You hear it everywhere. People mentioning the New Years resolutions they have set up to start the new year. Many people list of a bunch of things. I'd guess we've another week before the motivation tails off, not even bringing up the item of writing goals while on holidays over Christmas while being able to blissfully ignore work hours, etc. etc.......
A few items/notes to use to make the goals more realistic:
Have you reduced the amount of stress in your life to make space for the new goals (stress can be physical, mental, time, lifestyle, etc.)?
"High levels of life stress before training resulted in significantly impaired performance, elevated post-training cortisol, reduced testosterone levels and delayed recovery times before subsequent training sessions."
Have you spread yourself too thin to achieve all the goals? There's only so many hours in the day, so much mental capacity, so much energy that can be applied? Have you reduced distractions to achieve your targets? As the owner of Fitness Performance Systems posted recently:
'Only do 2 business related activities per day..... '
Too many items on the to-do list means nothing gets done.....
Are you leaving enough time to rest?
“Often, sleep is one of the first things to be sacrificed, but it is important for proper functioning and peak performance,” Mah says. The study even suggests that getting optimal sleep is the only way to hit peak performance.
But that doesn’t mean putting all your emphasis on sleep and skipping your trail runs. You have to balance the two, changing up the intensity and frequency of your workouts and budgeting enough rest to make sure that you’re allowing your body enough time to recover. Otherwise, you risk a sloppier, less satisfying performance.
“If you feel rested and ready for a long workout, then training harder and longer that day could be worthwhile,” says David Geier, an orthopedic surgeon and former director of Sports Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. “If you feel really tired, especially if you have trained aggressively over the last few days, then extra sleep might be a better idea.”
Want a fun way to test your own levels of rest? This Anderson Test is useful. Looking back now, I would have failed this miserably last year on a few occasions (something that will end up in a blog post soon!):
"Anderson Test: Each morning the athletes assess themselves against the following six questions:
I slept well last night
I am looking forward to today's workout
I am optimistic about my future performance
I feel vigorous and energetic
My appetite is great
I have little muscle soreness
They rate each statement on the following scale:
1 - Strongly disagree
2 - Disagree
3 - Neutral
4 - Agree
5 - Strongly agree
If their score is 20 or above then they have probably recovered enough to continue with the training program. If their score is below 20 then they consider rest or an easy workout until their score rises again."
In short, if you're setting yourself some goals for the year, make sure to also account for how you're going to fit the goals in - it's easy to write some targets down but if you don't prepare for how to make them happen, you're reducing the risk of them happening.