Did you set some fitness goals for the New Year? you’re not alone. In fact, according to some recent studies, about half of the population are setting some sort of fitness goal for 2023.
Unfortunately, as you might guess, about 80% of these initial goals fail, often as soon as February.
So what does it take to actually achieve those goals? What should we be doing?
To finally count yourself among that group of goal achievers, it will take determination and consistency. But in addition to those fundamentals, there are certain tools and strategies that thousands are already using to take things to the next level.
Ready to unlock your own noticeable results faster, and with less effort? Read on for 6 proven tips for maximizing your fitness goals this year
You probably have a few friends and family who can’t survive anymore without their Apple Watch. Thanks to huge advances in design and functionality over the past few years, these wearable devices are a huge step up from your old pedometer or MP3 from back in the day.
Today, wearable fitness trackers take many forms, from watches, to Bluetooth-enabled glasses and earpieces, and even a ring that reports on your sleep quality.
These devices can help you to track your progress, and stay motivated on the day-to-day grind. Especially for the technically-minded, these devices can help provide accountability and feedback on things that you may need to improve. They’ll tell you what kind of activity level you need to meet in order to reach your goal, and they’ll even send reminders when it’s time for a workout!
If tracking goals isn’t enough motivation for you (and it probably won’t be), many behavioral psychologists now recommend setting up a reward system to “trick” your brain into forming good habits.
In the best-selling book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, he calls this clever strategy “habit stacking.” According to the author’s research, you can take advantage of your brain’s already-developed patterns, and simply add your new desired habit on top. This will capitalize on the existing neural connections related to the first habit, allowing the second habit time to get established with its own mental pathways.
So instead of saying “I will drink 8 glasses of water today,” the optimal method may be to say something like “After each cup of coffee, I will drink a glass of water.” By tapping into your brain’s powerful pattern-forming abilities, this new water-drinking habit will soon become second nature.
Can you think of any ways that you can habit stack your way toward your upcoming fitness goals? Here are a few simple examples from the author’s website to get you started:
- After I pour my cup of coffee each morning, I will meditate for one minute.
- After I take off my work shoes, I will immediately change into my workout clothes.
- After I sit down to dinner, I will say one thing I’m grateful for that happened today.
- After I get into bed at night, I will give my partner a kiss.
- After I put on my running shoes, I will text a friend or family member where I am running and how long it will take.
Abs are made in the kitchen. You can’t outtrain a poor diet. The reason there are so many cliches about the importance of nutrition? Because it’s true!
A consistent, sustainable meal plan is one of the biggest ways you can maximize and maintain your 2023 fitness goals. But it is important to avoid trendy fad diets that deliver short-term results, at the cost of long-term sustainability. These so-called “yo-yo” diets can actually be harmful to your health, as the stress of weight gain and loss takes a toll on your body.
With so much information available, it is important to consult with your medical professional on a plan that will work for your specific needs. Generally speaking, researchers have found that some version of a “Mediterranean Diet,” focusing on lean proteins and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, is among the best options for many people.
Remember that other old cliche – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
There is simply no substitute for consistent, repeated actions. And as much as we may search for the latest “hack” or “cheat code” to fitness, a daily routine is the true secret weapon of your Instagram fitspo influencers.
Once you have this daily routine set, it takes relatively little focus and motivation to stay on track. You simply follow your routine (which, thanks to habit stacking, your brain is already a pro at).
How can you add healthy behaviors to your daily routine? Set an alarm or a reminder to get up and walk around your office building or block at certain times. Try moving just one of your nightly Netflix episodes to the treadmill. Try making one more meal for yourself versus dining out. As these actions become part of your daily routine, they will soon become second nature, and part of your fitness lifestyle.
Micro Goals, Major Results
One major reason that so many fail in their resolutions? Because their goal is too vague, large, and/or distant.
For example, compare these two fitness goals. Who do you think will be more successful?
- “I want to lose weight and eat healthier.”
- “I want to lose 20 pounds over the next 5 months. To do this, I need to:
- Lose around 4 pounds per month, on average.
- January: Reduce soda consumption to 1/day. Weigh myself weekly on Sundays to track my progress.
- February: Continue January tasks, while attending yoga classes once weekly. Cook Valentine’s meal at home, and take walks with my partner after work 2x weekly.
- March: Sign up for my company’s charity 5K, and start taking longer walks on Wednesday evenings. Weight loss checkpoint goal of 10 pounds.
- April: Invite coworkers to attend 5K run with me, and post on social media for accountability.
- May: Increase my daily water intake by 12 oz. Complete 5K race. During the final week evaluate weigh-in progress.
Breaking down difficult or large goals into smaller, measurable ones is not exactly a new breakthrough, but it is truly amazing to see in action.
If you have some larger goals this year, try reverse-engineering what you’ll need to do each month, week, and so on as you achieve them. You’ll be there in no time!
The Right Supplements for 2023 Goals
The right supplements can be a real boost in achieving your goals. Supplements can help to eliminate obstacles on your path, such as low energy or fatigue. They can also increase your body’s ability to recover, helping you see results faster. Don’t underestimate the impact that seeing your fitness results can have.
With so many supplements out there, it can be hard to narrow down the list. Johns Hopkins Medicine has given some good ideas for shopping your local supplement aisle:
- “Does the brand make hard-to-prove claims?”
- “Does the product label give information about the formula, directions, and precautions?”
- “Is label information clear, and easy to read?
- “Is there a way to contact the brand to learn more?”
Fitness goals are always popular. Who doesn’t want to feel their best, and look that way too? So often, our physical bodies reflect our mental and emotional state. But rather than making general goals that are bound to fail, there are certain things you can do to maximize your results.
Staying consistent can be difficult without a proper plan. Maintaining healthy energy levels can help you remain focused, without the fatigue and discouragement that often derails habits before they really get going.
With the right tools and supplements at your side, you can achieve all your 2023 fitness goals — and maybe even more than you thought possible.