New Year, New You, right!?
As we turn the page on 2017, you’re ready to eliminate excuses, set goals and make colossal changes in 2018. You’re gonna hit the ground running (the second that hangover ends) January 1, and no one can stop you. Yes sir, 2018 is going to be different. It’s going to be your year! It’s going to be BIG!
Let’s pump the brakes a bit.
As a fitness professional, far too often I see people set incredibly lofty goals for the new year that go down the drain months, weeks, or even days later. The extra motivation floating through the air in late December has them dreaming big and getting a bit too confident about the changes they’re going to make.
Ultimately, those pie-in-the-sky goals become ancient afterthoughts quite quickly, and they’re back to their old ways before the holiday season is over. That is, until another set of grandiose goals comes along next December only to sink into the abyss of missed opportunities by the time the snow melts.
Why is that?
I believe it’s because we get to dreaming too big and bite off more than we can chew. We feel unstoppable as we prepare for the new year, and the sheer size of our goals is what leads to failure.
So, let’s try something different this year.
Let’s set some bite-size goals you can actually achieve. Let’s make It easy to succeed. Let’s eliminate excuses with snackable successes that will make your 2018 health and fitness goals realities.
Here’s your 3-step blueprint to commit to fit in 2018!
Read carefully, craft your goals using these principles, and I promise, with a combination of commitment and conviction, you will achieve them.
Step 1. Strategically Set Your Minimum Amount of Exercise Per Week:
Think about the 3-4 busiest weeks you had this past year and/or the 3-4 busiest weeks coming up next year. Whether it be due to travel, work, family, or a combination of all three, take a few minutes to really audit what those weeks look like.
Now, determine the bare minimum of time you can actually work out on those draining weeks you’ve defined. Aim LOW. If you’re thinking 30 minutes per day, shoot for 20. If you’re thinking you can find time five days per week to work out, shoot for four.
Whether you’re thinking in terms of minutes, days, or both, your goal is to establish a non-negotiable number that you know you can achieve on weeks like these, despite the chaos of life hitting you smack in the face for seven days straight.
Got it? Excellent. The goal you just set is now your weekly goal for the next 52 weeks. Despite what life throws at you, you know this number of workouts and/or minutes is achievable because you aimed for the bare minimum… during days when excuses and distractions are at all-time highs. Oh and on the lighter weeks, you can exceed that goal, but you don’t have to.
Whether it’s minutes, days, or both, write it down right now.
Step 2. Block Off Consistent, Non-Negotiable Times For Exercise:
It may be hard to dedicate specific days to your goals, but you can certainly block off specific times. As the old adage goes, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. By managing your time in advance, you’re preparing to successfully sweat.
Word to the wise: I highly suggest — scratch that … I require — you commit to an early morning or late-night timeframe. This will ensure you avoid the many distractions that come along with work, family, friends, etc. during the day. Plus, by setting specific times, the people you surround yourself with will quickly learn when you are unavailable.
Prepare to be selfish with this time block. If you have to do it while the rest of the world rests, so be it. You will not take calls during this time. You will not respond to emails during this time. Simply put, you will not be available during this time.
Choose your time block(s) wisely and write ‘em down.
#3. Commit To A Program or Professional:
With a reasonable goal set for workouts and time blocked off to hit that goal, let’s talk programming. Freestyling at the gym is far too flexible to warrant a true change. You’ve got to have a plan in place. Whether you’re streaming workouts via FORTË, following a routine outlined by a professional, or in the trenches with a trainer, having a workout plan is the final step to your blueprint and the secret sauce to success.
Never assume you’ll “figure it out” with exercise. Follow a program or hire a professional to firm up your commitment and give you micro-goals throughout the year. Plus, variety is the spice of life. A proper plan will offer a mixed bag of workout styles and exercises to ensure you actually see results and keep you committed. There’s nothing more motivating than that.
There you have it. A simple, three-step exercise to set achievable fitness goals for 2018. Add in a can-do mindset and you’ll reap the rewards in 2018.
P.S. Here’s a look at what my personal plan looks like for 2018 (yup, I practice what I preach):
#1. I will work out for at least 30 minutes per day three times per week.
[As you can see, I’ve established both a bare minimum of minutes and a bare minimum of workout sessions]
#2. My workouts will take place between 5 and 6:30am on weekdays and 6 and 7:30am on weekends.
[I know I will not have any distractions during these times and regardless of what happened the day or evening before, I will be ready to sweat.]
#3. I will complete Joe DeFranco’s Built Like a Badas* program and Todd Durkin’s IMPACT! Body Plan, while also using FORTË’s library of high-intensity workouts to stream when I’m on the road and away from a gym.
[There’s no excuses here. I’ve got a plan to cover 20+ weeks of the year and a back-up plan in place for any obstacles I encounter — hence why I love FORTË!]
Clay Manley is a word nerd with a fitness background. A Certified Personal Trainer who took his talents to the keyboard. You can give him a shout and find more of his work here.