A New Year…and a New You? Short term fitness goals success for 2021 and beyond!

Created by Elly McGuinness

Last Updated: January 7, 2021

CATEGORIES: Goals and Motivation

Before we start talking about setting your New Year’s health and fitness goals for 2021, consider reviewing the most recent year. How did 2020 go for you? Click here to get your FREE workbook, or read on to find out more about setting long term and short term fitness goals for 2021.

(This post includes affiliate links for which I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you should you make a purchase)

Note that the free workbook isn’t only for your health and fitness goals. You can consider all aspects of your life.

As a new year begins the media eagerly offers solutions to all our health and well-being challenges. They provide options to help us achieve our long term and short term fitness goals. 

You may notice headlines such as ‘drop a dress size in six weeks’ or ‘try the ‘XYZ’ diet to look 10 years younger’ all vying for your attention.  Health products and programs claiming big results are easily found at this time of the year. They all want to help you move past the excesses of the festive season and recreate yourself for the year ahead.

New year fitness goals 2021

In the excitement of moving into a new year and making positive changes to your lifestyle, I ask that you first recognize something. You are wonderful as the person you already are and that you don’t need a completely ‘new you’. Instead, think about some of the changes you will be able to make that will help you feel fitter and healthier and that will be sustainable in the long run. 

Many ‘overhaul’ programs are simply not individualized, nor sustainable. This is because they don’t often consider the stages of change, thought, planning, preparation, and support required for success.

Start mapping out your personal fitness goals for the year by putting pen to paper. When we arrive at December 2021, what will you be able to look back at to tell yourself you’ve had a fantastic year and have made progress towards optimizing your health?  What will you be able to see, feel, or do?

New Year Fitness goals examples

Maybe you have some short term resistance training goals in mind, or perhaps you want to focus on cardio fitness or general overall wellbeing? Everyone will have different goals for the New Year based on their preferences, what they ultimately want to achieve, and where they’re at now.

The following short term fitness goals examples might help you to start thinking about what areas of your health and fitness you personally want to improve on. They are general examples that would need to then be refined into more specific examples. (We’ll get to how to do that shortly). Do you want to:

  • Lose weight so you can fit back into your old jeans?
  • Wake up feeling rested in the mornings and ready to start your day with a workout?
  • Climb a mountain, enter a fitness event, or simply live a more active lifestyle?
  • Try a new type of exercise? Maybe you’re ready to get into running, a team sport, or perhaps even Bikram yoga?
  • Focus on a strength training program to increase your upper body strength enough so that you can do 10 full pushups?
  • Stick to exercising a minimum of three times per week and actually enjoy your training plan?
  • Eat less sugar as part of an overall plan for healthier eating habits?

Perhaps you don’t even KNOW what your nutrition and fitness resolutions are yet? In that case, I’d recommend taking the FREE 12-question quiz to discover which area of your life you should focus on in 2021. Plus, receive resolution and goal ideas with your results. After you have a better idea of what’s important to you, you can dive into more specific goals.

Set long term and short term fitness goals for the new year

The new year is a great time to set new health and fitness goals. In the US the cold winter months coincide with the new year and see a spike in workplace absences, which may be linked to seasonal illnesses. Staying fit and healthy over this time of the year can help support your body to be as strong and relislient as possible.

The new year also brings with it an idea of a fresh start, especially if the previous year hasn’t been a great one for you.

However, you shouldn’t set goals ONLY because it’s a new year and you think you should. Set goals and start taking action on them whenever YOU ARE READY to do so. When you want it enough, it’s time to get started!

To focus on your new year fitness resolutions, set yourself:

  1. 1-3 long term fitness goals (6-12 month time frame)
  2. Break each one down to medium-term fitness goals (three-month time frame)
  3. Break these down to short term fitness goals (a short-term goal definition is usually around four weeks)
  4. Set weekly targets – one step at a time!
  5. Set daily goals. These are the actions you will take that help you create the habits required to reach your goals
  6. Give yourself a little incentive boost by setting one or more appropriate rewards for reaching your goals

Your long term fitness goals and short term fitness goals need to be SMARTE:  SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE, RELEVANT, TIME SPECIFIC and EXCITING (ENJOYABLE too!)

They should be stated positively, be things you have control over and be things that YOU want, not that others want.  You must have a clear understanding of WHY your goal is important to you.  If you have a strong emotional driver there will be a far greater likelihood of success.

A long term fitness goal example that includes the person’s ‘why’:

By the end of 2021, I will have completed my first 5 km fun run.  I will feel so proud to be able to show my children that consistency and dedication pay off.  The increased energy I will have will allow me to spend more quality time with my family, which I am so excited about

Example of short term goal

Good short term goals should be related to your long term goal, and ultimately your lifetime fitness goals. A short term goal definition is simply something that you want to achieve that will take you closer to your overall vision of success.

So if we take the above long term goal example, examples of short term goals related to this could be:

“By the end of February I will be able to jog non stop for two minutes”

Once you’ve set a short term goal like this (which clearly relates to your long term goal), set your targets for the month that will help ensure you reach your short term fitness goal.

For example: “Every week for the month of February I will complete two walk-jog sessions where I will jog for one minute and then walk for four minutes, repeated four times”.

or

“By the end of February I will have a good enough base fitness level so I can begin jogging in March”.

If this is your short term fitness goal, again you would then set the targets that will help you reach it. For example “I will achieve this goal by completing two cardio sessions and one leg strength session every week”.

Do you have your own example of short term goals you’d like to achieve in health and fitness now?

What to do with your long term and short term fitness goals once you’ve set them

Make your long term and short term fitness goals visual and put them in prominent places where you will be reminded of them (e.g. on your wall and fridge, and in your wallet). Then tell people about them – accountability is another factor that will contribute towards your success.

The video below highlights the steps you can take after setting your short-term fitness goals. These tips will help ensure you have the best possible chance of getting started to actually achieve them.

Other posts and support to help you set and achieve goals for a healthy lifestyle as part of your long term fitness plan

Not quite feeling like taking any major steps yet? Maybe you’re feeling a bit rough after a holiday food or alcohol binge? If so, I’ve put together some tips to help you feel better and get yourself on track.

Are you ready to set some epic health and fitness goals for the new year? Whether you want to achieve weight loss, a performance-related goal, or better health and wellbeing in general, check out my review of this awesome goal planner to get you started. [Hint: It covers a whole-life approach so you can set goals that extend beyond just your health and fitness].

They’re not specifically new year fitness goals quotes, but these quotes of fitness motivation might just give you a nice little boost if you’re looking for some extra inspiration. Or for a deeper look at your motivation, take these steps to get your new year fitness plan off to the best start so you’re much more likely to stick with it!

As a former personal trainer turned online fitness coach with 20 years+ of industry experience, I’d love to help you set your short term health goals with your long term vision in mind. Let’s start with a virtual chat where you can ask me any questions about your health and fitness! [Click on the button below for all the details].

I’d love for you to share your short-term and long term fitness goals examples for others to read. What health and fitness goals do you want to achieve in 2021 and beyond? Feel free to leave yours in the comment box below. Here’s to healthy habits and a great year in 2021!

[P.S. Find out what’s in, out, and exploding in popularity right now. Here are the top health and fitness trends for 2021].

Slay your goals goal setting planner

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these recommended service provider links, like an insurance broker, or a travel agent, I may earn a commission – at no extra cost to you. [For my full disclosure, please see my DISCLAIMER page).

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How about sharing your own thoughts?

What actions might you take next? What questions do you have?

Leave a comment below to let me know what you think of this post.

Elly McGuinness

2 Comments

  1. Iraimi

    Great blog! I love the tips on setting long term and short term fitness goals.

    Reply
    • Elly McGuinness

      Thanks for the comment Iraimi; I hope the tips are useful for you!

      Reply

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