How to Achieve Your 2020 Fitness Goals

If you’re like a lot of people, you’re probably thinking about 2020 New Year’s Resolutions. This year, you’ll __________. No, you really mean it! But instead of looking at it like a resolution, what if we flipped it to 2020 fitness goals?

The reason why we all fail at our new year’s resolutions (me included!) is because they’re nebulous. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve put something like “learn Italian” or “do yoga” on a cocktail napkin or sticky note, then promptly lost it. (Spoiler alert: I now only speak enough Italian to order coffee or find the bathroom, and I’m still about as bendy as a pine tree). No, this year, we (me included!) are going to set 2020 fitness GOALS, not resolutions. Here’s how we’re going to do it – and smash our goals!

Achieve your 2020 fitness goals by setting SMART goals, not resolutions!

This post does contain some affiliate links, meaning that, if you click on one of those links and then purchase something from it, I get a small commission. This is at absolutely no cost to you! So it’s a win-win situation.

Set SMART 2020 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. So I’m going to take some common new year’s resolutions and turn them into SMART 2020 fitness goals. Think of this as your fitness goals cheat sheet, so bookmark this page to reference it.

“Get Fit”

“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, have the energy to explore a new city on foot, run a half marathon, and do pull-ups unassisted. Once you’ve got that conceptualized, you can start looking at goals.

Do you have nebulous fitness goals?
Ah, the phantom “fitness 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 goal examples to try instead:

  1. Do 30 minutes of cardio three times a week.
  2. Do four strength-training sessions focusing on different body parts each time every week.
  3. Go to CrossFit three times a week. (And yes, you can do CrossFit! Don’t be intimidated.)
  4. Complete Couch to 5K in 9 weeks, and run a 5K in April.
Set a 2020 fitness goal to work out X times per week.

There are a lot of ways you can frame your 2020 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. You can do bodyweight exercises. You can even download apps on your phone! The only thing you need to do is decide how often you’re going to work out, for what duration, and then stick with it. Put an appointment in your calendar for yourself, and then do it.

“Lose Weight”

“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:

  1. Lose 10 lbs. by March 1.
  2. Cook dinner at home five days a week.
  3. Bring my own prepped lunch to work every day.
  4. Limit my sugar intake to 35 grams per day.
  5. 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 2020 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.

Cook Once, Eat All Week

Another great way to meal prep is to do it in batches. I linked above to my post about meal prepping like a pro and finding what works for you. And then I discovered Cook Once, Eat All Week: 26 Weeks of Gluten-Free, Affordable Meal Prep to Preserve Your Time & Sanity by Cassy Joy Garcia. Seriously, just buy this book today if you want some help achieving your 2020 fitness goals. It walks you through prepping three meals for the week, so you can just throw them in the oven or on the stove when you get home from work. You open up the book to the week, and it gives you the full grocery list for the three meals. Then, you do your meal prep, and it walks you through that, too. There is almost no way to screw it up.

Cassy Joy Garcia also included some bonus recipes in there for when you have more time to cook. Each week, in addition to the three meals you’ll prep from the three ingredients, she offers up a few complementary (and simple) suggestions for dinners you can make. She’s even included instructions on how much to make if you want leftovers, if you’re cooking for fewer than four people, etc. Oh, and as a bonus? Your grocery bill will shrink because you’re not buying a ton of ingredients. (This is GREAT if one of your new year’s resolutions is to pad your savings account!)

My 2020 Fitness Goals

I can’t not tell you my 2020 fitness goals after all that, right? So here they are:

  1. Run a marathon PR. I realize this is kind of low-hanging fruit; I’ve only run one marathon before. But now I know what to expect, and to achieve this goal, I will use a training plan that incorporates speedwork and long runs.
  2. Get a legit chest-to-bar pull-up by September 1. I am not 100% sure how to go about this. I think I need more tricep strength, and strength in general, to pull myself high enough and then slam into the bar.
  3. Get 20 unbroken double unders by the end of the year. Starting in April, I’ll incorporate double under practice into my routine, three days per week.
  4. A power clean PR by December 31, 2020. I have a feeling this ties into building more strength in general, which probably means I’ll be eating a lot more chicken aka protein…

Hopefully this will help you set – and ACHIEVE – your 2020 fitness goals! What goals have you set for 2020?