Get SMART About Staying Active in the New Year

The new year and holiday season is often a time for resolutions and goal setting. One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is being more active, either to run more, join a gym or pick up a new kind of exercise. But how do you make sure that you stick to your New Year’s resolution and stay active in 2022?

One proven way to ensure success in your resolutions is to set SMART goals. These are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-sensitive goals to help ensure success.

S: Specific

When making resolutions, you should be very specific and clear on your goals. If you are interested in becoming more active, consider how you will do so. Will you run more? Lift weights? Start a new sport? By distinguishing the specific ways you will exercise, it will be easier to reach your goals. For example, if you decide to start playing tennis, your next steps may include:

Buying a tennis racquet Identifying nearby tennis courts Finding a tennis partner

Rather than a broad idea to be more active, you can now follow specific steps to meet this goal.

M: Measurable

Now that your goal is specific, it is time to make it measurable to know if you are achieving your goal or not. For instance, if you are interested in taking up basketball, how often do you plan to practice each week? 30 minutes every day? Two hours twice a week? One hour three times a week? Once you have determined a measurable amount of time you will devote to your resolution, you can easily track your progress and know if you are achieving your goal.

A: Attainable

Making your resolutions specific and measurable is important, and you also have to ensure that they are attainable. If you set goals that are too difficult or unrealistic, you may become frustrated and burnt out. One example of a specific and measurable goal is to run three miles five times a week. For a cross country runner, this may be a very attainable goal. However, if you have never run more than a mile in your life, it may not be feasible. Remember to be honest about your starting point, as it is always preferable to start small and work your way up, rather than burning out too early, giving up or getting injured.

R: Relevant

Your resolutions and goals should also align with your values and long-term goals. For instance, if you are a high school student aiming to earn a college scholarship for playing volleyball, running ten miles every day is not a very relevant fitness goal. This type of exercise is not relevant because a sport like volleyball requires the use of fast-twitch muscle fibers, while training for long-distance running will develop slow-twitch muscle fibers. Alongside your specific, measurable and attainable goals, relevant goals will also help you stay on track.

T: Time-Sensitive

For your resolution to be successful, it should take place in a set time frame to help motivate you. Remember that your time frame should be realistic. For example, if your goal is to run a marathon, it won’t happen overnight, but six months to one year is a more feasible timeline to succeed in that goal.

Happy New Year!

By following your SMART goals, you will be on your way to a more active lifestyle in 2022!

At The Steadman Clinic, we know that the journey towards physical wellness can be difficult at times. That is why we offer personalized orthopedic care to help with all of your preventative care and sports medicine needs. Contact us today to learn more.