It’s that time of the year again when we all sit down and plan out our goals for the upcoming year. Very often, they’re about burning off all the holiday treats, getting in shape, staying healthy, and improving overall health. Each year, you begin working toward them but come February-ish (March, if you’re lucky), things change.
It was fun and exciting at first, but then it got uncomfortable. You started to miss donuts. So you had one. And then two. You woke up the next day a whole pound heavier (gasp!) and, convinced you messed the entire thing up, you decide to just start fresh the following year.
So, you hit pause and slip back into your old habits. More donuts. Less sweating.
It’s a common cycle, but it needs to change now if you ever want to see real results.
To help you break this trend, here’s everything you need to do to crush your 2020 fitness goals.
How to Demolish Your 2020 Fitness Goals
1. Write Them Down
A study on goal setting confirms that you’re 42% more likely to achieve your goals when you write them down regularly. It’s the way human brains work. When you think and write your goals, you’re tapping both sides of the brain – the right, which is imaginative and creative, and the left, which is literal and logical. You’re sending information to your conscious mind and signaling every cell in your body about what you truly want.
Other research notes that writing goals helps you easily access, review, and remember details better. It makes your mind more efficient and focused on what’s truly important.
Before starting any new training program or nutrition plan, take a moment to think about your fitness goals. Whether it’s to lose body fat or build more muscle or something else entirely, make sure you write them down first. Put the piece of paper somewhere you'll see it every single day.
Heck, write your goals down every single day! It can only help.
2. Prioritize and Eliminate
Following the Four Burners Theory, when you want to accomplish multiple things at the same time, your goals compete for your time and attention. You also juggle your focus and energy, hindering you from achieving anything.
Do you want to fit in your old jeans and consume less sugar? Do you want to climb a mountain and get chiseled abs? To accomplish these, you must reorganize your priorities and focus on one goal at a time.
It’s also important to review your list along the way. Trim down or prune away those that are no longer applicable so you can make space for your remaining goals and tasks to fully bloom.
3. Create SMART Goals
Following the SMART concept, your fitness goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This will clarify your ideas, focus your efforts, and increase your chances of success. It'll push you further and give you a sense of direction.
Research also shows that you’re three times more likely to stick to your goals if you make specific plans. This concept, called Implementation Intention, occurs when you specify when, where, and how you intend to implement certain behaviors.
When you have long-term goals, like finishing a 10K marathon, break these down into short-term bits, something achievable within four weeks. Drill these further into weekly and daily activities like 20-minute non-stop jogging and going for 10-minute walks.
This helps you focus more on the specific process than the big goal, which brings us to our next tip.
4. Focus on the Process
This goes hand-in-hand with your SMART goals. Most often, you plan for big, exciting goals. But it’s also important to consider how you’re going to achieve these. Following the Outcome + Process approach, identify the skills, resources, changes, and methods required before you set your sights on the ideal results.
Do you want to get more toned and build endurance? Buy a weight set or hit the gym regularly. Want to master yoga in a year? Download a meditation app and then sign up for a class.
5. Set Deadlines and Upper Limits
Deadlines create a sense of urgency, make you want to be strict, and give you something to focus and follow through on. As explained by the Yerkes-Dodson Law, when the end date nears, your motivation and performance strengthen tremendously.
Upper limits push you to make sustainable progress. These build the habit of showing up even when you’re tired or not in the mood because you’ve programmed yourself to reach for higher standards. Instead of going for the minimum “This month, I want to lose at least five pounds,” go for the attainable and realistic maximum: “This month, I want to lose at least five pounds but not more than 10.”
6. Adjust Your Environment
Unconsciously, your environment affects your decisions and impacts the way you work on your goals. Your surroundings influence your long-term plans, so it’s best to align these with your goals.
If you want to eat healthier, stock up on fruits and vegetables rather than chips and sweets. If you want to start your day with a little workout, position your dumbbells and mat near the bed so you see them right when you wake up.
Visual cues like these motivate you to be more consistent and nudge you in the right direction.
7. Recognize Blockers
You’re positive and optimistic when you set your goals. But along the way, you’ll realize that there are people, things, and circumstances that hinder you from achieving them. Whether it’s your finances, time, family, or friends, it’s essential to determine possible roadblocks so you can plan and work around them.
Is your goal to hit the gym three times a week but your work schedule stops you from doing so? Wake up earlier or leave the office on time so you can exercise before or after work. You can even invite friends or start a fitness group for added motivation and accountability.
8. Track and Measure Your Progress
Measurements tell you if you’re working out effectively and if you’re making any progress. With clear tracking and actual numbers, you determine where you’re doing well and what to improve on so you can move forward toward your goals.
If your goal is to achieve a certain weight, Atlas Wearables tracks the calories you burn every minute, both while you’re active and at rest. It helps you understand which activities suit your goals so you can focus on these.
Do you want to get enough quality sleep to improve your fitness, recovery, and overall health? Atlas tracks what time you sleep and wake up, how long it took you to fall asleep, and what disturbances you may have experienced, to help you identify how to improve your sleep efficiency.
Setting goals is the easy part. Keeping and achieving them is the challenging part. With these eight simple steps, you can easily plan, do, and achieve anything you want. If you’re ready to improve your health and crush your 2020 fitness goals, check out Atlas Wearables today to learn how you can make next year your best one yet.