How To Set Successful Fitness Goals
By Liz DiAlto
Whether it’s for health, vitality, strength, sexiness or all of the above, no matter how far you are from where you want to be, how far you go is totally up to you!
No matter what your fitness goals, we’ve put together a guide to help you make your fitness resolution a success, rather than a big ol’ flop (we’ve all had those in the past!).
Manage Expectations. Know that it won’t be easy. There will be days when you feel you could run a marathon (or at least a mile!) and days when you have to drag yourself, kicking and screaming, to the gym. Appreciate both. Also know that the first two to three weeks are the most difficult. You may feel out of shape at times, but don’t beat yourself up about it, the feeling is temporary and you have to start somewhere!
Consult A Doctor. This is frequently overlooked, but really important – especially if it’s been a while since your last physical or if you anticipate a dramatic shift in lifestyle.
Set Smart Goals. Start by setting goals that are relatively easy to accomplish to build your confidence and keep you motivated. A great one to start with is the number of days you want to workout. If you’ve been fairly inactive for the last year, 2-3 days/week is a great place to start. If you’re already active and want to step it up, add a day or two to what you’ve been doing. Keep it simple, easy and do-able.
Ditch The Scale. While we think you should ditch the scale for good, for those of you not quite ready to take the plunge, at least commit to not weighing yourself for the first month. Taking the emphasis off weight, and putting it on how you feel, alleviates a lot of self-inflicted pressure. Make it a goal to enjoy the process – it will translate into better results!
Heed Nutrition. While moving is better than not moving – regardless of your diet – nutrition and fitness go hand in hand. After all, how you treat your body will affect how your body treats you. One easy adjustment to start with is to reduce (notice we didn’t say eliminate!) foods made in a factory and increase foods that come directly from the earth.
Get Professional Help. Many of us are intimidated by fitness (and thus quickly find ourselves avoiding the gym) solely because we don’t know what to do. There’s no shame in that. If you have the budget, invest in a personal trainer who can show you the ropes. You not only get one on one attention (and who doesn’t like that?!) but also can learn what you should be doing specifically for you. Not a member of a gym? Fret not! A lot of trainers offer virtual training services (via video chat or email)which are more budget friendly.