It’s almost the end of January – how are you doing on your New Year’s fitnessresolution?
It’s right around this time each year that many people start to fade. In fact, only 8% of those who make resolutions actually stick with them, and by February most have failed. The statistics are pretty dismal.
We’re here to say: Don’t give up! At the heart of every resolution is optimism – a belief that, with a little extra effort, you can improve at least one part of your life. And you can, but it requires more than believing.
This year, avoid failure by trying something new: SMART goal setting. You may have heard of the concept, a simple strategy for turning good intentions into actionable plans that produce measurable results. Setting SMART goals can help you make the positive behavioral changes needed to stay with your program. All it requires is that every goal you set meet the following five criteria (the acronym SMART is a handy way to remember them)
- Specific – Don’t be vague when setting a health and fitness goal. What exactly do you want to achieve? Focus on a few things that you can do well and that you know will help you meet your objectives.
- Measurable – How will you know you’ve succeeded? Is it pounds on a scale? Completing that 5k road race you’ve always wanted to do? Lower cholesterol numbers? Choose a measurable goal and hold yourself to it. Providing precise fitness data and analytics is one of the most powerful things we do at Koko to help keep our members on track for their fitness and nutrition goals.
- Actionable – Vowing you’ll “exercise more” or “eat less” is not enough. You need a clear, unambiguous plan that can easily be put into action. Think more along the lines of “exercise 15 minutes every morning and evening”, “run three miles, four times a week” or “eat 1800 calories and increase lean protein and veggies.” To avoid constant decision-making and judgment calls, give your program a structure: Schedule your workouts, choose the right diet, and just follow them.
- Realistic – Can you really make good on your plan? Be honest. Identify any known limitations, such as time, budget, access to a gym, etc. Find ways to overcome these obstacles, or adjust your expectations and plans accordingly.
- Time-Based –What is your timeline for success? Give yourself a deadline for hitting certain milestones, and track how you do. If you don’t meet some of them, don’t give up. Adjust future milestones so they’re achievable.
February’s almost here. Think of how much better you’ll feel a month from now if you’re successfully sticking to your fitness plan. Get SMART, starting today.
Interested in Koko?
Try 30 days of complete fitness and coaching for just $30.
About Michael Wood, Chief Fitness Officer
Michael Wood, CSCS, is Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub, driving the development of integrated strength and cardio training and nutrition programs for Koko members nationwide. A nationally acclaimed fitness expert, Michael has conducted research as a Senior Exercise Physiologist at the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and has lectured at Boston University and the University of Connecticut. He has been named Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston” Personal Trainer, and made the Men’s Journal “Dream Team” list of the nine best trainers in the U.S. Michael and his family live in North Attleboro, MA.