Have you ever set a New Year goal or resolution only to fall off the wagon within a few months?
If your answer is yes, you're not alone.
According to a study by Strava, roughly 80% of people fail to stick to their New Year’s Resolutions and will abandon these goals in the first couple months of the new year.
So, why not start now instead?
You don't need the New Year to take on a new challenge. In fact, right now is the perfect day to start.
Did you know you can start the 52 Hike Challenge any time? That's right: you have a whole year to complete this hiking challenge.
If you found that you’re a little behind, it won't hurt to start counting again. For example, you can start April 1st and end March 31st.
Still not sure where to begin?
If you're wondering how to stay motivated all year long, don't worry - that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about in this blog, and it all starts with goal setting.
Goal Setting and Accountability
Research across the board puts proper goal setting as the primary reason why people either quit or continue on with their goal. When you know how to set goals in a realistic and strategic way, you will increase your likelihood of accomplishing them.
Benefits of Goal Setting:
- Gives you a sense of purpose and accomplishment
- Helps you facilitate positive change in your life
- Increases your likelihood to achieve desired results
How to Set a Goal
Set yourself up for success by breaking your goal down into smaller objectives with action steps to achieve each milestone. Start with the SMART goal formula, which will help you organize what you want to achieve in a proven system.
The Mindset of Accomplishing Goals
Once you set your goal, then you need to tend to it. You can’t expect to be successful without putting in the work. Here are a few tips to shift your mindset for setting and accomplishing goals:
- Make your goals non-negotiable
- Don’t just try, do - take action regularly
- Think like a finisher - see your goal through to the end
- Know the difference between a valid reason and an invalid excuse*
*When taking the 52 Hike Challenge, an injury or illness is a valid reason to delay your goal whereas not having enough time is an invalid excuse.
Now that you know how to set goals, let’s talk about the top 10 ways to see them through. Keep reading to discover 10 Tips to Say Motivated to Your 52 Hike Challenge & Stick to Your Goals.
10 Tips to Stay Motivated During Your 52 Hike Challenge & Stick to Your Goals
#1) Set your goal and prepare for success
When setting your SMART goal, ask yourself these questions:
- What is your goal?
- What are the key objectives around your goal?
- What is your timeline for accomplishing the goal?
- What resources do you need to be successful?
- Who can help you stay accountable to your goal?
- How will you adapt when unexpected challenges arise?
#2) Write it down
Once you know the parameters of your goal, make it official by writing it down. Research shows that when you put pen to paper, you are more likely to complete tasks and accomplish goals. Extra accountability points if you share it with someone.
Share that you are committing to 52 hikes by posting it on social media using one of our 2022 downloadable images.
#3) Take action steps
What do you need to do each week to get a step closer to your end goal? Map out action steps for reaching it. When you break your goals down into smaller objectives, the overall goal becomes more attainable.
At the 52 Hike Challenge, there’s a reason why our slogan is “one step at a time.”
#4) Share your goal with someone you trust and look up to
Take your accountability a step further by confiding in someone else. Tell them about your goal and invite them to check in with you about it. One study found that you are even more likely to follow through with your goal when you share it with someone who has a “higher status” thank you.
#5) Include a friend or family member in your goal
You don’t have to do it alone. When the commitment is shared, you are more likely to follow through. A scholarly article by the Journal of Health Communication calls this “the buddy benefit.” It states that buddy support, especially related to weight loss, will increase your likelihood of success.
Hiking is fun with friends and family! A 52 Hike Challenge signup package is the perfect gift for a loved one. Together you will experience the life changing benefits of 52 hikes together.
#6) Schedule time for your goal
We know you’re busy, which is why we encourage you to set time aside just for you and your goals. Put it in your calendar, set reminders and say no to plans when you need to. When your goal is a top priority, “I’m too busy” is not a valid excuse.
If you thrive on organization and planning, set a day of week and time of day when you will take a hike every week. After a while, getting outside will come naturally to you.
#7) Join a community that will empower you
Find likeminded goal setters who are working to achieve the same goal. You will love the support of a community, and you will be empowered by all of the resources and comradery that comes along with it.
The 52 Hike Challenge provides resources and local chapters, Facebook groups and support systems so you are never alone on your journey, even if you are taking the challenge solo.
#8) Track your progress
Stay on top of your goals by tracking your progress. This practice will show you how far you’ve come and encourage you to keep going.
For the 52 Hike Challenge, we love tracking hikes using the AllTrails app, and we even have our own resources on our website. Download our hiking log and track your hikes to earn rewards.
#9) Celebrate your successes
Reward yourself for your hard work. Give yourself a prize after reaching a milestone. For example, treat yourself to a nice dinner when you reach the halfway point of your goal.
The 52 Hike Challenge rewards you for every 10 hikes you take. Use our Hikes Check In tool to stay accountable and score perks!
#10) Have fun!
The most important part about our hiking challenge is that you have fun! After all, the goal of the 52 Hike Challenge is to help you increase you physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. So, don't take it too seriously. Enjoy each step. And remember: if you fall behind, you can always start again.
Over 50 Outside hiker Mandy Mejia during the 52 Hike Challenge (@mandymejiaz)
Sign Up for the 52 Hike Challenge Now
As you now know, you can sign up for the 52 Hike Challenge at any point throughout the year! Your challenge starts when you sign up and ends 52 weeks later.
Commit to getting outside once a week for a year and experience the mind-body benefits of hiking regularly! You won't regret it.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.