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If you're asking 'the best way to get fitter this year', we've got five top tips on how to set realistic goals and making a plan to achieve them. Goals aren’t reached overnight – they come from consistent training, balanced nutrition, internal motivation and loving your workouts – well, at least most of the time. Here are a few top tips for reaching your goals in 2021.

1. Set a benchmark

It doesn’t matter if you’re a fitness newbie or you’ve been sweating it out for years – setting a benchmark for your current fitness level is the ideal place to start when you want to see improvements. It gives you a baseline to grow from, and shows you where you’re already smashing it, and areas for growth.

2. Focus on you

As women, we often put (too much) pressure on ourselves to achieve what we perceive as ‘perfect’. Raise your hand if you’re guilty – your hand is up, isn’t it? When it comes to your health and fitness (and most other areas of your life) your goals and ambitions need to resonate with you and what matters to you. If it’s important to you and your future, you’re more likely to stay on track.

3. Never EVER compare yourself to anyone else

Your goals will always be different to every other woman in the gym. You’re all there for different reasons. Plus, your personal best doesn’t always come down to how much you can bench or how far you can run. Your PB might be hitting the gym four times a week, perfecting your yoga flow, or learning to use a new machine. 

Can't decide between cardio and weight training? We weigh in here.

4. Set fitness goals and a realistic schedule

What do you want to achieve? Perhaps you have multiple goals – bench press 30kg, deadlift 65kg and perfect the art of meditation. If you’re starting from scratch, it’s important to know it’s going to take some time to achieve these goals. Set yourself one month, three-month, six-month and one-year milestones to allow progress to build slowly. And remember, while you have these set milestones, every time you run a bit further or bench a little heavier, you've reached a new PB - and that's worth celebrating! 

5. Don’t let a backwards step derail you

This life is complicated at the best of times, so when things don’t go to plan, take a few deep breaths and let it go. So, you bench pressed 42kg last week and today the best you could hit was 36kg. Remember, you still found the motivation and energy to hit the gym, plate up the bar, and give it your best go. That alone is worth being proud of. 

Do you have a specific fitness goal for 2021? Read our guide to sticking to your new year's goals.

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