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As another year passes, 2017 seems to have left a lot in its wake. Everyone seems to be tired and can’t wait to go on holiday to rest and get re-energised. The idea that 2018 is a new beginning and has a lot in store for us is an exciting thought, and the possibilities are endless. With a new year often comes new goals and new things for us to achieve. The New Year’s Resolution seems the best way to go forward with this. But how many of us have every good intention on the 1st of January, only to fail towards February. Why is this? Why do so many of our resolutions and goals fail? There are a few tips to make sure you are able to stick to your goals and achieve them

Setting Broad Goals

Statements such as “I’m going to lose 5kg” or “I want to start running” are good goals, but not specific enough. You need to have a time frame involved in the statement to give yourself an end time to reach that goal. Setting a plan on how to achieve this goal will also aid you in achieving this. For example; “I want to lose 5kg in 6 weeks by eating less sugar and more vegetables”, or “I would like to be able to run 5km within the next month by fitting in 3 exercise sessions per week”. Don’t set broad goals, you won’t know where to start or how to go about achieving them.

Thinking too far ahead

Wanting to loose 20Kg this coming year, or aiming to run a marathon are again a blanket statement. If weight loss is your game, often people become discouraged when they are not getting immediate results, so it’s best to break up the goal into more manageable goals in order to get you to the end result. For example; if you need to lose 20Kg, break it up into monthly goals with a plan. “I will lose 4kg per month for the next 2 months”. Once you get to that goal, you can re-evaluate and set a new goal. If you have never completed a long distance training event before, you have to have a plan. Suddenly training for that distance is a bad idea, and can lead to injuries down the line. Rather start off with entering a 10km race, then train for a half marathon, then include some longer distances until your body is able to handle 42km. No goal is unachievable, you just have to have mini goals to get to the end result.

Don’t be unrealistic

Unfortunately there is no miracle drug that will help you lose weight instantly, nor a fad fitness routine that will give you rock hard abs in 6min. Most goals take a lot of hard work, determination and will power to get you through to the end. You need to be realistic when setting yourself a New Year’s goal. If you hate being cold, and hate swimming, setting a goal of doing the Robben Island swim is unrealistic. Likewise, if your time is hard to come by and you have work, life, and family commitments to see to, setting a goal of exercising for 2 hours every day is also unrealistic. Make sure that whatever goals you want to achieve, that it’s something you love to do, and can fit into your schedule.

Make your goals Visible

Having a tangible goal is much easier to stick to. The best way to do this is to write it down, put it up on the fridge or make it public. By seeing your goal written down it helps to keep you focused and reminds you of what you want to achieve. Write down your goal, how you are going to achieve it, when you want to achieve it by and why you want to achieve it. Place this piece of paper somewhere that you will see it often to help you on days that you feel unmotivated or unwilling to keep going.

If you are the type of person that sets a New Year’s fitness goal every year, and is unable to stick to it, try these tips. It is also important not to put too much pressure on yourself if you “fall off the wagon” mid-year, don’t give up. Remember why you wanted to set your goals and get back on it. All goals take a lot of time and effort, and if you are willing to put it in, the rewards will be great. Good luck!