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How to actually make changes in the year ahead

As we approach the New Year you'll no doubt be starting to think about making some changes, doing things differently, and possibly even making some ambitious promises to yourself about something you aim to achieve next year. Each January, many people decide it's 'new year new me' and set about making big changes to their lifestyles.

In the fitness world you'll see people vow to start hitting the gym 20 times per week, cut out their favourite foods, dust off their Nutribullets, and stock up on supplements in the hope to transform their lives over night. They'll throw their all in to their new 'healthy' regime, promising themselves this year it will be different, but within weeks, a large majority will quit and their dreams of being stronger, fitter, and healthier will have to wait for another year.

Each year, we feel the pressure to make all these plans to start our ‘new’ selves, and then we punish ourselves for not keeping to those plans and fall back in to old habits. Part of the problem is that the goals we set aren't realistic or planned enough. To help you stick to your goals you need to really think about where you are going, and more importantly how you're going to get there.

At Performance 360 we encourage you to make sure your goals are SMART. Hard work and determination will only get you so far, what you really need to understand is where you want to be.

If you're serious about making changes to your lives in the coming year, these should be carefully thought out and planned to ensure they are realistic and attainable.

  • Specific - Goals need to be specific, a 'get fit’ goal can be great for motivation but being specific can help give you a clear focus on what needs to be done.

  • Measurable - set something quantifiable that you want to be able to do. Row 5km. Do one full pull up. Deadlift 100kg. This enables you to measure progress.

  • Achievable -to understand if your goal is achievable, you understand the steps you need to take to get there. With the time you have, and with your training plan will you get there?

  • Realistic - one of the biggest mistakes we can make when setting goals is putting the bar too high. If you're new to training, don't expect to squat 200kg in 2 months.

  • Time Bound - if all of the above are in place, set yourself an achievable time frame in which to reach your goal. Don't be open ended. Set a date and work towards it.

Setting realistic goals means you're more likely to reach them. Many people will go it alone in January, but if you're really serious about making changes we recommend training with others, who will help support and motivate you along the way.

Beginning the New Year vowing to exercise more and improve your fitness is a great start, but instead of putting pressure on ourselves to instantly transform our lives the minute the clock strikes midnight, start by making a plan.


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