Here we are. It’s 2018 (well, two weeks in) and some of you may already be struggling with your New Year resolutions. Feel bad? Don’t. Statistics show that a high percentage of people give up on their New Year resolutions by the end of January and by the end of February, an even higher percentage of people have given up on their goals. The fact you set some new year’s resolutions is commendable. You identified a problem in your life and took strides to make things better. Now, though, you’re at the turning point. Get things right now and you’ll cement your goals for the year (if not longer), but get things wrong and the resolutions you set in January will be just that, resolutions are written on a piece of paper never to see the light of day.

It’s estimated that 37% of new year’s resolutions are fitness related and if you’re one of the many who did set fitness-related resolutions, then there could be several reasons why you’ve gone wayward. One of the biggest reasons I see is not the goal, but the way the goal is attacked. Jumping in too deep is a sure-fire way to lose interest. Not giving yourself rewards for your achievements, no matter how small, is a good way to switch off your drive, and not understanding you’re why, aka the reason you’re putting yourself through this awful pain, is another.

In this post, I wanted to provide help to keep you on track. There’s little to no point in me giving you information on how to set goals good resolutions. Each person’s resolution is subjective, and many people know what they want so I thought it better to give some information on how to stay focused and keep your goals coming on nicely.

Schedule competitions/events soon after New Years

One of the easiest ways to stay on track is to book regular events or competitions throughout the year. Adding a competitive element to your New Year’s fitness goal helps serve as motivation to follow a strategic, long-term training plan. Signing up for a competition, whether it’s a 5K run or your first Warrior Dash, reinforces our instinctive need to achieve, says Chelsi Day, PsyD, HSPP, a clinical and sports psychologist for Indiana University Athletics.

Take a selfie!

Now, I’m not one for selfies (although I do enjoy a good video now and again), but they could be good for your progress. Change in anything takes time and changing your body is no different. Taking photos acts as a great way to visually track your progress and let you see the changes between two long periods of time. It’s hard to notice changes when you look at yourself in the mirror every day.

Set mini-goals each month

Having an overarching goal is great, but if thought about incorrectly then it can be demotivating as opposed to motivating. The best way to tackle a goal is to put in place smaller, measurable targets throughout the year which, if achieved, will build up to hitting the larger outcome. This serves two purposes. Firstly, it gives you things to enjoy regularly across the year rather than waiting for one big pay off and secondly, it helps you track progress to see what is and what isn’t working. It’s better to find out something isn’t working after a few weeks than after a year!

Get an accountability partner

An accountability partner keeps you focused because it gives you someone who will hold you accountable for your goals. They’ll make sure you complete your workouts, go training without letting up or even train with you. This can be the difference between committing to a goal and falling short.

Use fitness trackers to keep an eye on the progress

Fitness apps and gadgets are everywhere, and they can be a great partner in achieving your outcome. They work in the same way as taking selfies and let you monitor progress along the way to keep you motivated and see where things are going wrong. You don’t have to spend hundreds on an expensive watch or another piece of equipment. Many companies offer free versions of their apps which you can use on your smartphone or tablet and track your workouts for free.

Take a small break

My final piece of advice is simple. Relentlessly moving towards an outcome with no let-up will only lead to burnout. At regular times in the year, book some time off from training and see how fresh and motivated you are when you start up again.