It’s a brand new year, a fresh start and a clean slate to achieve anything imaginable. Like the start of a marathon, waves of fitness enthusiasts young and old flood gyms and fitness centers around the world, herding toward the finish line of a healthier future. Most of them will last a few weeks, some will fizzle out after two months, others will keep at it until the spring but only a small percentage will successfully navigate their way to a healthier lifestyle. This all starts with the goals you set for yourself.“My plan is to lose 30 pounds,” “I’d like to get all around healthier,” “I want to be in-shape for bikini season,” sound familiar? These goals or resolutions get thrown around all too often with no real plan of execution. It’s great to set goals for yourself but they need to have more structure and specifications in order to come up with a realistic plan of action to how you’re actually going to achieve your goal. Let’s talk turkey here…1. Let’s start by setting these SPECIFIC goals we talked about. When it comes to becoming more fit and healthy, think about how exactly you want to achieve this- there are many ways to get there; running, yoga, hiking, swimming, biking, group exercise classes or working with a trainer, etc. Choose which vessels best suite you and your interests and how much time you can devote to these activities- the more time spent investing in your health and fitness, the faster you progress. These goals should be able to answer: who, what, when, where, why, and which.
General fitness goal: “I want to be fit this year.”
Specific fitness goal: “I’m going to work out with a trainer 3 days a week at my local training studio, practice yoga twice a week, follow a specific nutrition plan and enjoy an outdoor activity every weekend.”2. Make your goals MEASURABLE. A good way to test to see if you goal is measurable is by asking, “how will I know when I reach my goal?” Tracking your progress by periodically measuring body fat, weight, clothing sizes, self photographs and physical tests are a great way to track your progress. Seeing your progress on paper is incredibly reinforcing and reassuring that you are making strides in the right direction.3.Is your goal ATTAINABLE? As we embark upon our fitness quests we begin to grow. Not only physically but emotionally and mentally, learning more about the body and nutrition. We start to develop the attitude, skills and abilities necessary to be successful, eventually making a seemingly impossible goal more attainable.4. REALISTIC goals. Shoot for an outcome you are willing and able to work for. It would be unrealistic to say “I’m going to workout 7 days a week, train to climb Mt. Everest and win the Boston Marathon this year.” The higher you set your goal, on the other hand, the harder you will work for it and the greater the reward. Any job worth doing is worth doing right.5. TIMELY goals and urgency. Setting a reasonable time frame to reach your fitness goals gives you a sense of urgency, even if you allow yourself a lengthy amount of time to reach them, it puts the idea in your head that this is something you need to complete.
Make 2016 your year to shine and aim high. Set specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goals to better yourself and your future. Living a fit, healthy life is by far the greatest gift to give yourself.