6 fitness goals for 2016 - and how to achieve them

Story highlights

You told us on Twitter what your fitness goals are for 2016

Goals ranged from building six packs to practicing yoga

Two experts, Dalton Wong and Sara Cecil, give advice on how to stick to targets

CNN —  

Have you made a New Year’s resolution?

If you have, you’re in good company: according to most estimates about one in two people do.

Losing weight, being more organized, saving money, enjoying life and getting fit usually top the charts, but sticking to the plan is hard to do: as little as 8 percent of people, according to a study by the University of Scranton, fully achieve their goals.

But we can offer a little bit of help: using #GetFit2016 we asked what your fitness goals were for the year ahead and you responded with plenty of ideas – from getting ripped to changing your mentality, becoming a vegan and everything in between!

To steer you in the right direction, we consulted two fitness experts – Dalton Wong, founder of Twenty Two Training, and Sara Cecil, Lead Sport Psychologist for the English Institute of Sport.

Here are your top fitness goals for 2016 – now go get ‘em!

1. Work out more

Whether you’re lifting weights, running up steps or doing squats, working out was one of the most popular fitness goals.

“We always tend to wait until tomorrow to start exercising, wait until next week to stop drinking or wait for just one more meal before we start the diet,” says Wong. But it’s so much better to start immediately – so set aside distractions, stop making excuses, and get started.

“Be in the present and start now,” says Wong – or in some cases, if you see a Dunkin’ Donuts …

2. Go the distance

Signing up for runs, triathlons or marathons is a popular New Year’s resolution – and all the mud, sweat and tears are worth it.

“The end result of the event is a huge sense of achievement but all the training and hard work is the actual benefit of committing to the sporting goal,” says Wong.

Whether you’re running for charity or wanting to beat your last time, make sure you set goals that are attainable and sustainable, beginning with little changes.

3. Get a six pack

For many of you 2016 will be the year of the abs, doing crunches and sit ups to build the perfect six pack.

Remember it’s important to give your goals value – so don’t cancel gym sessions as though they’re not worth it.

“Book in all your exercise sessions in your diary like you would a work meeting, date night or special event. This one commitment is equally important as all other commitments,” says Wong.

4. Diet and lose weight

This is by far one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, with people choosing to cut down alcohol, eat healthier or use the gym to shed pounds.

It takes time to build and create new habits, so start by making small changes to have sustained success.

If you’re the kind of person who struggles with self-motivation, then it might be a good idea to join a group – they’re great for socializing and it means you have to keep up with them.

5. Challenge yourself

For some of you, working out once a week just isn’t enough. Instead your goal is to exercise, eat well, sleep well, and even hang out with the right people.

If you’re aiming high then you’ve got to be motivated. Sara Cecil from the English Institute of Sport says the best way to do this is, “… to feel in control (autonomy), to feel a sense of achievement (competence) and to feel close to other people (relatedness).”

So remind yourself that it is your choice to exercise (even when it doesn’t feel like it), celebrate when you reach targets – no matter how small – and finally, have people who can support and praise you as you progress.

6. Build a positive mentality

Whether you’re fighting obesity or trying to live longer, keeping a healthy mindset was a top goal for some of you.

“Values are different from goals as we never reach them but we should always strive towards them,” says Cecil. Values are defined by what is truly important to you, what you want your life to be about and what you want to stand for – and once you’ve identified them you need to pursue them vigorously.

“Without a doubt your decision to exercise will be linked to one of your values,” adds Cecil.

21 achievable New Year’s resolutions for your health