January means it’s time to set some new fitness goals. Where do you want to see yourself in a year’s time, and most importantly, how are you going to make sure you get there? It’s all about setting realistic goals! If you move the target too far away then you are setting yourself up to fail, whereas if you set smaller goals that you can easily accomplish then you will have more chance of sticking to it. Not sure where to start? Here’s TREK’s guide to setting realistic fitness goals that you can achieve!
Here at TREK we believe that the most important thing to do when it comes to setting fitness goals is to be realistic. No one knows you better than yourself so take some time to reflect on what you think is possible. For example, for someone else it might be easy to say that you will go to the gym 7 days a week, but you might have to work late or have kids to take care of which means you don’t have that flexibility. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a workout plan that’s right for you. In fact, incorporating exercise around your current lifestyle will actually make it easier to stick to your goals. Here are a just few ideas to get you started:
1.‘I will take nutrition seriously’
Fitness is more than just 10 minutes in the gym, it’s a lifestyle. Focusing on your nutrition should be just as important as your wider fitness goals. Food can also enhance your workout if you eat the right pre and post workout foods. We recommend always packing a TREK bar in your gym back as the ultimate gym snack. From our protein nut bars and flapjacks which are a great source of vegan protein to our protein energy bars and power bars which can power you through your toughest gym sessions!
2. ‘For shorter journeys I will walk instead of drive’
We all have those moments where we need to quickly pop to the shops, and often we hop into the car without thinking about it. But why not make it your goal to walk all shorter journeys instead of driving this year. You can even track your steps on smart devices like apple watches or fitbits. That way, you are increasing the amount of exercise you are doing in your daily routine, just with a simple lifestyle change.
3. ‘I will try one new exercise a week’
Sticking to the same workout routine can actually halt progress. Your body gets used to the movement so it becomes less effective, and your mind becomes less engaged. Therefore, one easy way to keep up with exercising is to shake up that routine. You can start simple by just altering one exercise out of your routine. For example you could swap bicycle crunches for scissor kicks. Both target the abs, but it keeps your mind more focused on something new. Then when you are feeling more confident you can begin swapping whole routines once a month, which is a great way of finding the exercises that work best for you.
4. ‘I will increase the time spent on exercise each month’
Making something measurable can make it easier to achieve because you are setting yourself realistic time stamps. One way you can do this is by slowly increasing the time you are spending on exercise. For example, ‘I will jog for 10 minutes in January, 20 minutes in February and 30 minutes in March’. Although the time leaps don’t always have to be this significant. Another example can be, ‘I will do burpees for 1 minute, then 2 minutes, then 3 minutes’, and keep increasing as your stamina improves.
5. ‘I will add more stretches to my workout’
Stretching is one of the best exercises we can do to improve flexibility, strength and to reduce the chance of injuries. However, we can often skip them and go straight into the more strenuous movements. Therefore, making the decision to add more stretches into your workout routine can be a great fitness goal. You could either stretch alone and dedicate one day to Yoga or Pilates, or stretch before your normal workout as part of your warm up routine.
6. ‘I will look to perfect my form’
Did you know that the amount of exercise you do does not matter if the quality isn’t there? Therefore, you should really focus on getting your form perfect this year before moving onto other exercises. Once you have a great foundation, then you can begin building on your other goals of increasing your reps or the amount of exercise you do as it ensures you are doing them safely and correctly.
1.Set smaller fitness targets
You need to remember that change happens overtime. Setting big goals like ‘I want to gain a six pack’, is achievable, but not instant. However, setting smaller goals such as ‘I am going to increase my plank from 1 minute to 2 minutes’ is much more realistic. Then you can keep ticking these goals off when you achieve them, which helps you to feel a sense of accomplishment to keep you motivated.
2. Schedule time for a workout in your calendar
Just like you would carve out time in your day for a meeting, or an appointment, make time for a workout. That way, you are more likely to turn up to it because you have allocated that time specifically to exercise, with no other disruptions. You can also set up calendar alerts or reminders on your phone to give yourself that extra nudge.
3. Get a gym buddy
A gym buddy is great motivation as they can encourage you to go to the gym on days where you are considering skipping it. It also makes exercising a little less daunting as you have someone there to keep you going, and who can help on harder exercises like weight lifting.
4. Focus on your own fitness plan
With everyone posting their fitness journeys on social media, it can be easy to compare yourself to others. However, this can lead to you becoming unmotivated if you are not seeing the same results. Therefore, the only person you need to focus on is yourself. Everyone’s workout plan is different so go at your own pace and don’t feel disheartened if someone else is further ahead.
5. Celebrate the small victories
Last, but not least, remember to celebrate your accomplishments along the way! A year is a long time so don’t wait until the end of your fitness plan to celebrate the goals you have achieved, be proud of them as you go. Whether moving up in weights, or extending the amount of reps in your routine, you should feel good about the small victories that all go towards achieving your overarching goals.
For even more amazing fitness advice read our TREK blogs on Easy Exercises if You’re New to the Gym and How to Create a Home Gym. And don’t forget to eat before you workout! TREK bars make for the perfect pre-workout snack to keep you feeling energised for longer so make sure you buy a TREK bar now!