Happy New Year! 2020 was a massive year and starting 2021 in lockdown can feel heavy. Taking care of our health is one thing we can still do and is also a huge benefit to help keep our immune systems strong as well as having huge benefits for our physical and mental health.
Fitness goals are always high up on the list of New Year's resolutions and it’s a great time to set intentions. To have an end goal is important but it's about making sure your goals are realistic and you have a plan to help you form habits to stay on track. This is what will ensure you achieve your goals.
Here are some top tips for setting effective fitness goals in 2021.
1. Keep it real
Be realistic. People often go all in making lots of big changes at once; a new diet, dry January, quit smoking, and exercise every day. If you go balls-to-the-wall you will most likely realise your expectations are too much to keep up with.
Find something that is sustainable throughout the year and start with tackling one change at a time so as not to overwhelm yourself.
2. Figure out your why?
Maybe you want to drop some weight or run a 5k. It’s great to have a goal but the reasons “why” you want to be able to achieve it is your motivator. Why is it important to you to achieve this? Think about how it will make you feel when you achieve it, then on the days when you’re tired and can’t be bothered to train or heading to the fridge for some comfort eating, remember your why!
3. Make a plan and journal your progress
Write a plan of how you are going to reach your goal. Break it down into smaller markers and record your workouts in a journal. It's the small achievements on the way which are the stepping stones to getting you to your end goal. Hitting these markers along the way will provide structure to your training but also give you the motivation to keep going. You'll be surprised how easily it helps exercise becomes a habit.
3. Recommit to eating healthy
Lockdown snacking and drinking has been a crutch for a lot of us during the COVID-19 situation. Try and stock your fridge with healthy snacks and try out new healthy recipes. Meal planning is a great way to make sure you commit to healthy eating as it takes the choices away and if you buy in food in advance you are more likely to eat it.
If you like tracking things you can also use apps like MyFitnessPal or Chronometer to track your food intake. Sometimes doing this for a little bit helps show you what you are eating and keeps you more honest.
4. Develop a healthy sleep schedule
I talk about sleep a lot. Just like if we had no food and water, without sleep we would die. Sleep is where our body repairs. We all know what it feels like to get a good night's sleep and a bad night's one. We perform better, our mindset is more positive and it helps stop cravings for sugar and junk food. Try to create a night routine for yourself, too. Try and go to bed at roughly the same time each night. Switch off from devices, maybe take a bath, read a book, basically try to wind down. It will help you fall asleep faster and settle into a healthy circadian rhythm that supports high-quality sleep. For more tips check out our blogs on sleep.
5. Don't forget your mental health and mindset, they will probably be the biggest factors to get you through at the moment.
Meditate - Meditation gives you time and space, helps reduce stress and anxiety and is backed by science. A study done at Harvard Medical School proved that meditating 20 minutes a day consistently lowers stress levels, reduces pain and inflammation in the body, and helps significantly to relieve anxiety and depression.
Get outside for at least 20 minutes every day! The great outdoors is the deepest healing medicine of all.
Whether you are already on your health and fitness journey and want some help setting some new goals. I am offering free 15min online goal-setting sessions for anyone who wants some help kicking off their health, fitness, and nutrition goals for 2021.