Plenty of us brought in the new year promising to achieve the fitness goals we probably didn’t get to in 2016.
But now, with February upon us, school back and work pressures starting to mount, it can be easy to push your fitness goals back down the priority list. Right?
It is only natural that the shine may have already worn off your well-intended new year fitness resolutions, particularly if the progress you have seen is minimal.
But experts say the best way to keep on the right track is to set yourself a task.
“Human beings are geared to seek challenges, but unfortunately people get busy, and worse, listen to parents, peers and the media which often say: in mid-life you’ve got to slow down,” motivational speaker and The Bucket List Guy, Travis Bell, told The New Daily.
“If you set and achieve a fitness challenge – or tick something off your bucket list – it will not only have a positive effect on your health, but also on many other areas of your life.
“You will have more energy which can mean more dollars and cents at work, it can improve your personal and romantic relationships and just make you a happier person.”
So, to help maintain – and achieve – your 2017 fitness goals, Bell suggests following these three simple steps.
1. Make a commitment now
Don’t worry if you haven’t started training yet.
But you should set a deadline for when you want to achieve your fitness goal, Bell believes.
“Putting a date in your calendar will enforce an intense motivation to make it happen,” he said.
Bell calls it reverse engineering goal setting, which means by committing to a goal first – even before you start exercising – you will increase your likelihood of achieving the goal because you put yourself under pressure to see it through.
“People also need a measure for their fitness goals, something tangible or a visual,” he said.
“So instead of committing to a standard of living like losing weight or toning up – why not say your goal is to go to Santorini mid-year and be photographed in your swimsuit?”
If your motivation goes missing along the way, Bell says to remember why you want to achieve the goal in the first place.
“If your ‘why’ is strong is enough, the ‘how’ will work itself out.”
2. Announce your fitness goals
There’s no better way to push yourself to actually achieve your new year fitness goals than by telling others about your intensions, says Bell.
“It’s not enough to do a Google search of a fun run or weight loss program,” he says.
“You must declare your commitment on social media, register for the event, pay the deposit and sign up.”
He says many people need to trust themselves more in that moment of sharing their goals, and remind themselves that they have got what it takes to make it happen.
For Bell, he is posting training updates of his 2017 fitness goal, which is to cycle this year’s Tour de France course including the gruelling Alpe d’Huez with its 1860m elevation.
Last year he summited Mt Kilimanjaro despite suffering severe altitude sickness, and in 2012 completed the IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship Melbourne – when he registered he didn’t even own a bike!
3. Reap the rewards of pushing yourself outside your comfort zone
Sure, there’s a fine line between taking yourself outside your comfort zone to achieve a fitness goal, and setting an unrealistic resolution.
Bell suggests setting micro goals within your big bucket list item to help build momentum and eventually push your limits.
For example, if you want to run a marathon start by registering for a 5km event.
“I can guarantee once you’ve received the finishers medal, experienced the high of crossing the finish line and had your friends and family cheering you on from the stands, you will want to do a 10K, a half marathon and then your marathon,” he adds.
“It’s not just about getting outside the comfort zone, it’s all about the growth of you as a person on the path to achieving the bucket list tick.
“And, more importantly, it’s about the you that exists on the other side – the person you don’t know yet – which is your potential.”
Bell’s catchcry is that people live until they are 80, but die at 40.
So to avoid unhappiness, and to maintain your 2017 fitness goals, he says it’s best to always keep exploring your potential – because “life’s way too short”.