If you’re like a lot of people, you’re probably thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions for 2022. After nearly two years of being in a holding pattern, a lot of people are ready to get fit in 2022, no matter what it takes. But instead of looking at it like a resolution, what if we set smart fitness goals instead?
The reason why so many people fail at New Year’s Resolutions is because we don’t set goals. Instead, we jot down something like “learn Italian” or “lose weight” on a cocktail napkin, then promptly lose the napkin and all motivation on January 2.
No, this year, we (me included!) are going to set 2022 fitness GOALS, not resolutions. Here’s how we’re going to do it – and set ourselves up for success!
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Set SMART Fitness Goals
I’m not capitalizing “smart” to hammer that point home. I’m capitalizing it because it’s an acronym that you see in a lot of goal-setting and self-improvement programs. SMART stands for:
- Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
- Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
- Achievable (agreed, attainable).
- Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
- Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
When I look at this, I can very quickly see why “going to the gym” and “lose weight” aren’t SMART goals. They’re not specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, or time-bound. They’re just… there, hopeful thoughts scribbled in an optimistic moment. So I’m going to take some common new year’s resolutions and turn them into SMART fitness goals that will work for 2022, regardless of what happens. Think of this as your fitness goals cheat sheet, so bookmark this page to reference it.
“Get fit” isn’t really a goal at all. It’s a dream. It isn’t specific or measurable or results-based, and if this is on a new year’s resolutions list, it’s doomed to fail. For this to work, we have to define what “fit” means. Does it mean weighing a certain amount, or being able to do an unassisted pull-up, or deadlifting twice our body weight? Does it mean feeling confident in a bikini or being able to go on long hikes with the family? If this is scribbled on your cocktail napkin, take a few minutes to define what fitness means to you. For me, it means being able to lift my suitcase into the overhead compartment, keep going on a long hike with a heavy backpack, run a half marathon, and do pull-ups unassisted. Once you’ve got that conceptualized, you can start looking at goals.
“Go to the Gym”
Go to the gym, get fit, start exercising – these are all great intentions. But most people sign up for their Globo gym membership, go once or twice in January, and then continue to let the gym withdraw money from their bank accounts while they find reasons not to go (too crowded, too confusing, don’t have the time.) (And if you’re the frugal sort, this should get you all fired up!) Here are some SMART fitness goal examples to try instead:
- Do 30 minutes of cardio three times a week.
- Do four strength-training sessions focusing on different body parts each time every week.
- Go to CrossFit three times a week. (And yes, you can do CrossFit! Don’t be intimidated.)
- Complete Couch to 5K in 9 weeks, and run a 5K in April.
There are a lot of ways you can frame your 2022 fitness goals, but these are just a few to get started. You don’t have to join a Globo gym for every one of them, either. If you’re not the type that enjoys working out in a gym, don’t. I personally don’t enjoy it at all! I walk in and am totally confused and overwhelmed, which is why I do CrossFit. Everything is already programmed for me, so all I have to do is show up.
You can set up a home gym in a corner of your living room, do bodyweight exercises, or download apps on your phone for workouts. The only thing you need to do is decide how often you’re going to work out, and for what duration, and then stick with it. Put an appointment in your calendar for yourself, and then do it.
“Lose weight” and “eat healthier” show up on a lot of people’s new year’s resolutions lists (those cocktail napkins so optimistically used at 11:58 p.m. on December 31). But what does that look like? It can look like this:
- Lose 10 lbs. by March 1.
- Cook dinner at home five days a week.
- Bring my own prepped lunch to work every day.
- Limit my sugar intake to 35 grams per day.
- Limit my wine intake to two glasses per week.
Or it can look totally different. As long as it’s a goal you can work toward, with milestones and action you can take, then add one of these 2022 fitness goals to your list. This is one I’m really passionate about, by the way; nutrition is something like 80% of what keeps us healthy. This can be as simple as finding healthier snacks or as complicated as working with a nutritionist or dietitian.
So if you want to lose weight, find a plan that works for you (Renaissance Periodization, Weight Watchers, something else), but don’t look it as a diet. Look at it as a lifestyle change, where most of your food is healthy and wholesome, and every so often, you get a treat.
I particularly love the idea of prepping more meals at home. There are so many ways to do this, too! You can subscribe to a service like PlateJoy. It’s not a meal delivery kit; it’s an online meal planning service. You can input your preferences and how many people you’re cooking for, select your recipes, and generate your shopping list. It makes life a lot easier because you don’t have to look in your fridge and wonder what to cook.
Hopefully, this will help you set – and ACHIEVE – your 2022 fitness goals! What goals have you set for the new year?
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