Black Iphone 7 Beside Macbook Pro

How to Stay Consistent and Reach Your Fitness Goals

Do you want to stay consistent and reach your fitness goals this year? We’re already a month into the new year and still living off the high of how great it felt to stick to the healthy habits we committed to in January. But now what? Statistics show that less than 8% of Americans stick to their New Year’s resolutions year-round. Most people are expected to ditch their resolutions after only 32 days. But not you, not this year. This year is different. Well, is it? What makes this year different than last year? What will you do differently to make this year the year that you succeed in sticking to your New Year’s commitments and achieving your goals? If you’re ready to stay consistent this year, keep reading!

Motivation Isn’t Enough

Sometimes, it’s not you who’s the problem. You may be motivated, well-intentioned, and genuinely want to succeed. But maybe that’s not it. Perhaps it’s your goals that are the problem. Here are some of the top reasons your goals aren’t serving you.

Graphing Paper With Text

Reasons your Goals are Not Serving you and How to Fix Them


We all know how it is in the New Year. The clock strikes midnight on January 1st, and we suddenly think we must change everything about ourselves and our lives. We’re going to start working out for 1 hour every day of the week. We’re starting the latest diet trend we found on social media. We’re giving up drinking cold turkey. And we’re going to lose 30 pounds by that planned spring vacation. But by February 1st, you realize you’ve done none of it. But why? You’re so motivated!! The problem is you’ve overcommitted, especially if these are new habits for you. 

How to fix it: 

Take a look at your goals and then decide which is most important to you. And then dissect it into smaller, more manageable steps. For example, instead of saying I’m going to lose 30 pounds this year, focus on building healthy habits that will get you closer to that goal. If you were only working out two days a week for 30 minutes last year, start by saying I will add two more days of activity. This activity could be something minor, like a 30-minute walk. Instead of saying I’m going to give up drinking, start by setting a drink limit. Maybe you only drink once a week when you go out with friends or on a date night. 

Your Goals are Too General 

How often have you set goals like I’m going to lose weight this year? Now, there’s nothing wrong with this goal. But it’s way too general. How much weight do you want to lose? By when? How are you going to lose weight? Is that timeline even realistic, given the demands of your everyday life? 

How to fix it: 

Set SMART goals. SMART stands for:

S- Specific- what exactly are you trying to achieve, be clear and specific.

M- Measurable- Your goal must be able to be tracked; this allows you to measure your progress.

A- Attainable- Your goal should be challenging but possible.

R- Relevant- What is your reason for wanting to achieve this goal? Why is this important? 

Does it align with your lifestyle and values?

T– Timely- By what date will you have accomplished your goal

So instead of saying I want to lose weight this year, your goal could be: 

By July, I will lose 20 pounds by strength training three days a week, two days of cardio, and preparing healthy meals to lose 1 pound per week. At this rate, I will be able to lose about 4 pounds per month and reach my goal in about five months.  

Now, you’ve set a specific and measurable goal that allows you to hold yourself accountable. 

You Set the Wrong Goals 

Sometimes, we set goals we believe we should set for ourselves without examining why we have selected those goals. Remember the “relevant” in your S.M.A.R.T goals. How does this goal align with your life and your values? Why do you want to lose weight this year? How do you think this will improve your life? Are you looking to boost your self-esteem? Has your doctor told you you need to lose weight? Do you want to have more energy? What is the motivation behind the goal?

How to fix it: 

Take a deeper look into why you’ve set your goals. Are you motivated by external factors such as your doctor saying you need to lose weight, wanting to keep up with your spouse or looking like someone you saw on Instagram? If that’s the case, you will most likely fail because you’re not doing it for yourself.  

There is nothing wrong with being motivated by others, but you have to ask yourself, “why is this important to my life?” If your goals are centered around what others think of you or wanting to keep up with people who have no value in your life, why are you setting those goals? Think about how you will feel once you have reached your goal; how will your life be different? How will you feel? If it’s not changing you for the better, then you’re better off setting other goals that will better serve you. 

Lack of Social Support 

You set a goal to limit your drinking, and then you go to dinner with your friends who pressure you to drink. Or you’re trying to cut back on your snacking, but your spouse eats chips on the couch every night. And then, ultimately, you give in. You can’t beat them; you may as well join them, right? Wrong! Studies show that people are more likely to stick to a goal if they have support.

Group of happy young multiracial fit women in sportswear looking at each other and chatting while sitting on floor in gym

How to fix it: 

Be upfront with people about the goals you’ve set for yourself. You never know; maybe your friends have been considering living a healthier lifestyle and could use the support. Be honest with your spouse and make eating healthier a team effort. Find local groups of people with similar goals or join a group fitness class. Surround yourself with like-minded people. 

Achieving Your Goal is Only a Temporary Win

Okay, so you finally achieved your goal, but now what? What happens when you’ve reached your goal weight? Do you start to fall back into the same bad habits? Do you start slacking off on your workouts or eating more cheat meals throughout the week? The problem with only focusing on the end goal is that you forget about the habits that helped you achieve the goal.  

How to fix it:

Fall in love with the process.  Focus your attention on building healthy habits instead of only worrying about the end goal.  

Tips for Establishing Habits that Stick

One of my favorite books for developing habits that stick is Atomic Habits by James Clear.  In his book, he goes over ways to build good habits and break old ones.  He gives a few ideas for establishing healthy habits such as: 

Temptation bundling:

Temptation bundling is when you pair a habit you want with a habit you need to do. For example, you want to scroll through social media, but you also need to get more steps in during the day.  So you would pair these tasks together and say “I will only check social media while I’m taking my daily walk”.  Or you want to listen to your favorite podcast, but you need to go to the gym.  You would say “I will listen to my favorite podcast on my drive to the gym”.

Changing your environment:

Create an environment that makes your desired habits obvious. Create visual cues that bring your attention to your desired habit. For example, if you want to start taking vitamins daily, leave them on the counter in plain sight.  If you want to start stretching more, leave your yoga mat out on the floor in your bedroom. Keep a water bottle on your desk if you want to start drinking more water during the day.

Making it easy:

This goes hand in hand with changing your environment.  We are drawn to take the road of least effort, so make sticking to your habits effortless.  Eliminate the obstacles that are in the way of your habits.  If you want to go to the gym after work but it seems like a hassle to go home and get changed after a long day, start packing your gym bag and taking it with you to work.  If you want to start eating healthier snacks during the week, prepare them on the weekend.  Keep fruits and vegetables chopped washed and ready to eat. You’re more likely to stick to your habit if requires less effort. 

You’ve got this!

This is your year! Take some time to think about what you want to accomplish. Write it down! And then periodically go back and reflect. Are you staying consistent? Where have you fallen off, and where can you get back on track? Be proud about setting goals and wanting to better yourself. Tell people your goals, and ask for support! You’ve got this! 

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *