The beginning of a new year is a great time to set new fitness goals, however research shows that a whopping 42 percent of us fail to achieve our resoltions each year. But before you decide to throw in the towel, here are seven tips to help you stay on track and achieve your fitness goals.
Make a plan
It’s all good and well setting yourself a goal to run a marathon or lose weight, but without a plan you’re destined to fail. At the beginning of the year sit down and map out an achievable fitness plan. If you’re unsure how to reach your goals speak to a personal trainer who’ll be able to create a strategy for you. Once you have a plan locked down, upload it to a Google spreadsheet and tick off each workout. You’ll see the results in no time.
Have something to work towards
At the beginning of 2017 I set myself a resolution to run a half marathon. At first this goal seemed like a bit of a pipe dream so to make it happen I signed up to an event in April. Having a concrete goal to work towards not only helped me map out a training plan, but also gave me the motivation I needed to start running.
Set an achievable timeframe
We’re all guilty of wanting instant results however when it comes to fitness there is no quick fix; you have to put in the hard graft. If you want to lose two stone, rest a reasonable time-frame (no Googling ‘how to lose two stone in a week’), likewise set a fitness goal and create a proper plan to achieve your goal. If you set unattainable targets you’ll lose motivation and fail to reach your end goal.
Hold yourself accountable
I’ve already mentioned logging workouts in Google spreadsheet; ticking off a workout is incredibly satisfying. And there are other ways of holding yourself accountable too. You can log your fitness in training apps and share them to social media; you can arrange to train with a friend; you can take your measurements and weigh yourself each week to track your progress. Whatever method(s) you choose make sure your holding yourself accountable.
Do something you enjoy
There is no point in setting yourself a goal to go spinning three times a week if you genuinely hate it. Finding a sport you enjoy is key to long term success. Try lots of different things until you find something that clicks for you; most gyms offer free classes and most clubs will allow you to come to a taster session for free.
Workout in the morning
If you’re anything like me, by the time 6pm rolls around the last thing you want to do it pull on your kit and go to the gym. Set your alarm an hour early and workout before the start of your day. Not only does it get exercise out of the way, but it’s a brilliant way to set you up for a more productive day.
Think about your diet
It’s all good and well working out every day but to maximise the benefits and feel motivated you need to put as much emphasis on your diet. Especially when you’re burning a lot of energy you need to fuel your body with the right nutrients. When it comes to fitness and weight loss, 80 percent is diet, 20 percent physical activity; you cannot achieve one without the other.
Focus on consistency rather than perfection
Nobody is perfect and sometimes life calls for a glass of wine or a slice of cake. The most important thing when setting health and fitness goals is to remain consistent. If you have a slip up one day, get straight back to the routine and work a bit harder next time you’re in the gym. We’re all guilty of stopping and starting when it comes to diet and fitness, but the critical element is consistency.