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Setting Your 2018 Fitness Goals ... and Smashing Them!

Don't just think about what you want to do this year for your health and fitness—surpass those goals and feel great!

New Year's resolutions are both a blessing and a curse. You feel so motivated to accomplish a lot in the coming year. You set big goals and think, "I've got 12 months to do this ... no problem!" Sounds great, in theory, but now you have to reach those goals, or you end up feeling dejected.

But you can reach all of your objectives by following a few simple steps.

Take a Moment

First things first—write those goals down! Sit in a quiet spot with your tablet, computer or even good old pen and paper and write down everything you'd like to accomplish with regard to your health and fitness this year. These goals can be big or small. Lose weight, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, run a 10k, exercise 3-5 times a week, improve flexibility, get stronger, etc. Write out as many as you want, and keep them general. You may have one goal or 20. Write them all down!

Prioritize Your List

Now, number your list and put your first priority at the top. Often, the biggest health goal can be reached with the other goals. For example, you can lose weight and lower your cholesterol by training for a 10k and exercising 3-5 times a week. Give it some thought. You can change it later as your goals adapt and change. These are not set in stone—just in pen or on the computer. Delete and whiteout were created for these situations.

Are They Measurable?

Now evaluate your list. Each goal should be measurable and achievable. For example, don't try to lose 50 pounds in two months. That would require extreme changes that are not sustainable for the long term. Not only are you trying to achieve these goals, but you want to maintain them. So if you want to lose 50 pounds, plan for at least six months or more so that you can slowly change your body, and then maintain your new physique. If your goals have a date, write it down next to it.

Make a Plan

Here's where people start to get overwhelmed, or they just stop at the overall list. You need to have a plan of attack if you're going to annihilate those goals. Weight loss is often the number one goal of New Year's resolutions. To accomplish weight loss you need to change your habits; addressing your diet and exercise in order to change your body.

So, what steps do you need to take?

Start with some nutrition changes. These might include: drink more water, eat more fruits and vegetables, choose lean protein, eat whole grains, eat regularly to avoid overeating, less fast food, etc. Then you need to address your exercise needs: hit the gym 3-5 days each week, run three days per week, weight training 2-3 days per week, stretch after each workout, etc.

You may need to get even more detailed under each of these subheadings. How much water is your goal to drink each day? How many times per month will you eat fast food? What lean proteins are you choosing? How often are you going to eat? What days will work with your schedule to go to the gym? Get detailed under each sub-goal. This is your plan of attack, and what is going to guide you to beat your goals.

Burn the List into your Brain!

Not literally. Take your list and the plan for each one and hit the computer. At the top, "2018 Goals." Then start with number one in bold letters, with the plan for it underneath. You'll end up with an outline, or blueprint, to reach and surpass those health and fitness goals. Print it out and keep it handy. Review it daily, or weekly, adjusting as needed. Goals can change, but then make those adjustments in your plan and look at it often. Keep those objectives in mind, and why they were so important to you.

Focus, and you can smash all of your goals in 2018!

[Image via Shutterstock]

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