Setting and achieving realistic fitness goals for the New Year
On January 1 many people will resolve to get fit and healthy. By February most will have failed. Well not this year! Whether you’re just starting out on a fitness plan or taking one to a new level, we’re here to help you set and maintain healthy and realistic goals that you can actually reach. Implement these easy to follow tips and you’ll achieve great results and stay motivated all year long.
Make a plan
Successful endeavors start with a plan stating the mission and specifics on achieving it. Without it you have no idea where you’re going, how you’ll get there, or where you’ll end up.
Set clear goals
Getting fit or losing weight may sound like great goals but it’s better to be more specific. Is your goal to fit into a new dress, run a 10K, or shed 20 lbs? Knowing the result you want gives you something specific to work toward. Be honest with yourself and set realistic expectations. If your goals aren’t practical, you’ll get frustrated and be more likely to quit. While looking like a supermodel would be great, that expectation could set you up for failure.
Write it down
Putting your plan on paper and keeping a journal gives you a greater sense of commitment, focus and control. Having a record of your daily and weekly successes will help motivate you when you need it. Take pictures, measure your size, and weigh yourself. These records will serve as factual evidence of your progress.
Think both long and short term
Setting and achieving smaller goals makes the bigger ones easier to attain. Keep yourself from being overwhelmed by taking baby steps. You’ll gain confidence as you accomplish short-term goals on the way to the big victory.
Don’t go it alone
Everyone needs help, especially when it comes to fitness. A strength-training circuit like XpressLine is great if you need coaching on your form. Personal trainers supply motivation and get results faster. Finding a buddy with similar goals is also proven to help, plus it gives you someone to be accountable to.
Switch it up
Don’t be afraid to try something new. Varying your activities will keep things exciting and change the way your body works. Ask a floor trainer to help set you up on a new cardio machine or try a new class.
Adjust your attitude
A fitness program doesn’t have to be painful, boring, or a punishment for bad eating. Look at exercise from a different perspective. It’s a way to boost your energy and mood, reduce stress and improve your appearance. Having the wrong attitude will only set you up for failure. A healthy fit life is all good.
Nobody can follow a plan perfectly; in fact you should expect to falter every so often. If you give in to temptation or stray from your goal, don’t use it as an excuse to jump ship. Simply learn from your mistake, get back on track and move on. And remember, focusing on how much progress you’ve made is better than thinking how far you have to go.
For every mini goal you reach be sure to celebrate. You earned it. A massage, new outfit, vacation or night on the town to show off your new body are all ways to reward a job well done. And be sure to have a special reward in mind for when you reach your final destination.
Start the day with a stretch
Simple stretches will get you moving, thinking and ready to begin your morning on a positive note.
- Stand with feet shoulder width apart, hands above your head, right hand grasping the left wrist. As you exhale, gently lean to the right lifting up and over with hands.
- For the calves, kneel on all fours and lift your backside in the air, straightening the arms, knees slightly bent. Press one heel at a time into the floor and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
- For the lower back, lie on the floor and pull both knees into the chest. Wrap both arms around legs and hug to the chest. Gently rock back and forth massaging the lower back on the ground.
- For the quads – kneel on your left knee with the right foot planted on the floor a few feet in front of you. Lean forward until you feel a gentle stretch in the front of the left leg. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Simple everyday tips
- Just do something. Anything. Even for 10 minutes. Keep up the momentum!
- Drink water. Carry a bottle and refill it often.
- Re-commit to your goals verbally and on paper.
- Chart your progress.
- Reward your success.
- Get enough sleep.
- SMILE! You’re on your way to a healthy fit body.
We all know New Year’s resolutions are easy to make but can be hard to keep, but hopefully we can help you achieve permanent change and you’ll be among the ones who successfully make and KEEP a fitness resolution this year!