. Write your plan down so that you can revisit it from time to time and stay on track. It helps to have short-term as well as long-term action plans. This way, you are breaking your goals up into manageable and achievable chunks.

  • Tell others about your goal or get them to join you. Being accountable is important, but also feeling like someone else is "on your side" can serve as extra motivation.

  • Believe you can achieve it. This is more important than you may think, as self-belief goes a long way in keeping you motivated and focused on the end result when things get tough.

Don't be too hard on yourself. If it is a bad habit you are trying to break or a new good habit you are trying to start, remember that it takes time to change a conditioned behavior. It would have taken you some time to get to where you are now, so it will take some time to get to where you want to be. Your goals should therefore be attainable and realistic. If things don't go as planned, don't be tempted to give up. Instead, pick yourself up and start over the next day.

Struggling with motivation?



Visualization can be a great tool to help you stay on track. Remind yourself why you are doing something and what the end result is that you are aiming for. Really imagine what it will feel like when you have achieved it. Visualize that sense of pride and accomplishment. Remember these feelings and use them as fuel to keep pushing you closer to reaching your goals.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.