Are you counting down the days? Yes, 2019 is about over, which means that it’s time to plan for the new year. If you’re hoping to reach new fitness heights come January, you might need a little help. Here are four easy ways to smash your goals in 2020.

How to Achieve Your Goals in 2020

1. Set Small, Manageable Goals

First of all, let’s talk about the type of goals you’re setting. While you may have massive fitness-related dreams for the future, focussing solely on them could overwhelm you. It’s enough to stop you in your tracks — literally. Instead, go for incremental targets you’re confident you can reach. Think of them as stepping stones toward your main, long-term goal.

Research suggests that this is the smartest way to go. One study from the IE Business School and Pamplin College of Business found that reaching small goals is perceived as easier than keeping things as they are. That means that we think it’s simpler to set minute targets than to have none at all.

For instance, if you want to get your first muscle-up in 2020, break it down and set a goal of getting five consecutive ring dips.

As 2020 looms, it could be time to rethink the way in which you set your fitness goals once more.

2. Track Your Progress and Your Activity

Do you accurately measure how much you work out and how you feel while you’re doing so? If you don’t already keep a gym journal and take notes on your programming, 2020 is the time to start.

There’s another option out there you should consider. Fitness trackers and wearable smartwatches were one of the biggest trends of 2019, according to a report by Wolters Kluwer Health, and it hasn’t slowed down. The reason is simple: Technology can help us see how well we’re progressing and give us an idea of where we stand.

What’s more, keeping on top of how much you improve regularly could help you to reach your goals. Research from the American Psychological Association suggests that monitoring your progress on a day-to-day basis gives you a higher chance of succeeding. Should you want to take this to a new level, you could try sharing your small wins with other people. The same report found that publicly reporting your progress boosts your chances of success even more than merely recording it.

3. Reframe Your Failures to Look at Them Positively

Failure is a natural part of life. It happens to the best of us. When you take on any challenge, you have to accept that there’s a chance you will not succeed. However, the way in which you deal with your failures could be the key to your future success. If you want to get over these stumbling blocks quickly so that you can move on, you need to have strategies in place that help you do just that.

Enlightening research from the University of Kent identified the most effective coping mechanisms when it comes to failure. One of the best strategies was reframing the failure. The idea is that you accept your shortcoming but try to put a positive spin on things.

For example, imagine you didn’t complete a WOD in under the time cap one day. Examine what that lesson taught you and the insights you can take forward from it. Maybe you chose the wrong weights. Perhaps your technique is off and it’s slowing you down. Look at it as an opportunity to learn.

Understanding that everything — including our failures — can teach us something is a positive and helpful thought.

4. Make Sleep and Nutrition a Higher Priority

If you don’t get the rest and fuel that you need, there’s no way you’ll reach your fitness goals. It should come as no surprise that sleep disorders have previously been linked to poor aerobic fitness.

Ensuring that you get sufficient sleep each night is a surefire way to stay on top and move toward your goals. When you’re well-rested, you can give you workouts 100% each time. It’s common sense.

Equally, the food that you eat on a daily basis has a direct impact on how hard you can train when you hit the gym. Should you find that you’re struggling to reach your goals, you might want to revamp your diet. Getting enough protein is one way in which you can be certain you have the fuel you need. Also be sure that where your nutrition is lacking, you supplement appropriately.

Here are some examples of concrete, actionable goals you could set for 2020 that focus on your rest and nutrition:

  • Put all gadgets away by 10:00 p.m each night.
  • Schedule one active recovery day a week.
  • Drink two glasses of water with every meal.
  • Have a protein drink after every WOD.

So many of us go as hard as we can in the gym and then disregard our rest and nutrition. All three are equally important to your fitness and health.

Reaching your fitness goals in 2020 doesn’t have to be a trial. With a few small and simple tweaks to your lifestyle, you should find that it’s easier than ever to achieve your fitness resolutions. Start planning now and make next year your fittest ever.