Resolutions get a bad rap because typically they don’t work, and the chances of failure are high. An Ipsos survey found that last year 70% of Canadians who made New Year’s resolutions inevitably broke them. We believe this is because most resolutions are not personal goals; they are wishes or desires. These types of resolutions need to be changed to concrete and realistic goals that can be achieved and worked for. Don’t wish for it, work for it!
Beyond wishes and desires, the main reason for the high failure rate is because most resolutions are unrealistic, general and impersonal. In 2019, let’s turn this around:
Realistic and Attainable
Your goal needs to feel like it’s truly something you can do; it has to be attainable and realistic within your current lifestyle. Committing to training 7 days a week when you could barely make 1 day a week the previous year is simply going to set you up for failure. It shouldn’t feel overwhelming, but it may feel uncomfortable at first because change can be hard and uncomfortable. But when you stand back and honestly assess the work needed to reach the goal, it should feel do-able, like “I can do this!”
Clear and Specific
Simply put, be specific (not general) with your goal. Rather than setting the general goals of “I want to get in shape”, set specific goals such as “I will be able to run 5k by March 1st” or “I will be able to do 5 full and perfect push ups from the floor by February 15th”.
Personal and Meaningful
You need to set these goals for yourself, no one else. Don’t set a goal because your BFF, spouse or everyone on social media is doing it. Make it important for YOU. Social pressure to achieve a goal is never a good idea. It’s not going to feel good, and you don’t need social approval for health and fitness goals. When you want to do it for yourself it becomes more important, and easier to prioritize and stay motivated.
Remember, personal and meaningful goals also come in all shapes and sizes – it doesn’t have to be grandiose. As long as it’s important to you, it’s worth achieving.
Now get goal setting!
By Shara Vigeant, BA, NSCA-CPT*D, CFSC