2020 was a year that will be remembered by all of us. 2021 will also be marked by the corona pandemic, at least in the first half of the year. Does that make good resolutions for this year null and void? Not at all, they are more important than ever.
Since the beginning of November, the gyms have been closed again, for the second time this year. For fitness enthusiasts, this aspect of the lockdown is certainly among the most serious. Whether and when the situation will change is an open question. In addition, of course, there are other concerns, be they health-related, economic or otherwise. What particularly burdens many people is the powerlessness with which one has to endure the current restrictions. Under these conditions, it is difficult to make plans for the coming year. And yet it is damn important, especially in such uncertain times. Because fixed goals give us support and structure.
Plans for the future can only be made by honestly analyzing the past. Only those who know what went as planned or even better last time and what didn't work out at all can draw the right conclusions and learn from the past. So step one is to take stock: What were my goals going into 2020? What did I want to achieve? What have I achieved? And of course: What were the reasons for this? Honesty is especially important here. Were you really unable to pursue your diet goals because the gyms were closed, or was that actually not just an excuse? This process takes time, time to think, time to write it down.
Aim high or step by step?
Anyone who has analyzed the past year comprehensively is ready to formulate goals for 2021. The question often arises as to how high one should set one's own goals. Some advocate setting the goals as high as possible, while others consider smaller steps to be more sensible. In practice, a mix of both options is certainly the best solution for most people: On the one hand, you need big goals, visions. Those who always think small limit themselves far too often. On the other hand, you also need tangible interim goals so that you don't lose motivation along the way. An example: Your goal is to do 20 pull-ups in a row. But at the moment you're happy if you manage three or four. In this case, the 20 are very far away, hardly tangible. Nevertheless, you should by no means abandon the goal, but plan intermediate goals. And that's where past experience comes in: by how many repetitions were you able to improve last year? Did you really give everything for this result? Is there room for improvement? The answers to these questions will help you define concrete and tangible goals. If you didn't even manage a clean pull-up at the beginning of the year and your training was very limited due to the lockdowns, it is quite realistic that you will be able to achieve at least the same progress in 2021 under the same training conditions. Your minimum goal should then be to achieve one more repetition every three months. If you succeed, you'll be a lot closer to your big goal.
Rearrange your whole life?
It's especially exciting when you don't have a tangible goal like 20 pull-ups, but rather the classic "achieve my ideal figure" goal. This goal is very complex, it probably requires adjustments in quite a few areas: Nutrition, training, recovery, stress management, etc. Does it now make sense to make changes in all areas right away or should you rather proceed step by step here as well? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question; it is very type-dependent. For example, there are many athletes who pay very consistent attention to their diet when they are in full training. However, during breaks in training, for example due to an injury, they are no longer able to do this at all. If you are such a person, then it makes sense to actually make changes directly in various areas. But be careful: changes are uncomfortable. Our brain likes familiar things, because that's expectable. Reorienting yourself in completely different areas right away can also quickly lead to overload. Here, too, it is important to listen carefully to what you have to say, and perhaps also to talk to people who have known you for a long time and can assess your situation.
Do not tense up!
If it is foreseeable that certain goals will hardly be achievable in the current situation, it makes sense not to stick to them, at least temporarily. If you currently have no possibility to train with weights, the goal to finally bench press 100 kilograms is currently not achievable. But what is possible: 100 push-ups at a stretch. So why don't you change your focus for the moment? The 100 kilograms on the bench aren't going anywhere. But instead of getting frustrated and giving up on training, it's certainly more advisable to simply change your focus. If you're smart about it, you can even benefit in the long run with your actual goal in mind.
Resolutions that are not fixed in some way are usually not achieved. So make sure that you formulate your goals clearly, put them on paper and, if in doubt, tell others about them. This builds up a certain pressure to succeed, but it is helpful in actually achieving your goals.
For even more motivation, it is advisable to set small rewards for reaching certain milestones. In the current situation, however, you should also make sure that these rewards are also achievable and immediately tangible once you have reached your interim goal.