2019 is still young, and many of us are still in the mood to make fresh resolutions, fresh promises, and fresh commitments to self-improvement over the course of the coming year.
But self-improvement isn’t something we can just get done the morning after the New Year’s party. It’s something that’s gradual – something that we need to work toward, by way of individual goals.
That’s never truer than when it comes to health and fitness. No matter what the infomercials may claim, there’s no shortcut to getting healthy and fit.
No, if your new fitness and health resolutions for 2019 are to be met, you’re going to need to set some solid goals. So here, we’ve gathered a few basic tips to set you on the right path.
1. Define your goals
There’s nothing more harmful than a vague, undefined fitness or health goal. Ambiguous goals that can’t be properly measured, like “I will lose weight” or “I will get physically stronger”, are going to leave you with nothing to shoot for. You’ll either allow yourself to be happy with mediocre results, or beat yourself up despite making genuine achievements.
2. Allow yourself some leeway
At the same time, though, a defined goal can’t be treated like it’s carved in stone. Yes, you should pick a solid number and time point – for instance “I’m going to lose 30 pounds this season”. But for some people, this means that, should they only succeed in dropping 20, they will consider the entire approach a failure, and become gradually disillusioned with the very notion of fitness goals.
Keep in mind that fitness and health goals aren’t quotas you’re trying to meet for an unreasonably demanding boss; they’re targets that you’re shooting for. Not hitting them dead-centre the very first time shouldn’t mean storming off and sulking; it should mean taking into account how your past approach was incorrect, and improving upon it.
3. Be realistic
It’s great to be ambitious – in health and fitness as in everything else. But never mix up your long-term ambitions with your short term goals.
In other words, it’s super if you want to drop a whole quarter of your weight; don’t make that your goal for the first few months of the year. Divide that amount into little slices, and make them goals within a reasonable allotment of time.
Speaking of which, “realistic” is relevant in a number of ways. Look at your current fitness goals. Have you properly taken into account your own particular circumstances and time in creating them? It could be that you’ve picked a fitness goal that would be completely realistic, but only to someone with a lot more time for exercise and training than you. Pick goals that are not only generally realistic, but realistic for you, as an individual. That leads us to the last, perhaps most important tip.
4. Schedule & plan
This seems like an obvious one, but it’s something that so many people overlook. Our modern lives are as hectic as they’ve ever been; and even with the most well-measured, realistic, evenly-spaced fitness and health goals, there’s no way you’ll find your way toward realising them without a proper exercise schedule and nutrition plan.
Don’t just give yourself a realistic amount of time to reach that weight loss goal; draw up a full plan of how you’re going to make use of that time. Put together a full schedule for your exercise, and plot out how you’re going to make full use of every day you’ve allowed yourself. Fail to do that, and you could well find the days flying by because they are full of the daily bustle and you forgot to set aside the time you’ll need to meet your goals.
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