With Christmas just 10 more days away, you might be considering calling it a day for working out in 2015 and getting ready for tackling the New Year. But I know there are plenty of you out there that will probably be in the gym on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day too. Whatever your plan for the rest of 2015 is, I can guarantee that something will be getting in the way of your usual routine.
All this messing around can lead to you lacking the motivation you need to stick at it for the rest of the year. So what can be done to ensure this doesn’t happen? Well, the problem with saying that you go to the gym a certain number of days a week is that around Christmas you just aren’t going to be able to keep that commitment, it’s that simple.
This is why goal setting is so fundamentally important to your workouts. You can’t just plan for the unexpected and you certainly can’t guarantee that you are going to make it into the gym. So you don’t want your goals to be centred around keeping your attendance up, that’s for sure.
The first thing you need to decide is whether you want to lose fat or build muscle. The difficulty with saying you want to lose fat is that this isn’t quite as easy to measure as losing weight. Remember, just because the number on the scales is smaller, that doesn’t mean that you have lost fat. Thankfully it is becoming easier to measure your body fat percentage now, meaning that we can measure whether or not we are meeting fat loss targets.
If you are looking to build muscle for aesthetics then you will be the only one who knows what your goal is. And the problem is that when you get close to what you want, you will naturally move the goalposts again and you risk feeling like you never actually achieve anything.
But if you are building muscle to increase strength, that is completely different and far easier to measure. Just spend a day working out all your PBs for the muscles that you want to get stronger and then set goals according to that.
What you eat is another thing that people find more and more difficult to control over Christmas. Not only are you tempted with eating things you normally wouldn’t, but with all the going out and visiting friends and family, the chance of you being able to record exactly what you are eating is pretty slim.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t things that you can do though. So if your goal is to cut out carbs, then that is completely possible. Obviously if your goals are more calorie related then you might well struggle to monitor them 100% correctly.
The point here is that goals are black and white. They simplify what work you are doing and remove all the confusion caused by this hectic time of year.
You might be fooled into thinking I just see Christmas as an obstacle to overcome. The truth is Christmas is wonderful and the most important thing is that you enjoy yourself with friends and family. But if you don’t want to have an extra months work for two weeks worth of neglect, then setting key goals is one of the most important things to do!