You've probably already been overloaded with 'New Year, New Me' Body transformation pictures on social media and people selling 'Guaranteed Results' through sketchy diet plans. You are likely to have also seen the other camp, with people completely dismissing New Year resolutions, claiming they are a waste of time and should be avoided at all costs. Both of these extreme (and unrealistic) perspectives are not helping you in any way. While we don't buy in to the conventional New Years resolutions setting, we fully appreciate that having endured 2020, you may be after a clean break to get yourself back on track.
That being said, how many times have you decided this was going to be your year for drastic change, jumped enthusiastically into the first week of January, lost consistency by the second week and written it off by the third. If you are going to use this milestone as the marker for your revised approach, you must prepare for it in the right way and while all of the advice we offer below will help set you up for success, it does assume you know enough about how to achieve your goal. If you do, that's great, but its better to start of by investing in some tailored advice. That could be as simple as a chat with a coach that specialises in your goal or a bespoke programme created specifically for you. This can help avoid a lot of wasted effort on your part!
Remember physical exercise should never be a punishment, the language you use around your goal will have a drastic impact on your approach to it an ultimately you achieving it. Now you're armed with that knowledge, lets look at a step by step way to set awesome, achievable goals that you will be able to maintain past week 2 of 2021.
1. WHY… GRAB SOME PAPER AND ANSWER THE FOLLOWING:
Why is your goal important to you?
How will your goal make you happier?
How will your goal improve your life?
Understanding the root cause for you desire to achieve this goal is key, not only in ensuring you set the correct goal but also in helping you maintain motivation during those cold and dark January days.
2. BE SPECIFIC… What is your desired outcome?
Narrow it down and try to give it a number, maybe you want to:
• Achieve a specific performance goal such as 10 Pull Ups or 10 full press ups
• Lose 10kg
• Squat Body Weight
• Achieve a certain body measurement
Remember - What gets measured gets managed! If you have a measurable metric, it will be easier to track progress!
NOW WE NEED TO BUILD OUR STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
3. WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO DO?...
What things are you willing to do to help you reach your goal.
• Are you willing to take out a gym membership and train 3x per week (can you even do this in your Tier)
• Are you willing to complete a home fitness programme x3 per week
• Are you willing to keep a food diary and track nutrition
4. WHAT ARE YOU NOT WILLING TO DO?...
This is just as important as what you ARE willing to do! These are your non negotiables.
• Are you willing to take out gym membership but can only spend 60 mins 2x per week
• You're willing to workout in a gym but not at home - What if at home is your only choice?
• You’re willing to do some food prep but you’re not willing to spend more than an hour doing so.
5. HOW DO YOU WANT TO FEEL WHEN YOU ACHIEVE YOUR OUTCOME?...
• More confident?
• Fitter and less out of breath completing a certain task, e.g walking up the stairs or running a certain distance?
• More energised?
While these aren't tangible metrics, they offer a real insight into why you want to achieve the goal and what to expect when you do
6. WHAT IS YOUR TIMEFRAME?
Go back and look at your outcome:
• Is it realistic when you look at the next 6 months of your calendar?
• Do you have things coming up that could affect your progress?
Also remember that a goal without a timeframe can just stretch on, causing you to lose motivation and not challenge yourself.
7. DOES YOUR GOAL COMPLIMENT OR WORK ALONGSIDE YOUR LIFESTYLE AND OTHER COMMITMENTS?
• Do you have other obligations in your life that may mean you have to either adjust your goal or adjust your timeframe?
Remember you are much more likely to stick to your goal and maintain motivation if you consistently manage to reach your small targets, even if initially they seem a little too easy or simple.
NOW IS THE TIME TO ADJUST YOUR OUTCOMES WITH ALL OF THE ABOVE IN MIND!
THIS MIGHT MEAN LOWERING YOUR GOAL SLIGHTLY, OR EXTENDING YOUR TIMELINE.
DON’T BE DISHEARTENED IF THAT IS THE CASE!
NOW SET YOUR BEHAVIOUR BASED GOALS…
Theses are the things you will do to achieve your goals, the small steps that when carried out consistently will help you achieve your outcome. Start small, simple and achievable, planning only one or two to begin with.
For example, if your goal is to lose 10kg, your behaviour goals might be…
• Complete your fitness plan x3 per week, schedule this on your calendar, let your family know this is your time
• Meal prep your healthy dinners on a Sunday night - allow yourself no more than 3 treats per week
Now look at these behaviour goals…
Can you consistently achieve these goals each week? If you can, write them on your calendar so you are not tempted to plan other things during those allocated times, then they become just part of your normal week.
IF YOU MANAGE TO CONSISTENTLY ACHIEVE YOUR BEHAVIOUR GOALS FOR X2 WEEKS THEN THINK ABOUT ADDING ANOTHER SMALL GOAL.
The final point to consider is how you remove barriers to success:
You need to set yourself up for success and remove as many barriers as you can, in other words, make it as easy as possible to win. If your plan involved outdoor workouts, invest in some clothing to keep you warm - put your clothes on the radiator before you go to bed so they are warm when you wake up. Lay your kit out so you know where everything is.
To give you an example of this in action, having set the goal of wanting to get up earlier each morning, we invested in a daylight alarm clock and a coffee machine with a timer. This meant at 6am the bedroom lights up naturally (even when its dark outside) and there is fresh coffee ready to go in the kitchen. These small investments instantly made a massive impact on adherence to building this routine and ultimately achieving the goal.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us here!