Feb 9th, 2018
Author: Janet Wahlquist
January went by quickly, and Lunar New Year is just around the corner. Time is passing us by. Did you get the chance to set a New Year’s resolution? Have you kept up with it?
Many of us start the new year with vague ideas about things we want to change, but this vagueness makes it hard to achieve anything. Here are some tips for getting specific. These principles have helped me achieve my goals in the past, and I rely on them to this day.
#1 Be honest
Take a look back at the goals you have set in the past. Were you able to achieve 80% of them? Or was it more like less than 50%? If your answer is 50% or less, you might be setting your sights too high, which will make it hard to achieve anything.
It’s important to know your limits but still reach high enough. For example, if you are able to do 2 pullups now, and your goal is to do 20 by December 2018, you could be reaching beyond your capabilities. Why not set a goal of doing 10 perfect pull ups, and save the goal of 20 for next year?
#2 Be realistic
Don’t set yourself up for failure by being unrealistic. Are you being honest with yourself while setting these goals? Don’t think you can go from zero workouts to doing five 90-minute workouts a week. You’ll just end up burning out and getting sick!
I used to work out 5 to 6 days a week before I had my baby. Afterwards, I had to recalibrate my goals. Now I aim for 2 to 3 full-body workouts a week. I know that with my current responsibilities and sleep schedule, that’s the best I can do. To do more would be unhealthy and frustrating.
#3 Be rational
But don’t use realism as an excuse to be lazy. Although you should be honest with yourself, you shouldn’t sell yourself short either.
Say you want to gain overall muscle mass over the next 3 months. Take a look at your life. Maybe you work 10 hours a day, 5 days per week. You eat out most nights and occasionally have trouble falling asleep due to stress or have to spend time entertaining for work. The truth is, you only have time to exercise twice a week.
To be rational and effective, you need to make the most of those two workouts. A personal trainer might be the answer. He or she can help you set up a strength program that will work with your schedule and make sure you maximize your efforts in order to see measurable progress. A sports performance nutritionist could also help by looking into your macronutrient intake to help optimize your overall nutrition program.
It’s great to start the year with goals and feel motivated to stay healthy and fit for the new year, but remember that there are – hopefully – plenty more years to come. I believe that setting a long-term goal of getting regular physical activity and eating healthy is a lot more sustainable and far more important than doing a short-term program or diet just so you meet that December 31 deadline. I hope you find my three golden rules helpful in this process!