Why Fitness Resolutions Fail and How to Make Them Stick – Part 1
This post will aim to help you keep those New Years fitness resolutions with some helpful tips!
New Year is a great time to make a positive change. Whether you aspire to read more, save more money, or to get fit there’s certainly no harm in trying to better yourself in some way or another. The most popular resolution in 2016, unsurprisingly, was “to exercise more”. Coming in as the second most popular was “to eat more healthily” and the fifth most popular resolution was “to lose weight”.
Statistics show however, that most Brits will break their resolutions, with one survey reporting that 27% of people who made New Year’s resolutions in 2016, failed to keep them for a month.
With these figures in mind – how can you give yourself the best chance to keep your resolutions?
Keep your 2017 New Year Resolutions
To help answer this truly epic question, we have tirelessly researched the psychology of setting goals and achieving them. Using this research, we have created the following tips to help you thoroughly prepare for any fitness resolutions that you might be contemplating.
Grab a pen and paper now and use the criteria below to set your goals & resolutions for 2017…
Set SMARTER Goals
If your resolution is “to get fit”, then it is likely that you will fail, as this statement is too general. Research shows that resolutions need to be broken down into very specific goals; ideally SMARTER goals, which are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time bound, Evaluate, and Re-Do
- Specific – Make your goal(s) clear and unambiguous
- Measurable – You must have a criteria to measure progress & success against. “Getting into better shape” for example, is too vague. Whereas “increasing my bench press P.B. by 10kg by 1/3/2017″ can be tracked and measured.
- Achievable – Don’t try and change too many things at once and make them within reach and realistic.
- Relevant – It is important to ensure that goals are meaningful and important. It should matter and align with other goals.
- Time Bound – Create a time frame for your goal(s). When will you achieve the desired result?
- Evaluate – Ensure you evaluate and review your goals each fortnight or month. If you are not seeing results, then figure out why. You should also evaluate your goals once you’ve achieved them, or when the time allocated to achieve them has expired. Remember success is not black and white, if you have gone some way to achieving your goal, regard this as ‘partial success’, rather than failure.
- Re-do – Evaluate and re-do your goals if you are not on track. Once you have achieved your goals, again it is time to evaluate your progress and set new goals.
Set Process Goals & Outcome Goals
Goals should be broken down into Process Goals and Outcome Goals. Outcome Goals represented the result that you want, whilst Process Goals outline how you will go about achieving the result. For example:
- “I want to lose 3 inches from my waist by 1st March”
- “I will attend the gym, twice a week, for the next 3 months and spend 20 minutes doing HIIT training and 30 minutes doing resistance training”
- “I will remove sugar from my diet completely”
- “I will not eat any food whilst sat on the sofa, watching TV”
- “I will be mindful of the food that I eat & avoid eating when I am bored or upset”
Process goals help to outline specific behaviour and actions which should be either strictly adhered to, or avoided. Process goals can be controlled directly and are the methods which underpin the desired result (the Outcome goal).
Finally, write down why you want to achieve your outcome goal and don’t Let Your New Year Resolutions Slip…
- “I want to lose 3 inches from my waist, as it will reduce my risk of developing heart disease and diabetes”
- “I want to lose 3 inches from my waist, as I want to feel better physically and mentally”
When you have written them down, consider sticking them on the fridge, or in the front of your 2017 diary. Check out Part 2 where we look at how you can thoroughly prepare for your goals, increasing the chances of success even more.