Most people feel as if waiting till New Years’ to start their resolutions or goals is the most appropriate time. It is a new year and new beginnings, so it is an appropriate time to also start a new goal. This is also the reason why most people that are beginning a new fitness or diet journey always say “the diet/exercise starts on Monday”. There’s just something satisfying about starting your new goal on a new week/new year. However, these goals don’t always last. In fact, according to the U.S. News & World Report, the failure rate for New Year’s resolutions is said to be about 80%, and most lose their resolve by mid-February.
This failure rate doesn’t have so much to do with the person that makes the goals, but points towards flaws at the traditions of New Year’s resolutions. While it is great to set expectations for yourself and goals to achieve for the year, it is important to not aim too high and set expectations that you know you can achieve. Only then can you truly succeed and continue to accomplish the New Year’s resolution that you set for yourself.
While the New Year is a great time to start this journey, it is also incredibly important to know just how to be able to achieve your goal! Since 38% of all New Year’s resolutions are fitness-related, it is safe to assume that only 7.6% of these goals are actually met. But we’ve devised some tips to help all 38% of the people whose goals are fitness-related reach them in 2021!
Set An Attainable Goal
First and foremost, before you actually begin to workout out or eat healthy, set a goal for yourself; and start small! The worst thing to do when starting a new journey is to set expectations that are unattainable and ask too much of yourself. Starting small can be anything from saying that you’ll work out 3 out of the 7 days a week to slowly cutting out your favorite junk food snacks. Having a small goal like this makes it so that you can easily keep up with this goal as well as be able to build up this goal to eventually make it so that you’re working out every single day or have cut out all junk and fast food from your diet!
Create A Fitness And Health Journal/Tracker
Having a tracker or journal is a great way to physically see all of the progress that you are making. Getting to check off a workout or log your meals not only keeps you accountable but it is also satisfying and encouraging for yourself! Be the encouragement that you look for from others!
There are many great ways to start a tracker or journal. If you like physically scratching out or checking off your progress, consider getting a notebook and some cute and colorful markers. You can decorate your tracker to fit any aesthetic that pleases you and something that motivates you! A great resource to check out is any bullet journaling account. While many bullet journals incorporate a planner, if that is not something that you would like to have, you can always just stick to adding habit and fitness trackers! Many of these bullet journal outlines have habit trackers that can help to track how much water you’re drinking or how much sleep you’re getting. Even if these are not a resolution that you would like to set for yourself, having these kinds of smaller trackers could help you to reach the actual goal that you have set for yourself.
If you’re not the kind of person that constantly carries a journal or tracker around, then there are many apps that you can easily download onto your smartphone to help you achieve your goals! Apps such as MyFitnessPal allows you to input everything you’re eating and drinking to help you see just how many calories you are intaking! Also, you can link your smartwatch to the app and it will also automatically log your workouts and allow you to see how many calories you should be consuming according to how many calories you burned that day.
Figure Out What You Want Your End Goal To Be
Of course, working out and eating healthy are great end goals in itself, however, you have to find out why you want these goals to work for you. Do you want to lose weight? Or maybe you want to gain lean muscle. Or maybe you’re trying to bulk up? Whatever your reason, you have to figure it out before you start that way you can tailor the workouts/meal plans to help you achieve your end goal!
Choose A Workout YouTube Channel That You Like
Since, for the foreseeable future at least, we will most likely not have the luxury of going to the gyms every day, find a workout channel on YouTube that you really like! These workouts are free and there are a variety of different types of workouts to choose from. Anything from yoga to HIIT workouts are available. There are even specific channels dedicated to teaching you different workouts that you can do that don’t require you to have special gym equipment. Whatever kind of workout that you want to do, it is on YouTube!
Plan Out Your Workouts
Your plan doesn’t have to be extremely specific to the point where you’ve planned all of your sets, but you should plan out your workouts to incorporate which part of your body you’ll be working out on which day. It’s good to have this kind of schedule because the consistency of the areas that you target will help you to effectively work out those areas and tone those muscles!
For example, if your goal was to lose weight, you would want to focus on doing more cardio-based workouts. So, making your workout plan to include at least 3 days of cardio. If you wanted to build muscle, you would want to break up the days to target specific muscle groups. This is because you don’t want to overwork certain muscles and cause inconsistency within your body. Therefore, you could do a lower body workout on Monday and Wednesday, upper body on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and glutes on Fridays. This way, you’re giving the muscles you’ve worked out a break and allowing the exercise you did to actually help tone your muscles.
Don’t Repeat Past Failures
One of the things that leads to early burn out or even an abandonment of your resolution, is to repeat the same mistakes you made the last time you attempted to accomplish your New Year’s resolution. To avoid making these mistakes, consider reevaluating what it was that caused you to fail last time, and do the opposite of that. Of course failure is a great way to learn, however, you can’t learn unless you fix your mistakes. And fixing your mistakes can only be done if you confront your failure and devise a plan to keep from making those mistakes again.
At some point in your journey, you will experience a plateau in your progress. This is around the time when most people begin to question themselves and their resolution. However, a plateau is a great time to change up the pace and keep going! A plateau in your progress allows you to see that you’ve reached the end of phase 1 in your plan, and it’s time to move onto the next phase. Staying positive and optimistic during this time is crucial to staying on track and allowing yourself to actually accomplish your goals!
Remember: You Are In Control
You are in control. You are in control of the way you accomplish your goals, the amount of time it takes you to accomplish your goals, and you are in control of the way you view yourself and the progress that you have made. This is incredibly important to remember. Don’t allow anyone to have an opinion on the way that you are accomplishing your goals because in the end they are not the ones that put in all the work and tried their best every single day. That was all you. And even if they were supporting you along the way, and will be proud of you for everything that you have accomplished, only you are in control of how and when you get there.
The process of accomplishing your goals, whatever they may be, is mentally taxing on anybody. The thought that you might fail, or that you the outcome won’t be what you were expecting is something that can constantly be weighing you down. But, the people around you only want to see you succeed however that may be! So, don’t be afraid to let them know how you’re feeling. Sometimes talking about your hardships is a great way to relieve yourself of the weight and allow yourself to move forward. Plus, talking to someone or having people to lean on is a great way to know that even if things don’t work out in the end, you have people on your side that are always going to be cheering you on!
While everything else before this step could be labeled as most important, it can be argued that treating yourself is the most important. Set a timeline for yourself, and every time that you accomplish a milestone goal, treat yourself. Go get a snack, or a manicure/pedicure, or even treat yourself to some new clothes! Treating yourself is a great way to keep your spirits lifted and constantly looking forward to hitting the next milestone. Although, you should also be careful of this because if your goal was to go on a diet, it’s too easy for you to say “I’ve been so good, I deserve a few candy bars”, and throw caution to the wind. One slip and it could lead to a slippery slope.