Getting Ready for the New Year: Goal Setting and Gym-Going

With the new year just around the corner, nearly half the country is getting ready to start on their New Year’s resolutions. If you’ve ever set a fitness-related resolution, you know how hard it can be to follow through. Here are a couple of goal-setting and motivation tips to help you jump start your 2019 fitness resolutions.

A recent study released by the athletic, social media company Strava found that by analyzing user data and sending out surveys, they were able to pinpoint the date when most users gave up on their resolutions. The period? January 12. The reasoning that most experts give for the early quitting time is simple: the goals you set are just too lofty! Setting goals that are realistic, but achievable, is the key to your New Year’s Success. The best goals are SMART goals.

Setting SMART Goals

This New Year’s don’t give up on your goals–set goals that you can reasonably achieve. SMART goals, or goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based, and goals that you can easily keep up with. An example of a SMART goal is this: “I want to lose six pounds by August 1.” Why is this a SMART goal? It’s specific–rather than wanting to “be healthier,” there’s a specific goal (lose six pounds) attached to it. It’s measurable– whether you’ve lost six pounds is a yes or no question: you either have, or you haven’t. It’s attainable: losing six pounds instead of 600 is something that you can do, no matter your weight. It’s realistic: you could lose six pounds with a little bit of work but could easily reach it. And timely: the goal comes with a timed goal: you’d want to achieve your goal by August 1! Setting SMART goals is a great way to help keep your goals realistic and achievable. Setting smaller SMART goals is a much better method than setting a high New Year’s resolution if you want to get fit. Setting goals are only one part of reaching them, though–read on for more helpful tips on achieving those goals!

Motivation: Getting to Those Goals

Now that you’ve got a SMART goal in mind, how are you approaching these goals? Motivation can play a role in how likely you are to reach your goals. Staying motivated can be hard, but it shouldn’t have to be. There are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. While they both are essential for reaching your goals, you are much more likely to influence your extrinsic motivation, especially at first. Intrinsic motivation comes in the form of enjoyment, your thoughts related to exercise, and your willingness to meet your mastery goals. Extrinsic motivators, like working out with friends, paying money for the gym membership, and missing classes are all external factors that motivate you. Getting driven to get to the gym because you don’t want to miss the class will get you to the gym, but it won’t keep you there. Setting some extrinsic motivators will help you get to the gym, but you’ll need to set your own goals if you want to reach your goal.

Traditional Tips: Easy Hacks to Get You into the Gym 

If you’re having a hard time getting into the gym in the first place, follow these tips to help push you over the hump. If you tell yourself that you’re just going to get your workout clothes on, and then just eat breakfast, and then just get in your car and drive, you’re likely to at least get to the gym. Once you’re at the gym, it won’t be too bad!

Have tips on how to motivate yourself to go to the gym? Need more information about goal setting? Leave a comment down below!

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