The holiday season is finally behind us and as we settle into the new year, you may be thinking about lifestyle changes you’d like to make. If one of your goals is to get in shape this year, you’re not alone. This is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions people make. Whether you want to build muscle, lose weight or simply live a healthier life, setting fitness goals is critical to your ability to achieve these changes.
When you set fitness goals, it becomes easier to hold yourself accountable. It can also serve as motivation to help you push through if you begin to hit a plateau with your fitness efforts. But setting the right goals is crucial to your success. Many people make the mistake of setting the bar so high that it becomes too challenging to achieve their goals. In some cases, unrealistic goals may make it hard to even know how to begin working through them.
In order to ensure you see your efforts through to completion, you’ll need to make sure your fitness goals are attainable. The following tips will help you set realistic, sustainable fitness goals that will help you enjoy your favorite activities and live life to the fullest each day.
The best way to stay on track with your fitness goals is to break them into smaller, more easily attainable goals. This allows you to see progress, build confidence and stay motivated.
For example, setting a goal of running 10 miles can be extremely daunting, especially if you’ve never been a runner before. It’s likely that at first, running a mile or two will be challenging. If you’re focused on the end goal of 10 miles, struggling to run a much shorter distance can be discouraging. Instead, break this larger goal in to smaller milestones:
It can also be helpful to set a timeline for each smaller milestone to keep you focused on your progress. As with the overall goals, it’s important that your timelines be realistic. As you start on your path towards running 10 miles, you may find that it took longer to run 1 mile than you had expected. If this is the case, recalibrate your timeline for future milestones to ensure they are more attainable. This will provide a framework you can stick to in order to successfully reach your goal in a reasonable amount of time.
One of the biggest pitfalls people experience when trying to achieve their fitness goals is trying to accomplish too much at once. It’s likely that you may have several different fitness goals you’d like to achieve for the year, but attempting them all at once can result in spreading yourself too thin. This is a formula for failure.
A better approach is to tackle each goal one at a time. For example, if you want to start going to the gym 4 days a week and lose 20 pounds, start by getting into a regular gym routine. This may take a little while to internalize. You may find that you’re only going to the gym once or twice a week at first, but over time you’re able to carve out more time in your week for your workouts.
Once you reach your goal of going to the gym 4 days a week, you may find that you’ve already started to lose some weight and are on your way to achieving your second goal of losing 20 pounds. You can then incorporate additional lifestyle adjustments, such as changes to your diet, reduced alcohol consumption and more rigorous workouts, that can help you see your weight loss goal to completion. But trying tackle both of these items at once can become overwhelming, making it harder to accomplish either of these goals.
The key to following through with a fitness plan is to engage in activities you enjoy. Keep in mind that not every fitness plan will work for you. If you hate running, you’re not likely to stick with a plan that involves using the treadmill every day.
If you’re new to fitness, it may be helpful to try out different activities to find out which types of exercise you enjoy doing most. You may find that after trying 5-10 different activities, there are 3 or 4 that you really enjoy. Focus on these and skip the activities that you don’t find engaging. This will help you stick to your fitness regimen.
Keep in mind that fitness activities can be quite varied. Lifting weights, going to exercise classes, doing yoga, engaging in outdoor cardio activities and participating in sports can all provide great sources of exercise. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to fitness. Cater your regimen to your unique interests and preferences.
It’s important to understand that fitness is a long-term lifestyle change. It can take months to start seeing your desired results. This runs contradictory to the instant gratification mentality we find in many aspects of life.
Make sure you’re realistic about how long it will take to reach your fitness goals, and be patient while your body acclimates to the changes it’s going through. Working out can be very challenging at first, but over time you’ll see your body get stronger. Remaining patient will help you fight through the initial phase where you’re body may struggle. But if you stay the course, you’ll start noticing your goals become more attainable. This will provide the motivation to make your new fitness efforts become part of your lifestyle long term.
At Colorado Advanced Orthopedics, our team is committed to helping you live a healthier life. We understand that maintaining a good fitness regimen and staying in shape is crucial to avoiding sports injuries when participating in your favorite activities, and we’re here to help you set realistic and attainable fitness goals for the new year.
In the event of an injury, we’re also here to provide the exceptional orthopedics treatments you need to get back to living the life you love. Whether you simply need physical therapy to rehab a minor injury or a more extensive surgical procedure, we’re here to help you restore a pain free life.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Colorado Advanced Orthopedics serves patients in Meeker and throughout the White River Valley.
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