5 Fitness Goals to Add to Your 2021 Bucket List

How to Do a Pull Up

It’s a new year… do you know what your fitness goals are and how you are going to achieve them? New beginnings are a great time to reassess where you are and where you want to be. Along with knowing what you want, of course, comes a plan of action on how to get from point A to B.

That said, let’s discuss five popular fitness goals that make a lot of people’s lists each year and lay out a game plan on how to accomplish them!

Ready?

How to Set Goals and REALLY Get Them Done This Year

First step: decide what you want to accomplish. What is it you’d like to go for this year? Do you want to gain strength? How will you know when you’ve gotten stronger? Is it once you can do 25 push-ups in a row? Is it to have what it takes to do 10 pull-ups? Maybe you want to increase your stamina? Does that mean running a 5K?

Once you set the goal, do you know where to start?

The perfect place to start is by setting solid, measurable goals, finding out what needs to be done to achieve those goals, and then setting up a plan for execution. Here’s how:

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What are SMART Goals?

You may have heard the term “SMART goals” before but aren’t clear on exactly what that means. SMART is an acronym that will help you hone in on what you want to accomplish to create a plan for achievement. Here’s an example of how to do it:

  • SPECIFIC
    • Who—who is the goal for?
    • What—what is the goal?
    • When—when does it need to be accomplished?
    • Where—where will the actions take place?
    • Which—which actions need to happen to make your goal a reality?
    • Why—why do you want this so badly? Go deep with this!
  • MEASUREABLE—can you measure your progress? If so, how will you measure it? What types of indicators will you use to determine progress?
  • ACHIEVEABLE—is it something that is actually achievable for you? Honestly assess where you’re starting from.
  • RELEVANT—is the goal relevant to your life, your wants, and your needs, and is it something you can reasonably accomplish? Is it realistic to accomplish in the time you have?
  • TIME BOUND—what are the deadlines you have set for achieving your goals?

How to Stick with Your Fitness Goals in Spite of Life!

We’ve all been there… we’ve made a list of goals and then stood by and watched time pass as we accomplished exactly… nothing. Well, not this time! You are about to be equipped with all the tools you need to achieve your fitness goals.

We’ve put together five fitness goals for you and how to achieve them. Or, you can choose your own. Just follow the template below:

5 Fitness Goals to Accomplish in 2021

Fitness Goal #1: Do 25 Push Ups

How to Do a Push-Up

  • SPECIFIC
    • Who—this goal is for you!
    • What—to do 25 push-ups in a row.
    • When—this needs to be accomplished in the next 3 months.
    • Where—the practice sessions will take place at the gym and at home.
    • Which—will need to work on exercises that help strengthen the muscles needed to do push-ups, e.g., the chest, triceps, shoulders, and core.
    • Why—want to be able to do 25 push-ups in a row at the next family reunion. Why? Because I want to show my cousins I’m not weak. Why? Because I was always the weakest one of my cousins. Why… (Keep going until you find your deep-rooted reason.)
  • MEASUREABLE—progress will be measured by the number of push-ups done and how much I increase my number each week.
  • ACHIEVEABLE—yes, this is achievable by training toward this goal every other day.
  • RELEVANT—this is a goal that is relevant because it’s important to build upper body strength, not only to be able to do push-ups at the next family reunion, but to be able to do more work around the house, be strong to play with the dogs and kids, and do household chores more easily.
  • TIME BOUND—the deadline for this accomplishment is three months with measurable improvement (more push-ups) expected every week.

Fitness Goal #2: Do 10 Pull-Ups (or even 1!)

How to Do a Pull Up

  • SPECIFIC
    • Who—this goal is for you!
    • What—to do 10 pull-ups in a row (or perhaps it’s just 1 to start—pull-ups are hard!)
    • When—this needs to be accomplished in the next 4 months.
    • Where—the practice sessions will take place at the gym.
    • Which—will need to work on exercises that help strengthen the muscles needed to do pull-ups, e.g., dead hangs, pull-up negatives, assisted pullups, back and biceps workouts
    • Why—want to be able to do 10 (or 1) pull-ups to push my body into new growth. Why? Because strength is important to me and my health. Why? (Again, keep going until you find your deep-rooted reason.)
  • MEASUREABLE—progress will be measured by the number of pull-ups done.
  • ACHIEVEABLE—yes, this is achievable by training toward this goal every other day.
  • RELEVANT—this is a goal that is relevant because it’s important to build upper body strength, not only to be able to do pull-ups, but to be able to do more work around the house, be strong enough to throw the ball farther for my dogs, and more easily lift my bike onto my bike rack, knowing my shoulders, arms, and back are strong enough to be protected.
  • TIME BOUND—the deadline for this accomplishment is four months with measurable improvement (more pull-ups or less assistance) expected every week.

Fitness Goal #3: Run a 5K

Run Your First 5K

  • SPECIFIC
    • Who—this goal is for you and your community!
    • What—to run and finish a 5K race
    • When—this needs to be accomplished in the next 3 months.
    • Where—the practice sessions will take place at home and outdoors, around the neighborhood, and at the local high school track.
    • Which—will start with a Couch25K program to work my way up to the full 5K run
    • Why—want to be able to do a 5K race for the next company fundraiser. (If this isn’t inspiring enough, keep asking your why questions.)
  • MEASUREABLE—progress will be measured by the distance run each week and improvements in the distance I can run at one time without stopping.
  • ACHIEVEABLE—yes, this is achievable by training toward this goal three to four days a week.
  • RELEVANT—this goal is relevant as it will help me get in shape and participate in the fundraising races I want to join this year.
  • TIME BOUND—the deadline for this accomplishment is the next upcoming race in three months.

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Fitness Goal #4: Do a 60-Second Plank

How to Do a 60-Second Plank

  • SPECIFIC
    • Who—this goal is for you!
    • What—to hold a plank, with proper form, for at least 60 seconds.
    • When—this needs to be accomplished in the next 30 days.
    • Where—the practice sessions will take place at the gym and at home.
    • Which—will need to work on exercises that help strengthen the muscles needed to work the core, like the abs and lower back muscles.
    • Why—want to strengthen my core to protect my lower back and prevent injury. (Again, keep going until you find your deep-down why.)
  • MEASUREABLE—progress will be measured by the number of seconds I can hold a plank with perfect form.
  • ACHIEVEABLE—yes, this is achievable by training toward this goal every other day.
  • RELEVANT—this goal is relevant as it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and my lower back has recently started to give me twinges. Plus, it will help me get a flat stomach in time for the beach this summer.
  • TIME BOUND—the deadline for this accomplishment is the first day of summer.

Fitness Goal #5: Build a Regular Yoga Practice

Build a Regular Yoga Practice

  • SPECIFIC
    • Who—this goal is for you!
    • What—start doing yoga and continually improve my alignment and flexibility in my poses.
    • When—I will see noticeable improvements in the next 3 months (but will continue to improve throughout the year).
    • Where—the practice sessions will take place at home with online yoga programs and eventually progress to live classes.
    • Which—will need to start by learning the basics first. Then, will progress to mastering at least three different poses (or complete a full series of poses).
    • Why—want to be able to join a yoga class and look like I know what I’m doing. Why? I’m afraid to go to a class and not know what the poses are. Why? I don’t want to look foolish or injury myself by doing it wrong… (Again, find your deepest why.)
  • MEASUREABLE—progress will be measured by how well I understand and can hold the yoga poses.
  • ACHIEVEABLE—yes, this is achievable by training toward this goal three times a week.
  • RELEVANT—it’s relevant to my life because I need to work on my mobility and become more flexible. I’d also like to reduce stress.
  • TIME BOUND—the deadline for this accomplishment is the next three months before I take my first in-person class.

Build Your Own 2021 Fitness Bucket List

Do any of these goals resonate with you? Pick one, follow the plan, and start achieving your new fitness goals.

If not, think about what it means to be fit for you. Maybe it’s the ability to finish an online workout with your favorite trainer without stopping. Maybe it’s being able to run to your mailbox because right now it’s a chore to walk to it. Maybe you can’t reach down and touch your toes unless you’re sitting in a chair or you want to increase your steps from 4,000 a day to 8,500 to 10,000 per day.

Some other ideas to get your imagination going:

  • Try one new workout each month
  • Find a new workout or accountability partner, and help each other stay on track
  • Perfect your squat form (or bench press, deadlift, etc.) by working with a trainer
  • Get more sleep—rest is required for growth!
  • Move every day—it doesn’t have to be a scheduled workout. Just get up and move (walk, dance, yoga flow, etc.)
  • Build up your HIIT program until you can sprint for 30 seconds
  • Master the box jump, rope climb, muscle-up, elbow lever, Turkish get-up, or other “badass” gym move of your choice
  • Learn to swim, paddleboard, or do a backflip
  • Lift your body weight in compound lifts like the squat, deadlift, row, and bench
  • Do a handstand or a forearm stand in yoga
  • Hold a deep squat for 1 minute
  • Master a new skill, such as a Pilates routine, lifting weights, or kickboxing.

Start where you are, and do what you love, knowing that you can always improve. Create your SMART goal and then work on continuing to improve until you reach your goal. Then… set a new one! And remember, your ultimate goal is to establish healthy habits as the habits are what ultimately lead to a healthy, happy body.