5 tips to set goals for the new year

The countdown is on to the new year. At this time of year, you are probably thinking about your new year’s resolutions and fitness goal setting for the new year.

I have thought about things I accomplished this year and where I fell short. Ultimately, I am happy but there’s room for improvement in the new year.

notepad for setting fitness goals

What about you?

Before you decide what you will target, pick a few bucket areas of your life to pull from. For me, my buckets will be financial, fitness/competition and personal.

Got the bucket areas? Now let’s walk through the five steps in selecting goals.

How to set health and fitness goals

woman writing in notebook

To make your goal S.M.A.R.T., it needs to be: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.

Specific. What exactly do you want to achieve? The more specific your description, the better the chance you will get exactly what you want to achieve.

A common goal leading into the new year is to get healthier or be fitter. That’s nice but that’s too general. There are so many ways to get healthy and fitter. How do you want to do it? Start exercising? Eating more vegetables? Going to the gym?

Pick something you can target. For example, “I will lose weight.”

Measurable. A goal to lose weight is not specific enough. How will you track it and when will you know that you have achieved it?

Make this part of the goal something you can put a number to. For example. “I want to lose 10 pounds this year.” Or “I want to drop 2 inches in my hips”

Attainable. Do you have the time, money or talent to reach a certain goal? That doesn’t mean you can’t take something that seems impossible and make it happen by planning for it.

To lose weight, do you have the time to devote to working out at home or the gym? Will you take your lunch to work several times a week?

Relevant. Set goals that match your lifestyle. Are you motivated by the goal you set? You want to lose 10 pounds before your class reunion in September or you want to lose 10 pounds before your friend’s wedding in June.

Timely. When do you want to reach the goal by? We all know that deadlines make most people jump to action. So install deadlines, for yourself and go after them. Yet, keep the timeline realistic.

Now what?

Now that you have walked through the steps, let’s put some action to help you reach the goal.

  • I will bring my lunch to work 4 days a week.
  • I will walk 5 days a week for 30 minutes.
  • Drink a glass of water before every meal.

Your daily habits will help you when things get tough.

What are the benefits of setting physical health goals

Help you plan your workouts

use a calendar to track fitness goals

Clearly defined fitness goals allow you to plan your sessions more efficiently. They give your training direction and help you identify what you need to include in your workouts.

Help you stay motivated

One way to maintain motivation for exercise is to set a clear and measurable goal. Short-term goals are especially important because they are easier to attain.

When you regularly hit your short-term goals, you are provided with more motivation to keep working towards your long-term goals.

Help you track progress

strength training with coach

When you have a measurable goal, you can track the progress you’re making. It also helps you identify the areas you need to improve when you don’t see results.

Use these tracking progress sheets to help monitor your progress.

Makes exercise less intimidating

Goals allow you to break down what seems like an impossible task into something more approachable. When you break it down to short, actionable goals then it seems less intimidating.

Keeps you focused

When you have a goal, you are more likely to stay disciplined and focused.

What other tips do you have for setting goals?

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