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A new year marks the start of many people’s goals to improve their health and fitness. Most of us have the right intentions and know what the right thing to do is. How many of us actually reach our health and fitness goals?

Achieving your goals requires planning for success. A big mistake people make is they do not have a plan. They change too much too quickly, and it is not sustainable. Here are some tips to help you achieve your new years resolutions!

Change your mindset

Improving your health and fitness is a lifestyle change. The things you change should be incorporated into your everyday life. It needs to be sustainable for the long term. Viewing your goals as a lifestyle modification rather than a quick fix will lead to more success when improving your health and fitness. 

Create SMART goals

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Setting goals which are SMART can lead to greater success.

  • Specific: Consider the who, what, when, why and how. This will assist with the planning and logistics of the goal.  
  • Measurable: having a unit of measurement is an indicator of progress. This may be in kilograms, frequency or minutes.
  • Achievable: ensure you have the right resources and capabilities to achieve your goals.
  • Realistic: failure to reach your goals because they were unrealistic can be discouraging.
  • Timely: setting a realistic timeframe for the goal to be achieved will encourage you to persist and review the goal regularly.

Consistency is key

Research suggests it takes at least 66 days to form a habit1, with a large variability between individuals. Furthermore, our bodies take weeks or months to adapt and change, both physiologically and psychologically. It may be several weeks or months before notable differences are seen. Therefore, it is important to be consistent with our behaviours and implement strategies to stay accountable to reach your new year’s health and fitness resolutions.

  1. Lally, P., & Gardner, B. (2013). Promoting habit formation. Health psychology review, 7(sup1), S137-S158.

By Nicole Cheung