8 tips for sticking to New Year goals

19 January 2018 | Cancer Council NSW

The March Charge

Setting a fitness routine is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Here are our tips for making, and keeping, healthy new year resolutions.

1. Make it SMART

Set a SMART goal – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. For instance ‘I will do a 30 minute walk three mornings a week on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, starting this Monday for the next month’. At the end of the month when you have achieved your goal, reward yourself with something worthwhile, such as a massage, or a movie date with a friend. Just as you set your resolution at the beginning of the year, also plan your reward. That way, when you are three weeks in and want to throw in the towel, you can remember that sweet reward is only a week away! When you have achieved your first SMART goal – then set a new one for the next month along with a new reward.

2. Set a performance goal

Setting a performance goal, and not a weight-loss goal, will help you stay motivated. For example, a goal to be able to touch your toes or do10 sit-ups each day. Keep in mind that in order for your body to move smoothly and freely, your joints need a range of motion – which is why flexibility is so important. Think of a performance goal that really motivates you, and enjoy the process as you strive for it.

3. Keep a diary

Keep a record of what activity you do and when you do it – and also a food diary. This will keep you focused on your goals and also on what you accomplish each day.

4. Find a buddy

Exercising with a friend allows for a little friendly competition and increases accountability. You can also support each other to achieve your goals. It’s always easier when you know someone is supporting you and waiting for you at the gym, or at your front gate to join you on your walk or run!

5. Pick a precise number

A very common New Year’s resolution is a weight loss goal. If this is your goal make sure it is realistic and give yourself a specific timeframe in which you want to reach your goal. There are a lot of things that go into changing our weight and it’s often not a simple calculation. People can get hung up on reducing calories by a very specific amount and not get the predicted weight-loss outcomes that they want. So create goals that you really think you can reach, like: ‘Today I will do my exercises and the next meal I eat will be made up from healthy food choices and the portions will be appropriate’. When setting weight loss goals be clear about the factors that you can control and factors that you can’t control.

6. Don’t stress about it

Appreciate how it feels good for you to move every day. Don’t stress about it being an hour workout, but just be consistent. Even a short 5 or 10 minutes can set you up for feeling great so you can make healthy choices all day long. Keep positive and continue to develop a healthy you.

7. Find the fun

Focus on the joys of exercise and movement. Take pride in your new healthy self and in your body becoming stronger. Think about the boost of energy you get after exercising. Do set SMART goals, but keep them fun!

8. Sign up for The March Charge

There’s no better way to keep yourself on track than to set up challenges throughout the year. This March, you can smash your fitness goals while telling cancer where to go.

If you would like to sign up for The March Charge, call the Cancer Council Events Team on 1300 811 248, or visit The March Charge webpage.