By Kevin Hirose – BHK, CSCS
First of all, Happy New Year! Allow me to begin the year by discussing New Year’s Resolutions. For most people, it is a time to change bad habits and begin or increase good ones but the problem is that most people are not specific enough in their path to follow that change. They do not set specific enough
goals in order to maintain their habit/behavior changes. For example, one might say to themselves, “I want to get in shape”. That’s a fine idea, but it is not specific enough for long-term focus and commitment. A few questions you should be asking yourself are:
“How many times/week can you/are will to train?”
“What are you specific fitness/training goals?”
“What type of training/exercise are you going to do?”
There is absolutely nothing wrong with setting New Year’s Resolutions; just be sure to be specific enough and set yourself up for long-term success instead of being done in early February. Another point that should be made is that GOALS can be set at anytime during the year so why wait until the New Year? For example, if it is still only September and you want to make immediate changes there’s no need to wait until January. Goals can be set whenever you choose, any time of year, any season, any day.
If you need some help please have a look at some sample GOALS, which are specific enough to enforce some kind of tracking and accountability:
“I will workout/train 3x/week.”
“Increasing strength and improving body composition are my main goals.”
“By weight training and cardiovascular exercise.”
Get More Specific
“Search for a workout program from a trusted source such as a trainer or coach.”
Track Progress & Be Accountable
“I will test my strength and body composition every 2 months for progress.”
Although this does not guarantee success, it will increase your chances greatly because of its specificity and progress tracking. So if you are on the Resolution bandwagon create some specific goals for yourself to eliminate or dramatically reduce ambiguity of general statements whether they are fitness/health goals, career goals or personal goals. If you can reach the 3-week hump then you can make your routine become habit and when something becomes habit it is much more likely to get done.
Another suggestion is to not create too many major goals for yourself at once because too many dramatic changes make the adjustment more difficult, therefore decreasing the chances of success. What I do suggest is to choose one or two major goals, create a plan and then execute. Once these goals have been met or the path to success has been established, new goals can be set and the process repeated. Eventually, it may be possible to reach several goals or establish new habits over a period of time which is manageable and digestible without being overwhelming.
To finish off, I will start by annoying you with the obvious: choose your most important goals according to priority and feasibility of your life. If you have an ailing family member who needs your support then going to the gym that month comes an extremely distant second. Again, prioritize.
The best of luck to you or should I say the best of GOAL SETTING for this year since luck has very little to do with success when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions.