Are You Making A New Year's Resolution? Be S.M.A.R.T. About It!Dec 29, 2022
New Year's resolutions are a time-honored tradition, and one that many of us use as an opportunity to set goals around getting fit and healthy. But it's one thing to make a resolution and another to actually stick to it and achieve your goal!
In fact, a study by the University of Scranton found that only 8% of people are successful in achieving their New Year's resolutions. So, how can you increase your chances of hitting your fitness targets?
First, let's examine the effectiveness of New Year's resolutions in general. Research shows that setting S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals is crucial to success. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that people who set S.M.A.R.T. goals were 10 times more likely to achieve their goals than those who set non-specific goals.
Now, let's get down to the nitty-gritty of making your fitness resolution a reality. Here are some strategies to try:
- Baby steps! It's important to set realistic goals for yourself. If you're just starting out on your fitness journey, don't try to run a marathon right off the bat. Instead, start with smaller goals that you can build on over time. For example, aim to walk or jog for 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week, and gradually increase your intensity and duration as you get stronger.
- Find activities you actually enjoy. This one is SO critical. Exercise should be something you look forward to, not a chore. If you hate running, don't force yourself to go for a run every day. Instead, find activities that you actually enjoy, like swimming, dancing, or cycling. This will make it more likely that you'll stick with your fitness routine in the long run.
- Get a workout buddy. Having a workout partner can provide motivation and accountability. You're more likely to show up for a workout if you know someone is counting on you. Plus, working out with a friend can make the experience more enjoyable.
- Keep track of your progress. Seeing progress can be a major motivator. Keep a log of your workouts, noting the distance you traveled, the weight you lifted, or the duration of your workout. Seeing your progress over time can help keep you motivated to continue.
- Don't be too hard on yourself. It's important to be consistent with your fitness routine, but it's also important to be kind to yourself. If you miss a workout or indulge in an unhealthy meal, don't beat yourself up about it. Instead, focus on getting back on track with your next workout. Remember, it's a journey, not a sprint.
In addition to these strategies, it's also important to consider your overall lifestyle when setting fitness goals. Research shows that people who have a supportive social network and engage in regular physical activity are more likely to achieve their fitness goals. So, in addition to setting specific fitness goals, it's also important to focus on building a healthy overall lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular physical activity.
To review, while New Year's resolutions can be a great way to set fitness goals, the key to success is to make specific, achievable goals and to adopt healthy habits and behaviors that support those goals. By starting small, finding activities you actually enjoy, getting a workout buddy, tracking your progress, and being kind to yourself, you can increase your chances of success and make your fitness resolutions a reality.
Happy New Year!
Thanks for reading,
Dr. Marcus Rein PT, DPT
Athletes' Potential - Decatur GA
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