We are almost three weeks into January and many of you may have lost your momentum with your New Year’s resolutions. Consider that 50% of people who start exercising drop out within the first six months. But you don’t have to be a part of that statistic! Goal-setting is an effective way to keep you on track in your quest for improved health and fitness.
Here are some tips that will help you set effective goals:
- Write it down. Studies show that people are more likely to stick with their goals if they put them in writing.
- Set short-term and long-term goals. Your short-term goals should be stepping stones to help you reach your long-term goals.
- Be specific. Know exactly what you are trying to achieve and when you’re hoping to accomplish it. Instead of “I will lose weight”, write “I want to lose 20 pounds in six months”.
- Re-evaluate your goals periodically. Maybe your goal is too hard or too easy. Don’t be afraid to modify it along the way.
- Share your goals with someone. Including someone else in the process will hold you accountable and provide you with some support and encouragement if your motivation declines.
- Reward yourself. Reaching a goal (especially a long-term goal) is a big accomplishment! Treat yourself to a massage or a new workout outfit. Avoid using high-fat, high-calorie foods as your reward.
- Set new goals. When you reach one goal, set a new one. There’s always room for improvement in some area of our lives.
Goal-setting is an effective way to adopt more positive behaviors. Change is hard, but there are tricks that help. Be sure to check back for more tips on behavior change strategies.
Sara Woodward, MA, CSCS, NSCA-CPT