Millions of people make the same New Year’s resolutions every year. Getting fit, losing weight, and eating healthy are always among the Top 10 of these promises. Sounds nice but sadly only 12% of these millions actually reach their goals.* The aim of this post is to help you make a New Year’s fitness resolution that will actually stick.
Date: December 29, 2011 Tõnis SaagComments:Comments Off
Date: December 15, 2010 Mike LyzerComments:Comments Off
Finding the motivation to train or do exercise on a regular basis isn’t always easy. Demanding schedules and illness are just a couple of the things that can interrupt your fitness routine. Motivation can be found by following the SMART approach to goal setting. Many athletes, coaches and serial exercisers use this formula successfully to set both short and long-term training goals.
Setting your goals – remember be SMART:
- Specific – these are the most motivating goals. A specific goal is to reduce the time you take to swim 1000 m from 30 minutes to 20 minutes within 6 months. Quite often people just say they want to get faster. That is far too general to really motivate you in the pool.
- Measurable – it means that simply saying that you want to get faster is not enough. You need to be able to map the progress toward your goal. One way to measure your progress is to assess your performance at set intervals. In the above example you may want to time your 1000 m swim twice a month.
- Adjustable and Action-Oriented – goals help you only if they are flexible enough to allow for unexpected changes. An illness or injury may force you to readjust your goal. It doesn’t need to mean abandoning all your plans and dreams, you just need to find another way to action them. Importantly, keep your plans focused on your actions. Quite often people focus only on what they want to achieve, but forget to plan how to achieve it.
- Realistic – base your goals on your actual situation. If you never swam 1000 m, start by planning small sub-goals. Swimming 1000 m in 20 minutes is a perfect long-term goal, but in the short-term you may want to shoot for 35 minutes. This is a healthy and realistic plan. On the other hand, if goals are too easy, you won’t get much satisfaction from attaining them.
- Time-related – connect your measurable, realistic and challenging goals to your schedule. In our example this would be to reduce the time taken to swim 1000 m within 6 months. You may also need to set interim goals with shorter timelines to keep your landmarks in view. Note that having only goals that are achievable in more than 6 months, will make heavy demands on your motivation. Try to re-evaluate your progress every 2-3 months.
Last but not least, goal setting is not actually a prerequisite for attaining your goals. Nor can setting goals ever guarantee achievement of those goals – because all sorts of obstacles can hold you up. However, goal-setting is a tried and trusted technique to improve concentration and motivation, and so it increases the likelihood of achieving your dreams.