Setting goals is easier than executing them. Often, we stumble along the path while attempting to achieve a goal, and this is a normal event in the process. But perhaps the most common stumbling block – and largest predictor of completing a task — is whether you start it or not. You just have to start.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Mark Twain
New Year’s goals for many involve exercise
Most of us recognize that we need to be active on a regular basis for optimal health. The benefits of regular exercise on our physical and mental health are profound and have been underrated for decades. But many people procrastinate or just don’t even start a regular exercise routine. It is much easier to start ‘tomorrow’ …the tomorrow that may never come.
Another major barrier to achieving New Year’s exercise goals (and more common!) is setting the goal too high given our busy lives and everything else competing for our attention. Many people overshoot and make unrealistic plans that are doomed to fail within a week or so because the goals are large and unrealistic.
How can you achieve your exercise goals for 2021?
The answer is simple and summed up in two words: start small.
Some helpful hints as we head into the New Year of 2021:
- Start. Be decisive and start something to be active! You need to be determined and make up your mind to make it happen. Schedule it. If you are active already, then choose something that you wished you could do but haven’t had the confidence to tackle previously. An example for the already active people maybe to supplement your workout with a strength training regime. For those who don’t exercise, just start!
- Small. Keep the goal small and achievable. Possibly even undershoot what you may ultimately want in the end. It is much better to be successful at smaller steps than crash and burn on larger steps toward a large goal. Ensure the steps toward your goal are small. Once you are continually successful, build from that foundation. You are much more likely to be successful and keep the exercise habit if you are successful. Your confidence will grow with the success.
As an example, my goals have varied over the years, but I have been most successful at achieving my exercise goals when the steps have been small and doable. Read an example about one of my swimming goals several years back.
No matter what stage you find yourself in your exercise habits, focus on small incremental steps and goals. This will allow your body time to adapt to the increased physical demands.
Sign up to learn about six steps that can help you maintain a consistent exercise habit.
So where do I start?
In honor of the new year of 2021, below is a 21-day exercise challenge! Ok so that sounds intimidating! However, each day involves less than 5 minutes of exercise and you can achieve it with consistency. I will be doing this challenge to supplement my other exercise: it takes less than 5 minutes do to.
New Year Challenge 2021
I. Warm up: Perform ~21 of the following three exercises
- Arm circles: forward and backwards
- Running on the spot or side step runs
- Star jumps or jumping jacks
II. Main set: Complete 21 repetitions of three exercises of your choosing from the leg, arm, and core exercises.
- Legs: 21 lunges or air squats
- Arms: 21 pushups or bicep curls with a small weight
- Core: 21 sit up (rotations) or 21 seconds of side plank on each side
Extra 2021 Bonus for the very motivated:
- Days 1-7 (Week 1): 1 set of the 3 exercises
- Days 8-14 (Week 2): 2 sets
- Days 15-21: (Week 3): 3 sets
III. Stretch: Complete the workout with stretches including quads, glutes and arms.
Happy New Year from Simpli Move Health!
You can also explore several of our earlier
Challenge 1 7-Day strength-based exercises
Challenge 2 7-Day strength-based exercises
Challenge 3 6 Week aerobic exercise – running
Challenge 4 6 Week aerobic exercise – walking
Challenge 5 7-Day strength-based exercises
Challenge 6 7-Day strength-based exercises
Challenge 7 7-Day strength-based exercises
Challenge 8 7-Day strength and aerobic exercises
Keep yourself accountable
Buddy up with a friend and text your friend when you have completed your exercises without breaking the seven-day streak! Send them an “accomplishment emoji”! Day 1 ?; Day 2 ?….
When you have completed the Simpli Move Health 7-Day Exercise Challenge 7, share your achievement with us on Facebook group.