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New Year, new fitness target

Setting new fitness targets

Setting a new fitness target at the start of the year can be a bit daunting. For a start, your goals may change. In the after glow of the New Year’s Eve party, you may think that losing weight and eating healthily are your main goals. By the middle of January, just finding a way to stay motivated to go to the gym in the cold, dark evenings could be the target. 

The key is to break your new fitness target into small, medium and large goals. And it is also about being realistic. Here are some tips on how to set targets and then to actually achieve them.

Create and write a plan so you have your goals and your steps to achieving them in an easy to access format. There are thousands of apps to help with this, but simply writing things down on a  piece of paper and sticking it somewhere you can see it regularly is more effective.

Shorter steps to success

You might want to start with just a weekly or monthly plan. A year long plan can be very daunting. One target may be to do a yoga workout every morning. If you are stuck for time or do not know where to go for a Yoga class, check out the Kelsey Kerridge Yoga class timetable. If this doesn’t tie into your schedule, an ‘at home’ online yoga programme such as ‘Yoga with Adriene’ is an excellent way to introduce a short but effective yoga session into your routine. 

Make your goal specific. It is no good saying something like: ‘I want to get fitter.’ break that down into what element of fitness you want to improve – eg strength. Then decide how you will measure this – eg by March I want to be able to deadlift 60kgs. Then work out how you will achieve this – eg, three strength and conditioning sessions in the gym each week.

Signing up for an event is a great way to make new targets relevant. Once you have identified an event, work backwards to plan your training. For example: a 10k race in April might involve you doing a Couch to 5k in January. You would then move onto a Couch to 10k in February and March. By the time April comes around you will be ready to smash out a 10k and hit your new fitness target.

Flexibility is your friend

It is also important to be flexible and realistic about your goals. If you had aspirations to do a marathon this year but then developed an injury, don’t beat yourself up. This is the time to re-evaluate, work out what is possible and set new targets that will help you overcome your injury and make you feel good in yourself. 

As an example, you may have entered a long distance bike event but then injured your shoulder so that new fitness target is off the table. However, you could look at doing a long-range walk, and train for that. You will maintain your fitness level, which will help speed up a return to action, and you will feel good in yourself as you achieve your new fitness target. 

The key to setting new targets is to make them goals that will push you to achieve higher levels of performance but are also attainable, so you get the feel-good factor of hitting new heights. Good luck!