With the new year finally here and 2020 in our rearview mirror, it’s time to get back on track and achieve your fitness goals this year. For many, last year wasn’t the greatest with the shutdowns and gym closures, but this year none of us have a valid excuse as to why we aren’t out there getting after it to achieve our fitness goals. We’ve had an entire year to adapt and overcome that hurdle.
When things went south early in 2020, fitness equipment was sold out everywhere. People jumped online to purchase whatever they could in order to maintain their workouts (while others tossed in the towel and ultimately gave up – just adding to the list of excuses why they don’t exercise). Well, that all has changed with stores and websites flooded with inventory, just waiting for fitness enthusiasts to buy them up again.
The fact of the matter is, with the availability of home gym equipment as well as bodyweight exercises, you can easily fit in a workout throughout your day to get you that much closer to seeing the results you want and improving your overall health and fitness.
This article will break down a few simple ways to stay on track with your fitness goals so you can finally stick to the plan and achieve them in 2021.
1. Write Down Your Long-Term Goal
2021 is bringing us all a clean slate. Therefore, what do you want to accomplish this year? What are your fitness goals? In order to lay out a plan, let’s use the example that you want to lose 25 pounds in 2021. Write it down on a piece of paper and put it somewhere that you’ll see it often and will be a constant reminder of what your fitness goals are for the year.
The key to success with hitting your fitness goals is to set realistic and measurable goals. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is that their fitness goals are unattainable in the timeframe they are expecting. For instance, losing the 25-pound weight loss goal is not attainable in a matter of one month. Therefore, being realistic about things is necessary – it’s a process that takes time.
Is 25 pounds a realistic and attainable weight loss goal to hit by the end of 2021? Absolutely. You have 52 weeks in the year to work with, and you can (in a healthy manner) lose 1-2 pounds a week.
2. Write Down Your Short-Term Goals
To set your short-term goals, what you want to do is work backward and reverse engineer your long-term goal. Using the 25-pound weight loss goal, how do you plan on achieving this? First, write it down on the same piece of paper you put your long-term goal.
Now, let’s break down the long-term goal into smaller goals so you have something to strive for each week and help you stay on track.
Shooting for a weight loss goal of two pounds per week could be a stretch for most people, and you don’t want to become overwhelmed and wind up falling off the wagon. Being that one pound is more realistic and will allow you to preserve more lean muscle tissue, let’s use that.
By going with one pound as your short-term fitness goals, it allows you some wiggle room as you may have weeks where things don’t go as planned, and you’ll need to make some adjustments to your nutrition or workout plan.
3. Schedule Your Workouts
With your fitness goals set, it’s time to schedule everything. The keyword there is “schedule.” If you don’t schedule your workouts, you’re leaving yourself open to finding an “excuse” as to why you didn’t fit in your workout. The bottom line is, if something is a priority to you, you will schedule it and make time for it. You need to treat your workouts the same way.
Find a time each day where you can be consistent with your workouts. Maybe it’s first thing in the morning? Maybe it’s in the evening? Perhaps it’s over your lunch hour? Find a time and stick to it.
If weight loss is your goal, combining both resistance training along with cardio will be your best bet. Also, it should go without saying, but you need to clean up your nutrition as well. Combining resistance training with cardio will allow you to maintain your lean muscle mass while also being able to effectively burn body fat.
4. Hold Yourself Accountable
The last thing you need to focus on when striving to achieve your fitness goals is to hold yourself accountable. This could be accomplished by working out with a family member or workout partner. It could even be tracking your nutrition and workouts on an app like MyFitnessPal.
When your focus isn’t on your fitness goals, the desire and motivation to keep pushing can disappear. Again, this is where so many people fail because they don’t plan and strategize like what is laid out in this article.
On top of having a workout partner and tracking your nutrition and workouts, weigh yourself each week on the same day and around the same time. Some may wish to use Sunday morning as their weigh-in.
Track your weight loss by writing it down or plugging it into the MyFitnessPal app. This will allow you to visually track how you are progressing over time and ensure you are moving in the right direction.
If you notice that you aren’t hitting your short-term fitness goals, look at your workouts and nutrition to see where you may be going wrong, and make the necessary changes. An easier way to hit your target, if you don’t want to think about anything, is to hire a personal trainer to help you achieve your fitness goals.
Good luck and cheers to a happy and healthy 202