New Year’s Resolutions—How and When to Set Achievable Goals

Posted: January 9, 2012 in Articles, S&S Tips&Tricks

Nom Nom! Increasing the amount of water you drink every day should always be a goal–Look how good it is for you!

Today’s Motivation Monday is all about goals and resolutions. Um, Kelsey, you’re nine days late, you’re probably thinking. I know. But I stand by what I said last month before the holidays—it doesn’t matter when you set your goals because it’s all about setting smart, achievable, challenging goals that you really are going to work toward.

So… since the New Year is obviously a big goal-setting time, have you set yours yet? What are they?

I have a few of mine set! But, I’m going to be completely honest—I will probably add more as the year goes on because come on! How much do things change over the course of a year!? A ton.

My 2012 goals are:

  1. Study hard for, take, and pass my ACE personal training certification test.
  2. Incorporate yoga and Pilates into my workout at least once a week to keep me stretched out and work on my flexibility.
  3. Complete at least two new certification workshops so I am able to teach more classes.
  4. Help my gyms thrive, grow, and motivate people to live healthy lifestyles.
  5. Expand my company, Strength & Sweat, LLC, by expanding my personal training clientele and starting new endeavors on my own, outside of the gyms (like special classes, workshops, clothing with my brand, etc.).
  6. Run another 10K and beat my previous time of 53:10.

I have given myself plenty of room to branch out with my goals, but notice how each has something very specific about it? That’s the key—you need something that you hone in on with every goal you make. This helps make it more measurable, which leads to you being able to find way to track it, which, in turn, leads to success.

Is your goal to lose weight? That’s fine, but how much? Be specific and reasonable. Figure that you can lose no more than 1lb./week, and that’s if you have a decent amount of weight to lose. If you have a significant amount of weight to lose, a goal of losing 25-40 pounds over the course of the year is reasonable because it’s all about changing little habits that add up—healthier snacking, walking more, taking the stairs, cutting out pop, cutting back on alcohol, starting an exercise program, etc.

How are you going to lose the weight? Make this a goal, too. For example, “I am going to go to the gym 3 days a week to walk and lift a few weights and then I’m going to do a combination of walking, jogging, playing with the kids outside, and body weight exercises at home another 3 days a week.” Or “I’m going to take Spin classes 3 days a week, weight-lifting classes 2 days a week, and yoga 1 day a week at the gym.” Or “I’m going to do 4 fitness DVDs a week at home.” Or even “All of my dates with my girlfriends are going to be while we walk, and my boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife and I are going to take morning and evening walks to catch up and decompress.” If you’re specific and write down the workouts like they are meetings or actual dates, then you’re more likely to do them.

What else is going to help you lose the weight? Are you going to use a food or exercise journal? Make your own? Use an online tracking system? Email a friend or personal trainer?

What else are you going to do to get healthier? Cut back on smoking? Limit your alcohol intake to only a few days a week or on special occasions? Curb your fast food meals and save money? Eat a certain number of servings of fruit and vegetables per day? Scale back on the amount of pop or coffee you drink? Up your water consumption? Decrease the amount of packaged, processed, sugary foods you eat? Eat more fish? All of these are wonderful health goals—and can be made pretty specific while still giving you a bit of leeway. You can’t and won’t ever be perfect, and hey, that’s not the goal, but it’s all about effort, consistency, and determination.

Once you’ve set your goals, here are a few more things you should do before and during your journey to a healthier, fitter lifestyle:

  • Write down your goals and put them in a place when you can see them every day.
  • Tell others about your goals! Any and all support, motivation, and advice you can get from friends and family will only help you.
  • Place reminders of your goals around the house and your workspace, like post-it notes with motivational quotes, a picture of yourself at your best, or an outfit or event that you’re looking forward to.
  • Take it one day at a time. Success doesn’t happen overnight and you’re not going to be perfect. Sorry, but there’s no microwave for a healthier, fitter lifestyle.
  • Compliment yourself every day. Even if it’s silly like looking down at your legs after a tough Spin workout and saying, “Thanks, legs. You did good.”
  • Remember that about 80% of a healthier, fitter body has to do with how and what you fuel your body. The other 20% is the physical exertion aspect. I know… It’s kind of frustrating to think that working out alone won’t get you a fit body, but it’s true! You are what you eat.
  • And don’t forget to reward yourself for milestones achieved. Just try to stay away from food rewards… Give yourself a massage or a new workout outfit or nice pair of jeans!
  • Oh, and this—the number one exercise you can do every day.

If all of this year-long goal-planning sounds too overwhelming then set goals month-to-month. This is great because it helps you align goals with your current lifestyle and workload, and it can change just as easily and quickly as you do.

If you want help planning, setting, staying on top of, or achieving your health and fitness goals, please, comment or email me—I would love to help you! Happy Goal Setting!

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