Is your 2024 goal to lose weight and get into shape? Here are some tips for making all your fitness-related New Year’s resolutions come true
With every dawn of a new year, there’s an unmistakable uptick in gym goers, outdoor joggers, and indoor bike owners. While tons of people like to start each new year on a happy note, it’s also undeniable that the numbers dwindle at the halfway point until the calendar resets. The idea of a fresh start can certainly be a motivator, but motivation won’t last forever. The solution? Work smarter, not harder.
By that, we mean anchoring your New Year resolutions using the S.M.A.R.T. criteria: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. For a guide on how to do just that, read ahead for our tried-and-true tips.
This seems obvious, but it’s often overlooked. “Lose weight” is not a specific enough goal, so narrow it down. Consider body fat percentages, for example. How much of your body fat do you want to trim down? What’s the number on the weighing scale you want to reach? Likewise, “exercise more” isn’t any more specific. Consider instead how many calories you stand to lose with every spin class, for example, and compare that with how much weight you need to lose for your health. Now, set the bar for yourself by committing to a specific workout schedule.
Being specific with your goals makes them measurable at the same time. And measurable goals are ones you can track so you can keep yourself accountable to them. Weight is easy enough to track, with every weighing scale and doctor’s visit to check your BMI. Attendance to fitness classes is measurable as well, along with the number of workout sessions you aim to do per week.
Your goals also need to be achievable. Dream big and be ambitious, but not to the point of setting yourself up for failure. If you’re coming from a completely sedentary lifestyle, the goal of daily 60-minute HIIT sessions a week is not sustainable. Instead, start with what you can do and adjust as you go, like daily 30-minute walks to 20-minute jogs, for example. It’s also not recommended to push yourself past the limit if you have not trained yourself to increase the intensity of your workouts prior as you could risk Rhabdomyolysis.
Your goals should also, of course, align with who you are and where you want to be. Do your fitness-related New Year resolutions support your health? Are you financially secure enough for gym memberships, personal trainers, and fitness classes? Take into consideration your lifestyle and personal preferences as well since that’s key to making a habit sustainable. Ultimately, when it comes to setting goals, you need to factor yourself in mind and not the idealized version of yourself that you’re imagining.
Last but not least, set a time frame and personal deadlines. Deadlines can be intimidating, but it won’t be demotivating if you actually keep them realistic. The benefit of time-bound goals is that a clear timeline creates structure, promotes prioritization, and encourages discipline. After all, you won’t have the excuse of doing things tomorrow anymore if you’ve committed to your time frame.