With 60% of Americans making New Year’s resolutions each year, setting goals for the upcoming year has become a time-honored tradition. While many of the top 10 most popular resolutions revolve around fitness and a healthy lifestyle, the number one New Year’s resolution is actually to do your New Year’s resolution. Clearly, keeping the promises we make to ourselves is a challenge and we need all the help we can get.
To make your fitness goal setting and keeping a bit easier this year, this article will reflect on what we learned from 2020, then walk you through how to set achievable goals, potential 2021 fitness goal ideas and some tips for sticking with your resolutions.
Biggest Lessons We Learned From 2020 and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Despite the challenges of the coronavirus outbreak and adapting to social distancing, 2020 gave us a chance to reflect and be grateful for the things we do have. This past year, we learned the value of our health and maintaining both our physical and mental wellness. If nothing else, 2020 taught us the importance of taking care of our immune systems.
One of the best ways we can boost our immune systems and overall health is by getting active. Because regular physical activity can help reduce the risk of diseases, strengthen our bodies and enhance our health overall, exercise has become more important than ever this past year. As we progress into 2021, the lessons 2020 taught us about taking care of ourselves can help us create a brighter future.
Through these lessons, 2020 revealed the determination, strength and resourcefulness of humanity. We quickly adapted to shifting norms and solved fitness problems posed by the pandemic by coming up with innovative solutions like virtual gym memberships. With the help of technology, we remained dedicated to our fitness commitments while still prioritizing health, safety and social distancing.
More than anything else, 2020 gave us a renewed thankfulness for being with each other and working out together in cutting-edge exercise facilities. By looking back on the 2020 challenges we overcame, we can look to 2021 with hope and an eagerness to capitalize on every chance we get to work out and improve our health alongside one another.
3 Tips for Setting 2021 Fitness Goals
If you want to set yourself up for success this year, keep these top three fitness goal setting tips in mind when coming up with your 2021 resolutions.
1. Stay SMART
For you to achieve your fitness resolutions, they need to be SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Setting SMART goals is an effective strategy for transforming good intentions into concrete results.
Make sure your 2021 fitness goals follow this formula for success:
- Specific: If you aren’t specific about your New Year’s resolution, you won’t know when you have achieved it. Instead of saying something vague like “I want to work out more,” write down a concrete number of times you want to go to the gym this year. To take it a step further, break that number down by month and week.
- Measurable: Making your goal measurable will help you mark your progress and let you know whether you’re on the right track. Be sure that your goal is quantifiable so you can be certain when you’ve passed a milestone.
- Attainable: While you should always aim high, setting an unrealistically lofty goal can quickly leave you feeling discouraged and abandoning your resolution. Honestly assess your current fitness level and how much time you have to commit to your goals so you can make a reasonable resolution.
- Relevant: Relevance has to do with why you’re making something your fitness goal. How would accomplishing this specific goal improve your life? A resolution that is relevant to you will keep you motivated to work for it.
- Time-bound: Assigning your fitness goal a deadline will give you a greater sense of purpose and help keep you on track, so you don’t stray from your timeline. Give yourself a sense of urgency by picking a deadline that’s not too far off.
2. Work on Wellness
While the main objective of fitness goals is often to lose weight, build strength or run faster, don’t forget that there’s much more to fitness than just going to the gym. Try to set some fitness goals that don’t have to do with exercise, such as eating more veggies or quitting soda, to work on leading a healthier lifestyle overall. Having goals outside of the gym will also keep you focused and motivated to stick with your exercise routine.
When setting holistic fitness goals, don’t forget to take mental well-being into consideration. Learning how to meditate or relax with yoga can do just as much for your health as running a marathon. You may even find that when your mind feels more balanced, you get more out of your workouts.
3. Have Some Fit Fun
Set fitness goals that get you excited about working out. You will be much more likely to keep going to the gym if you actually look forward to it, so make sure you include some fun in your fitness goals by focusing on exercises you enjoy. Whether you love to run, swim, power lift, cycle or something else, centering your goal around your favorite form of exercise will make you more motivated to continue going to the gym all year long.
While sticking with your go-to exercise may be fun, switching it up every so often could be even more fun. Keep yourself engaged with working out by trying different fitness classes, such as kickboxing, Zumba or yoga. With so many different ways to sweat, you’ll never get tired of going to the gym.
7 Fitness New Year’s Resolution Ideas for 2021
Now that you know what it takes to make a solid New Year’s resolution, it’s time to put those goal-setting skills into practice. If you need some extra fitness inspiration, take a look at these 2021 New Year’s resolution ideas.
1. Run a Road Race
Signing up for a road race is a great fitness goal because it gives you a specific race to run for a specific distance on a specific day. If you want to get even more specific, you can also set a goal time. Marking your progress and staying on track to meet your goal will be simple if you follow something like a couch-to-5K running plan, which can easily be found online.
Running is also an achievable fitness resolution because it takes minimal equipment and anyone can do it. If you have a reliable pair of running shoes and a can-do attitude, you’ve already got what it takes to be a successful runner. As a bonus, your friends and family can cheer for you along the race route and celebrate with you at the finish line.
2. Master the Plank
Holding the plank position engages numerous muscles in your body, making it one of the best exercises you can do to build up your core. Regularly doing a plank can increase your endurance, improve your posture and boost your metabolism, all while strengthening your abs. Of course, holding a plank isn’t easy, so start small and be patient with yourself as you work your way up to a full minute and beyond.
3. Stay Hydrated
Toast to your health this year with a nice big glass of H2O. Make 2021 the year of drinking water by committing to drinking eight glasses of water each day. Staying well-hydrated will help you lose weight, clear up your skin and feel more energized so you can keep killing it at the gym.
Make your hydration resolution even more meaningful by swapping water for a less healthy beverage like soda or energy drinks. Trading in your usual diet soda for a tall glass of water will both nourish your body and decrease your daily sugar intake. To make sticking with your eight glasses goal more manageable, keep a refillable water bottle at your work station and remember to order water whenever you go out to eat.
4. Meal Prep More
The best way to set yourself up for accomplishing your nutritional goals is to be prepared. Although it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of getting to the next appointment and just stopping for some fast food on the way, keeping your fridge stocked with healthy pre-made meals will help you stay on track to achieving your fitness goals.
Carving out some time at the beginning of the week to chop or cook ingredients can save you from making unhealthy decisions in the days ahead. In addition, being in less of a rush to eat every day will allow you to slow down, enjoy your food and recognize when you’ve hit your full point. Instead of absentmindedly shoveling more food down, savoring each meal will help you keep a tighter rein on portion control.
5. Sacrifice One Indulgence
Trying to make a million lifestyle changes at once can be intimidating and ultimately discouraging. To keep yourself from getting overwhelmed, choose to key in on one main vice to give up. Rather than attempting to eliminate all processed food, carbs, sugar and alcohol from your life at once, try quitting just one of these indulgences and seeing how it goes.
As you become adjusted to living without your indulgence of choice, you can try getting rid of another vice. Gradually dropping your unhealthy habits will help you feel less deprived, which will enable you to make sustainable, long-lasting lifestyle changes. To ensure you maintain a well-balanced life, you can try rotating which indulgence you abstain from each month.
6. Stick to a Sleep Schedule
We often underrate the impact that sleep has on our health. Getting the right amount of quality sleep can aid your immune system, improve your mood, strengthen your heart and help you maintain a healthy weight. As a bonus, a good night’s rest will make you full of energy and ready to give it your all when you work out.
If you find it difficult to get to bed on time each night, there are a few sleep-inducing tricks you can try. Doing a bit of yoga, stretching or meditating before climbing into bed can help both your body and mind relax, which will make sleep come easier. Avoiding screens and keeping electronics out of your bedroom may also help you fall asleep more quickly.
7. Go Virtual
Staying fit and healthy includes protecting your immune system and preventing the spread of illness among your community. If you do not feel comfortable returning to your local gym just yet, opt for a virtual gym membership instead. When you join virtual programs, you get access to a large collection of workout classes and other resources to help you continue getting fit while maintaining social distance.
As social distancing guidelines continue to fluctuate, signing up for a virtual gym membership will provide you with a dependable way to keep working out no matter how things change. Even those who do feel ready to go back to the gym in person could benefit from the convenience of a virtual gym membership. Having a great way to work out at the click of a button will help you stick to your exercise schedule even on busy days when you can’t make it to the gym.
5 Ways to Stick With Your Fitness Resolutions
Once you’ve chosen which awesome fitness achievements to set as your New Year’s resolutions this year, follow these five tips to make sure you keep them.
1. Make Fitness a Priority
When life becomes busy, the first thing to get bumped off the schedule is often our gym time. To stick with your 2021 fitness goals, you will need to make your health and wellness a top priority every day. Being unwilling to sacrifice the time you set aside to work out, meditate or meal prep will enhance your overall well-being.
One trick to make sure you’re not quick to cancel your trip to the gym or skip out on an exercise class is to think of it as an equally important commitment as a work meeting or dentist appointment. Your physical and mental health are worth prioritizing, so treat them accordingly.
2. Set Mini Goals
Planning some micro-goals into your overall fitness resolution will help keep you on track to reaching your ultimate goal. Having smaller checkpoints along the road of your fitness journey will constantly provide you with something to work for and build your self-esteem. For example, completing a half-marathon could give you the confidence boost you need to move up to a full marathon.
Be sure to reward yourself each time you reach a mini goal with something that will help you on your path to fitness, such as a new pair of running shoes. Celebrating your progress will keep you motivated to accomplish your larger goal.
3. Pick a Partner
The most reliable way to make working out fun is to do it with a friend. If you tend to dread the drive to the gym, exercising alongside your bestie will make you excited about getting your sweat on. Knowing you’ve got a workout buddy waiting will also keep you accountable for showing up.
Committing to working out with someone can also give you the motivation to achieve higher thanks to a little friendly competition. You and your fitness partner can push each other and encourage one another when things get tough.
4. Track Your Progress
Recording your progress is key to maintaining fitness resolutions. Keeping track of the strides you’ve made will reassure you of how far you’ve come as well as add another layer of accountability by making you feel as if someone else is keeping an eye on you. This feeling will motivate you to stay dedicated and work harder.
Writing down your progress in a fitness journal will also give you time to think about each exercise session and help you identify what went well and what could have been better. Thinking through what works for you will help you make any necessary changes to your gym routine so you can accomplish even more. You can use a hard-copy journal or a fitness app to easily measure your progress.
5. Pace Yourself
Although seeing your amazing progress may energize you to keep pushing yourself harder and harder, it is important to remember to rest every so often. Many New Year’s fitness resolutions get forgotten because of burnout or injury from biting off more than we can chew. No matter how enthusiastically you start out, fatigue and overuse injuries can quickly dampen your spirits and pause your training.
To prevent burnout and injury, make resting a regular part of your weekly routine. Create a workout schedule that is realistically sustainable and listen to your body when it cries out for a break. You can still get some physical activity in on rest days by going for a relaxed walk or participating in some soothing yoga. By taking some time for your body and mind to recover, you’ll have the stamina to accomplish your goals.
Achieve Your 2021 Fitness Goals at Gold’s Gym Linglestown
Get started on keeping your New Year’s fitness resolutions by becoming a member at Gold’s Gym Linglestown. The state-of-the-art amenities and the wide variety of group exercise classes available at Gold’s Gym Linglestown will keep you motivated and excited about accomplishing your 2021 fitness goals.
At Gold’s Gym Linglestown, we prioritize health and fitness, which means we follow strict sanitation procedures and practice social distancing. If you don’t feel ready to visit the gym in person yet, check out our virtual membership program. By becoming a virtual member, you can get a high-quality workout wherever there’s a reliable internet connection.
To make 2021 your healthiest year yet, join Gold’s Gym Linglestown today!