If you’ve read my blog post “How to Keep Your Fitness Resolutions” then you know that one of the things I suggest is to keep things fresh. I recommend making goals that won’t get tiresome for a whole year, but beyond that, I like to have a different goal each month. If you have a yearly goal of going sugar-free, then the first time you reach for a donut, you are going to feel completely defeated because you had a slip-up. Then you aren’t as likely to go back to working on your goals. However, if you have a monthly goal and make it something that you are going to try to do rather than abstain from each day, then you will be much more successful. So here is my idea for the first year of workout goals by month. For more advanced athletes, you can do your own goals, but this is primarily for those of us who haven’t worked out consistently for a while.
Drink More Water
I like to start with the goal of drinking more water because it is one of the easiest habits to form and it is so good for your body. Your body loses weight by using the fat stores in your body to burn energy and the byproducts are excreted through your breath, sweat, and pee. So it would stand to reason that drinking more water and being more hydrated overall would help this process along.
There are of course other benefits of drinking water. It is an appetite suppressor in that it fills you up between meals and sometimes when you think you’re craving a snack, what you’re really needing is to be hydrated.
If you hate drinking water then, add flavors to it or a squeeze of lemon. If you don’t have great drinking water in your area, consider investing in a water purifier.
Spend At Least 15 Minutes Moving Everyday
The American Heart Association recommends that you have 30 minutes of active time each day, but this can be really daunting to someone who has never consistently worked out in their life. So if that sounds like you, then start with the goal of 15 minutes every day. 15 minutes of active time is better than none if you are so intimidated by 30 minutes that you don’t even start. This can be anything like going on a walk or trying to learn a new dance routine from online videos. Whatever you love, go for that. And of course, you know I’m going to recommend BionicGym. It is easy to set your workout time for 15 minutes and track your progress along the way.
Stretching is an important part of being physically fit. If you don’t stretch, you can get a build-up of lactic acid in your muscles, which can make you feel sore for days after an intense workout. It doesn’t take long to stretch and most people only take between 5 to 10 minutes each day doing it. It actually feels good, and this is a great way to give yourself a little bit of self-care.
Park Far Away
When I first started driving, I was so nervous that I would hit a car in a parking lot that I always parked really far away. Like the back of the parking lot. Although passengers didn’t always love this little quirk, I realized it was good for more than just my car. I might not have gotten scratches on my car or dents from other people banging their door into mine, but I also just got a tad bit more exercise every day. Sure, it wasn’t a lot, but it was enough to give me a boost.
Take the Stairs
This like the last goal is more about making and keeping good habits. If you always take the stairs rather than an elevator or escalator, then you are getting a pretty good workout each time you go out.
Don’t Buy Any Added Sugars
Fruit is like nature’s candy. It is sweet and delicious. Can you go a month without buying any extra sugars? Can you go that same month without consuming extra sugars? This means any sugars that aren’t naturally in the food, to begin with. Boxes of food will tell you how many extra sugars are included, but this could be a great goal that will make you more aware of what you are eating.
Meal Plan 5 Days A Week
It can be hard to meal plan every single day of the week. You might get pretty burned out. And sometimes it’s just nice to end the week with some takeout. Sure, take-out isn’t good for you, but this month focus on just planning a healthy meal each night of the workweek. A lot of people assume that it is too hard to meal plan. You don’t even have to follow through with your meal plan this week, but the goal is to actually meal plan. This way you will realize that it isn’t nearly as hard as it seems.
Eat At Home
One great way to save calories and money is by eating at home. Going out to eat is so convenient, and delicious, and you don’t have to do the dishes! But eating at home will save you at least half the calories that you would have eaten at a restaurant. Restaurants typically don’t care how bad for you their food is as long as it tastes good. This is why portion sizes are enormous and everything is cooked in butter or grease. It tastes amazing, but it will really add up on your waistline after a while.
Do One Extra Move
In my post “How To Make Good Fitness Habits” I explain that one good way to get the most out of your workout is to do one more thing each day. So if you typically do 30 minutes of BionicGym each day, that is phenomenal! This month, focus on doing one more thing after your workout is over. This could be a minute plank or it could be a walk around the block. You could lift some weights. Whatever you want to do is fine as long as you focus on just doing one extra thing after your workout routine is over.
You might find that you make much more progress than you thought possible. It can be fun to track your progress in moves that are challenging to you now like pushups or planks.
Fitness is more encompassing than just working out. It involves physical health, mental health, and emotional health. They are all tied together. It can be difficult to find real balance in your life without taking some moments out of your day to center yourself and be introspective. Some people find this balance by meditating. Some people prefer to pray. Others still like to read or listen to devotionals. Some like to take a few moments to take deep breaths. Whatever it is that you like to do to feel calm and centered, make sure you make time for it each day of this particular month.
Get More Sleep
- Screen Time
- Social Life
You can’t get rid of all of these things, but you can figure out better routines that will help you navigate all these things that keep you up at night. Getting your children on a good sleep schedule is something worth researching so that you can sleep better.
If you are stressed, consider doing a brain dump, where you list all the things you need to accomplish tomorrow or this next week. This will help you relax because you know you have it written down and you won’t forget something.
Limit your screen time to a certain window of time in your day. And spend the time right before bed reading a book or spending time with your partner.
Your social life may keep you up late, but consider having specific days of the week that you allow yourself to stay up late and give yourself a curfew the other nights.
Working out gives you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy. Another thing that gives you endorphins is sunshine. If you find that you are feeling overwhelmed you might need an extra boost of sunshine. For this month, try to get outside every day for at least a few minutes of time. Soak in the sunshine. Even if it isn’t a sunny day, you can still get the benefits from the sun through some cloud cover. Breathing fresh air and enjoying nature can do a lot to relieve stress.
Ultimately, you can make whatever goals you want to that will fit your lifestyle and what you need. But it is important to have goals. You can’t just say “I wish I was healthier” and then go about your day eating fast food. If you really want to be healthy, you can. And the amazing news is that it doesn’t even take that much effort to do. It just takes doing one good thing a day. They say that to form a habit, you need to do it for at least 3 weeks. So you could likely gain 12 good habits in a year if you follow these goals. And if there’s something that doesn’t work for you, or causes more grief than joy, then drop it. Just give it a good try for the month first. After looking at my first year of workout goals by month, what ideas do you have for yourself?