This is a guest post from Coach Jenn of PersonalFitCoach.com.
Chances are, you made a list of resolutions or goals for the New Year. Within that list, a large number of people include a fitness related goal. The good news is that folks who make resolutions are actually 10-times more likely to achieve them (according to recent research from the University of Scranton). The bad news is that by 6 months over 50 percent of people with fitness goals have fallen by the wayside. Let’s look at some ideas to keep you in the 50 percent that sticks with it.
Create SMART Goals
A key to a successful goal (fitness, or otherwise) is to follow the SMART method. This acronym has some variations in meaning, but essentially they are as follows:
S – specific, significant, stretching
M – measurable, meaningful, motivational
A – agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented
R – realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented
T – time-based, timely, tangible, trackable
When it comes to fitness, make sure to set specific goals for yourself. Do you want to lose a number of pounds? Run a 5K? Whatever it is, make it as specific as possible. Luckily, many fitness goals are also easy to measure, be it in pounds, distance, strength improvements, etc. Aim for a goal that you can achieve, but push yourself out of your comfort zone a bit. Make sure it is realistic too. For example, you should not aim to lose 20 pounds in one month. That is typically very unrealistic and unhealthy. Try to give yourself a time goal as well like “I will run my first 5K by April 1st.”
Once you have a goal in mind, here are some additional tips for sticking to it:
Make Your Goal Visible
You have set a goal, but it can be an “out of site, out of mind” situation. Make sure to write down your goal and post it in a visible place; perhaps even more than one. I use my refrigerator and bathroom mirror, for example. These visual reminders really help you stick to your guns.
Ask for Accountability
We all have the best of intentions, but we often need help sticking to our goals. I highly recommend choosing an accountability partner or joining an accountability group to help you succeed. We you feel that others are counting on your for your success, it will often provide that extra little push on days when you feel like throwing in the towel. Perhaps you have a friend or family member with a similar goal. If not, there are many online options for accountability groups. Find groups in your area or with similar interests via a Google search or on Meetup.com.
Prepare for Setbacks
Every attempt at losing weight or getting fit is often a bit of a roller coaster. There will be ups and downs, successes and challenges. Face your goals with this knowledge and don’t beat yourself up if you have small setbacks. They are only natural. What I love about setbacks is that they set you up for a COMEBACK. Preparing yourself mentally can go a long way toward ultimate success.
Visualize Your Success
This is something that I used to think was a little hokey, but I’ve found it working time and time again for me. Close your eyes and actually picture yourself as you want to be. Make it realistic though. Chances are, you won’t end up looking like a super-model. But truly picture YOU as you want to be. This is a powerful tool that can go a long way.
Make the 2010 you envy the 2011 you. You can do it!
– Coach Jenn of PersonalFitCoach.com is a proud mom, wife, personal trainer and fitness coach. She loves helping others make their personal health and fitness a priority. Stop by her blog and say hello or follow her on Twitter @myfitcoach.