Woohoo, 2020 is almost over! Like many people around the world, you are most likely ready to turn the page and enter the new year with optimism, new goals, and a clean slate. While many people find it very easy to make fitness-based New Year’s resolutions, very few people are able to stick with it and forge new lifelong habits.
That is not entirely the fault of the individual, but rather a lack of guidance on how to create a clear, realistic, and attainable plan. Setting realistic expectations, periodic progressive goals, and recruiting outside help may just prevent you from falling off the proverbial wagon and riding into the sunset of success!
Setting realistic expectations prevents discouragement and makes you much likelier to stick to your resolutions. If you have never stepped foot on a track but your goal is to run the 100m dash at the Olympics in 2024, there is a good chance you are going to be disappointed. Does this mean you shouldn’t set high expectations for yourself? Absolutely not! Have that faith and believe that you can be the next Usain Bolt, but set some realistic and attainable goals along with those lofty ones. If you are not on par with the 2024 Olympic qualification process by the end of 2021, you can still hang your hat on becoming the world's fastest parent that can chase down their toddler running towards a busy street!
OK, so I am about to divulge one of the absolute best tricks of the trade that I have learned not only from my own training, but from my clients’ training as well. It’s as simple as this:
Set mini short term goals within your big picture long term goal.
I go as far as setting goals monthly, weekly, and even daily. Here’s a real-life example of my own goal setting process:
Today, I am going to work on staying as upright as I can on my front squats. If I am consistent, this will carry over to my ability to stand up my cleans.
This week, I have a goal of making all my cleans as strong and technically sound as possible, and not get pinned in the bottom.
This month, I want to FEEL a difference in my leg strength on my cleans compared to last month. I don’t necessarily need to set a personal record weight, but if I consistently build stronger cleans each month, that makes me confident in being able to push the weight later on.
By the end of the year, I want to clean a personal best of 50kg/110lbs
Here is a more relatable example of my goal setting process for a client. Let’s say they have a goal of performing their first every pullup. The method behind my plan for them may look something like this:
Today, I am going to give them corrective exercises for their rotator cuff and shoulder blade stability. This will build a foundation of control and prevent injuries to those areas in the future
This week, I want them to apply that baseline of stability and control to every upper body pulling exercise, while continuing to work on exercises from step 1 on a weekly basis. We are now incorporating that control while getting stronger in exercises that carry over to pullups
This month, our goal will be to progress to exercises that strengthen different phases of a pullup, such as hanging scapula shrugs or negative pullups. The following month, we may progress that goal into being able to do those same exercises with little to no assistance.
By the end of the year, we want to achieve their goal of their first pullup!
The process of breaking down large goals into smaller goals helps you stay on track by giving you smaller accomplishments throughout the year that build up to something bigger!
This process can be as simple as you want! Keep in mind, the examples used above are a detailed look inside the heads of coaches. If you set those short and long term goals but are unsure of how to get there, that is where we come in and do the planning for you!
Enlisting help and accountability from friends, family, and/or a professional can make or break your resolutions. Having a support system keeps you accountable, provides encouragement, and provides guidance. If the people in your support system are all tuned in to your goals, the more likely you will be to fall off, get discouraged, and abandon what you have set out to do. Bringing in a professional (like us!) ensures that you will reach your goals in a safe, efficient, and timely manner. This also eliminates feeling overwhelmed by letting other individuals that care about you contribute to your goals so you can focus solely on getting your workouts done.
Now that you have set your resolutions, try these tips out to attack your goals! Set realistic goals, break down those goals, and enlist the help of friends and/or us to get you on the right path! The more prepared you are, the better your chances of sticking to your fitness long after the ball is dropped.