Wellness Director Nathan Williams shares about how to set wellness goals/intentions for 2022:
It's that time of year again where we promise ourselves that this year is 'our year'. We then plan an outrageously unrealistic training and nutrition plan, only to fall short before Chinese New Year. In this post, I will share with you some tips and tricks in setting health and fitness goals that you are more likely to succeed in.
Before you jump into a training plan, really take some time to think and plan. What are YOUR goals? What do you want to achieve and WHY are they important to you? When you have a clear answer, then it's time to make a physical plan on how to achieve it. Below, I've shared 6 factors to consider when planning your goals and intentions for 2022:
1. Be realistic
Most plans fail before day 1. They are too ambitious and very often never get past the first month. You wouldn't plan to climb Everest after spending 6 months on the sofa or enter an ultramarathon if you've been spending all your time at the bar? Know where you are and what's achievable over the next 3 months, not 3 weeks. A great goal for those coming back to fitness in January is to simply be consistent with exercise throughout January. It is tougher than you think.
There is nothing wrong with having big, ambitious goals. The key to success is to take your time, start slow and gradually build the challenge over time - don't set yourself up to fail.
GOAL = I will train every day in January.
BETTER GOAL = I plan to use the gym 3 x a week for 6 consecutive weeks. Unplanned training programs will usually fail within a few weeks.
2. Learn from the past
"Success leaves clues" - Tony Robbins
What behaviours have derailed your efforts in the past? Too much socialising/partying when you said you were trying to lose 10lbs? A lack of nutrition planning? A lack of interest in exercising? Take some time thinking about what worked and what hindered your past results and plan to avoid the same mistakes. Success leaves clues - trace your past successes and repeat them.
3. Be specific with your goals
I want to get in shape, lose weight, be fit - these goals are too vague, which means they almost always don't mean anything and there is no clear indication that you are getting closer to them. Tip: Dial-in on a specific goal/number/time, etc., then work out what behaviours and milestones are needed to achieve that goal in a set amount of time.
E.g Instead of saying "I want to lose 5kgs", rephrase the goal and plan...
I plan to lose 5 kgs in 10 weeks' time. For this, I will need to have a slight calorie deficit and exercise a minimum of 5 hours per week. I will also reduce my sugars and stop drinking alcohol. Every week I will check my scale weight to see if I'm on the track of losing approx 0.5kg per week and adjust accordingly.
Track your workouts and focus on progressive efforts for better results.
4. Play to your strengths
What exercise do you enjoy? What activities can you perform endlessly and keep turning up for and have worked in the past for you? My advice is simple – do more of it! Along with structured training and gym time, you need to try something fun and don't spend your time punishing yourself with things you hate. If you love playing soccer, book 1-2 hours a week and get your fitness up like that.
Take your training outside the gym for a much-needed variety.
5. Involve your crew
Try not to do this alone. Find friends or colleagues that are thinking of the same goals as you, start a health and fitness group and compete in small fun weekly challenges (steps, weight loss, etc). Numerous health and fitness studies have shown that working out with friends can lead to more consistency, more enjoyment, and even increased effort!
Training with friends can be more fun and holds you accountable to turn up.
6. Put something on it
Nothing gives more motivation than a reward, good cause, or prize on completion of a task. Why not make a bet with friends and put your money where your mouth is? This is a huge motivator. Don't want to gamble? It doesn't have to be personal financial gains. You can bet a $500 charitable donation with friends, a fancy dinner somewhere special, a spa day... whatever will make you motivated enough to knuckle down and get after it. The prize or outcome has to be attractive enough to put the work in or you won't bother sacrificing time and effort.
If you're looking for a professional coach to create a wellness/fitness plan for you, please chat with Nathan or Alyssa at The Gym.