The start of a new year is a common time for people to set new health and fitness goals. Following a relaxing break from work, it is the time of year that people are most motivated to put some of their aspirations into action, and potentially break some bad habits too.
Unfortunately, a study by Statistic Brain found that only 20% of people who set goals at the start of a new year actually achieve them. Below, we share our tips on how to achieve your health goals in 2020, and be part of the 20%!
Tip #1 – Write it down
Thinking to yourself, ‘I’m going to start cycling to work this year’ isn’t going to cut it. Instead, we suggest setting aside one hour to sit down with a pen and paper, consider what you want to achieve, and write it down. When writing your goals out, we suggest writing it in present tense to bring your vision to life. Also try to be as specific as possible, for example, with things like distances and frequency. See an example below:
What not to write:
I will ride my bike to work more often.
What to write:
I ride my bike to work three times a week; covering a distance of 20km every day I ride.
Tip #2 – Set a timeframe
If you’re just starting out and you cycle 20km three times per week, you’re going to get very sore, very quickly. This might lead to an injury or you giving up, which is what we want you to avoid! When you write down your goals, set a timeframe in which you want to achieve them. Perhaps it can start as one day per week for the first month, and then increase to two days per week in the second month. And of course, set the date that you will achieve your goal.
Want to go one step further? Set calendar reminders for your key dates so you are notified when a milestone is coming up.
Tip #3 – Tell people
At this point, you’ve written down your detailed goal, in present tense, with a timeframe. You’re accountable to yourself. The next step is to share the details of your goal with some friends or family. Their support and interest will help to keep you motivated and accountable. Who knows – you might even find someone is setting out on a similar journey to you, or maybe you will inspire someone else to achieve their goal!
Tip #4 – Prioritise your time
I recently heard someone say, ‘we spend eight hours a day sleeping, eight hours a day at work, and then we have eight hours a day left to do whatever we like’. While the math adds up, there are many other day-to-day tasks that aren’t factored into this equation.
Let’s be realistic here… minus the time we spend on commuting, cooking, and cleaning, we most likely have about three hours left. Make sure you spend that time meaningfully by allocating a certain amount of your day to achieving your goal. Even an hour a day will add up to seven hours per week.
We hope you find these tips useful as you set out to achieve your health and fitness goals in 2020!