Here at U Perform, it is our mission to empower our U Perform family by providing the highest quality sports nutrition range to enhance preparation, performance and recovery. But we think we can go one step further, to do more to support and inspire the U Perform family.
That’s why throughout January we are going to take you on a chocker block 31 day journey of health, wellness, fitness and much more. With the help of our experts, we will be sharing our knowledge, insights, as well as workouts and nutrition advice to kick-start your New Year like never before.
In today's blog we are discussing New Year's resolutions and how to set SMART goals so that you can set yourself up for success and crush your fitness goals in 2021.
New Year's Resolutions: Good or Bad?
The New Year brings resolutions aplenty as many of us look to get more active, get fitter and lose weight for example. Whatever your goal is, that is a great place to start. However, very often we jump from one extreme to another and lose motivation very quickly meaning we never reach the goal we set out to achieve.
Big picture thinking is great, for some. But for others it can be quite daunting and we very quickly become lost, focusing too much on the outcome rather than on the process of getting to that point.
With that in mind, we have set ourselves our own mission…
Our goal this month is to help you start new, healthy and sustainable habits that will encourage you to make positive changes to your overall quality of life and help you to celebrate your achievements along the way to achieving your end goal.
And this brings us to our first point… Goal setting. The very act of setting your goal in the first place. Without this, we have no direction or purpose.
Goal setting is so important in every aspect of life not least in fitness and physical activity. But knowing where to start and choosing goals that are right for you is a challenge in itself! Never fear, we are here to help with our simple guide to setting SMART goals…
Setting goals the SMART way
What do we mean by SMART goals? SMART goals are a great way to break down our long term plans and aspirations in more manageable and bitesize chunks, helping us to not only track our progress and stay motivated but also to learn to enjoy and celebrate the process of achieving our goals. Including all the little goals we set ourselves along the way!
Your goal needs to be as specific and as clear as possible, otherwise you won’t be able to fully focus on achieving it. Think about your WHY.
Why do I want to achieve this goal?
What is your overall motivation?
Your goal also needs to be measurable so that you can easily track your progress. This is great for motivation too as you can celebrate every time you hit another checkpoint along the way to your overall goal.
For example, if you are starting a couch to 5km programme like our 8 week ‘U to Running’ there are mini checkpoints along the way to keep you motivated and track your progress.
And if the going gets tough, it is always so rewarding to have a quick look back at how far you really have come!
Your goal should always challenge you, but still be realistic and achievable at the same time.
If you are a first time runner for example who would like to run a marathon, setting yourself smaller goals along the way will encourage you to progress safely and it will be much more rewarding as well.
These could be to run your first 5km, then 10km, then half marathon for example. Each one of these are an incredible achievement in themselves, so definitely worth celebrating!
This will also help you to understand the timeframe for achieving your goal which is another point we will discuss shortly.
Beware also of setting a goal that someone else has control over or even aiming for someone else’s goal.
Teamwork is at the heart of everything we do, even if we don’t realise it. Behind every person is an even better team but it is so important to make sure you are always working towards your own goals and not anybody else’s. Everybody is different and progresses very differently too so we should treat our goals
This brings us back to our first point; to our WHY. This step is all about ensuring that your goal matters to you and that it fits into your routine and lifestyle. One of the common downfalls of most New Year’s resolutions is that they are very hard to maintain.
It can take 21 days for an activity to become a habit. Daily habits executed consistently form sustainable routines that can have an incredible benefit for your overall health, wellness and quality of life.
The more relevant your goal is to you, the better chance you have of achieving it!
This is a pretty obvious one but one that is often overlooked. When you set a goal, set a timeframe or a deadline so that right from the beginning you have a target to work towards.
This will also help you understand whether your goal is actually achievable in that timeframe; bringing it back full circle to our earlier rules that required us to be specific and measurable with our goals.
Planning time for exercise, like we would for anything else in our life, can make a huge difference to our motivation and helps create habits and routines to last a lifetime.
Always be ready to be flexible however. You never know what lies around the corner and our ability to adapt to changes is just as important as setting goals in the first place.
We would love to hear your thoughts!
So there it is, our guide to creating healthy habits and smart goals! We really hope you found this useful and we would love to see you get involved with our ‘31 days to a fitter & healthier U’ programme which will be running EVERYDAY across all of our social media platforms!
Don’t forget to share this with your friends, family and training buddies so they can get involved too! The U Perform family loves sharing ideas and encouraging each other.