It’s mid-December, the holidays are almost here & the New Year is around the corner. This is about the time we start thinking about all the amazing things we want to accomplish in the New Year – it’s usually about a job, getting a specific promotion, getting healthier, going to the gym, eating better, finding better life/work balance, etc. Does all of this sound familiar? Let me ask you this. If you set goals for yourself this time last year – what were they? When was the last time you looked at them? Did you write them down or was it something you just simply told yourself you would do? What got in the way of reaching those goals? Do you even remember what those goals were?
Trust me when I say we’ve all been guilty at one point or another with answering those questions with a “I don’t know…no…I don’t remember” answer. New Years Resolutions are often goals, or expectations I should say, that are usually set too high for realistic purposes. We want to lose 30 pounds in 2 months, we want to go to the gym every day, we want to work hard for that promotion. But the problem with some of these goals is they’re unrealistic and more times than not, nobody has a detailed plan on how they want to get there. You can click here to read more about how to set realistic, attainable, “SMART” goals.
I wanted to share some tips & tricks I implemented over this past year that led me to reaching the majority of the goals I set for myself back in January.
I started out writing them down. This might sound so simple, and maybe you’re already doing that. But most people don’t – they keep those goals in their head and wonder why half the year has gone by without making any strides towards those goals they set for themselves. Seriously, write them down. Keep them in a place you refer to often. That can be the notes section in your smart phone, a document on your computer, etc. For me, I wrote them down in my planner. I use my planner daily and I was being constantly reminded of what I wanted to accomplish this year. Not thinking about those goals wasn’t even an option!
Have a plan. A detailed plan. Write that plan down too. Let’s say that weight loss goal of yours is realistic and with time, patience and effort, you KNOW you can reach that goal. What are the steps you need to take to get there? Goals aren’t met just by wishing and thinking about them. You have to make conscious efforts and take specific steps on HOW you plan to get from point A to point B. You also need to be realistic about those steps. Exercising for an hour and a half every day at the gym probably isn’t going to be realistic for most people’s schedules. So why make that part of your plan? Whatever the goal is, small changes are going to be more successful than trying to do too much too fast in the hopes for quicker results or changes. For example, one of my goals this year was to hip thrust my body weight (150 lbs). My starting point was 95 pounds in January. Over the course of the next 12 months, I needed to increase that weight by 55 pounds. That may seem like a lot, but for me, that’s a pretty realistic, attainable goal that I knew I’d be able to accomplish with having the right plan set in place. I didn’t try to add the entire 55 pounds at once and see how many reps I could do. I didn’t try to do that the first month, or the second or even the next 6. I had an entire year to reach that goal. If I did it before then, great. If not, I knew I had an appropriate amount of time to reach it. So each time I included hip thrusts into my training program (most the time it was once every couple weeks), I would try to increase my weight by 5-10 pounds and made sure I could do the prescribed reps with proper form. There were some weeks I couldn’t increase at all. There were even some weeks I regressed and had to drop the weight either because I was tired, felt like crap, or just didn’t feel like I could do it. Regardless, by the end of the August-September, I had not only reached by goal of 150 hip thrusts, I managed to PR at 225 pounds by the beginning of December.
Remind yourself why you have those goals. Fitness is a huge part of my life. I thrive being the best version of myself I can be and I’m constantly trying to push my limits, push my boundaries so I continue to progress and get stronger. Not everyone is that focused and dedicated, and that’s ok. But at the end of the day, your goals need to mean a lot, and they need to mean a lot TO YOU. If you’re trying to lose 10 pounds next month for someone else’s wedding, you might have a hard time finding that motivation to keep that weight off after the wedding. Are you losing that weight to fit into your dress, or are you losing that weight so you can feel better about yourself? Have more energy? Want a better quality of life? I know I use a lot of weight loss examples, but that’s because quite honestly, that’s what most people plan for come the New Year and far too often, they fail. For several reasons I won’t get into much for this post. The point is though, you need to have goals for yourself that you want bad enough to work hard for – to put time, energy, patience and consistency into in order to reach those goals in a healthy, fun and realistic way.