Fitness should play an important part in everyone’s lives. It can keep us mobile and active as we age and positively benefits our mental health throughout life. The key to keeping fitness at the forefront of our minds and on our priority lists is to create manageable and achievable goals that we can maintain.
The science of goal setting
Goals will keep you focused and motivated, and by making them realistic and achievable you’re more likely to smash them. When you complete a goal your brain releases a load of dopamine, which makes you feel happiness and satisfaction – meaning your scientifically more likely to set future goals and stick with them until you get that dopamine rush again!
Realistic and achievable goals
In case you’re not even sure where to start, we’ve listed some goals for you, to help you get started. You can set a new goal every month to keep things interesting, set sport-specific goals or goals to try something new!
· An average step count of 10,000 steps a day
· Taking only the stairs at work/home
· Work out for a set number of days every week
· Regularly attend an exercise class at your local gym
· Try a free online exercise class once a week
· Create a stretching routine that makes you feel good and do it every week
· Do yoga at least once a week
· Work up to holding a plank for 3 minutes
· Walk or cycle to work
Tips for achieving your fitness goals
Long days, feeling tired and sometimes not being able to find enough time for ourselves can make it difficult to maintain our goals. Research from Bodybuilding.com finds that 73% of people with new year resolutions give up within 6 months. To combat this we’ve come up with 5 tips to help you achieve your goals.
As we’ve said above, the key to all of this is setting achievable goals that you can realistically complete and that fit into your life. No matter how small they may seem, it’s easier to build on small wins than to go too hard and lose motivation from the start.
Get an exercise buddy or a gym partner
70% of fitness enthusiasts would rather learn about a workout from someone else than by researching themselves. That’s why exercise buddies can be a useful source of motivation. Not only can you learn and motivate each other, you can also keep each other accountable for showing up and putting the work in.
Exercise for yourself and not for anyone else
Too often do we compare ourselves to other people when it comes to fitness or gym progress. It’s important to change this mindset and find happiness in our personal development. Achieving personal goals will be more rewarding and allow you to focus on where you want to go and not where someone else wants to be.
Don’t overdo it
We all know that when we do start making progress, we can get a bit too ambitious and find ourselves overtraining. Consistent training with specific rest periods will generate healthier development and will reduce the risk of injury. Being injured can be detrimental to your motivation and even affect your dedication to fitness.
Track your progress
Obviously, you’ll be working to achieve your goals, but making note and celebrating the progress towards completing them is important. If your aim is to alter your physical appearance then know this may not happen right away, but that doesn’t mean you’re not improving in other ways. Make sure to note when you’ve beaten your track record, when you’re sleeping better, how good you feel, or the fact you can run the same distance without feeling as tired. These are all milestones to be celebrated just as much as any outwardly physical changes.
Think about how you reward yourself
When you meet your goals it’s nice to celebrate! Non-food-based rewards can go a long way to helping with positive reinforcement while helping you accomplish your next goal. New gym clothes, headphones or trainers are all good examples. Or treat yourself to massage or spa treatment to give your body some love. These rewards are more likely to make you feel happier and healthier than an all-you-can-eat buffet!
By setting different goals throughout the year, your training programme or hobbies will yield more frequent and better results. Getting to certain goals takes hard work but finding enjoyment in your routine will keep you progressing through the year.
Want to understand more about your health and fitness? Mayfield Clinic offers health and lifestyle assessments with an expertly-trained consultant to understand your needs, assess your current lifestyle behaviours, and help to develop a realistic and achievable plan. With our help, you will be motivated to introduce lifestyle changes in order to make the most of living.