Hey, did you know more than 80% of New Year resolutions fail by mid February? Fitness goals are particularly difficult because it is so hard to keep track of. I’ve made goals to work out more or become fitter and that didn’t work too well in the past. So in 2016, I decided to cut way back and made only one very basic fitness goal.
2016 fitness goal – walk more than 6,000 steps per day.
I achieved this goal and averaged about 6,600 steps per day in 2016. That’s a small step, but now I can build on it. By the way, fitness was just one of my 2016 Goals. I had many other goals and you can see how I did on my 2016 wrap up post on Retire by 40. Financial goals have always been easier for me than fitness.
Here is my approach on setting New Year Goals.
- Set achievable goals– Don’t shoot for the moon unless you have a good record of high achievement. Most of us will just become discouraged and give up.
- Make the goals specific and measurable– Goals need to be very specific. Don’t set general goals like losing weight or saving more. A better goal would be lose 10 pounds or save an extra $50 a month. You also need to figure out a way to get there. How will you lose 10 lbs? What will you put away into savings?
- Write them down and track your progress– Write down your goals and put them where you will see them. Personally, I put my goals here on Retire by 40 and update the status every month. This has been working really well over the last 5 years since I have a public audience and I made tremendous progress with our finances and personal living. I recommend starting a blog if you don’t already have one. It really helped me and it might help you, too.
For 2017, I made more ambitious fitness goals and I also started Fit by 40 to track them. In previous years, I try to track my fitness goals once per month. That just doesn’t work because I can’t remember that much info. Now, I update my progress once per week and it is much easier to track. Let’s see how I’m doing so far this year.
Week Steps/day Max
Grade Weight Midnight
36 7250 8 4 B 137 3
35 6907 34 8300 33 7051 32 6105 31 8060 30 6065 29 5770 28 8250 27 6290 0 0 F 26 7930 10 4 B 25 6000 0 0 C 24 5850 12 3 C 23 7,840 10 5 B 140 2
22 7,800 14 4 B 140 2
21 7,650 15 5 A 140.8 1
20 7,650 19 6 A 138.8 1
19 8,140 15 4 B 140.6 2
18 7,800 16 6 A 137.8 2
17 7,070 14 5 B+ 139.8 1
16 7,440 13 5 B+ 139.4 2
15 7,110 13 5 B+ 138.8 14 7,900 13 5 B+ 141 13 6,200 NA 2 NA 12 6,700 15 4 B- 11 7,600 15 5 A 10 6,580 12 4 C 9 8,220 16 (bad form..) 5 A+ 8 7,160 15 5 A 7 7,100 14 4 B+ 6 7,900 12 5 A+ 5 6,425 8 4 B+ 4 7,800 8 5 A+ 3 5,975 6 2 C- 2 5,750 7 1 D 1 3,000 NA 0 F 135.8 lbs
I had a rough start at the beginning of the year due to bad weather, but I’m getting into the groove now.
- Averages 7,000 steps per day. I’ve been doing very well over the last few weeks and I just need to keep this up.
- Pull up 15 times in a row. I can do about 10 good pull ups in 2016. Vacation and the holidays wreck havoc on my workout schedule and I had to start over again. Wow, I already achieved my goal. See the video below and my comments.
- Exercise when the kid goes to school. This one is a very good goal and I’ve been able to stick with it.
Pull up video
I did 16 pull ups today! Not too bad, but not too good either.
- Rep 1 to 5 – Very good form.
- Rep 6 to 10 – The form is not as good here, but still acceptable. You can see that I’m starting to lead with my right side. I didn’t know I was doing this.
- Rep 11 to 14 – Jerking my arms a bit here and moving my lower body a bit much. I need to keep it smooth.
- Rep 15 – The legs moved way too much.
- Rep 16 – Struggling to get this last one out. Actually, probably shouldn’t count this last rep.
What do you think? I’ll have to keep it smooth and try to keep the jerking to a minimum. I thought I already accomplished my pull up goal, but now I know I need to fix my form. Also, I probably should extend more fully. Watching the video is quite enlightening.
Overall, I’m doing quite well in 2017. A huge part of it is blogging about this. I don’t know why, but blogging really helps me accomplish my goal. Blogging helps me keep track of my progress and keep me accountable. If you don’t have a blog yet, you really need to start one. Here is my tutorial – How to Start Blogging and Why You Should. I’m serious, blogging is extremely helpful and you might even make a little income on the side (I made over $150,000 since I started Retire by 40!.) Everyone really should have a blog to help build your personal brand and establish a online present.
How are you doing on your New Year resolutions? I hope you’re still on track. Good luck!
2 thoughts on “Don’t Give Up Your New Year Resolutions Yet”
Very impressive on the pull ups! I can do a good number of chin ups, but pull ups are hard – I can only do a few of those!
I like your mention of setting achievable goals. I’ve tried to make exercise a routine several times in the past and always start to strong and then end up bailing.
This year, I started very light and am still going strong after a couple months. I just continue to increase slightly every week.
I actually hate exercise, but keeping it simple seems to be working well for me! 🙂
Good luck with your exercise! I don’t hate exercise, but I don’t love them either. It just takes up so much time. Now that our kid is going to school, I have a little more time. However, summer is going to be tough…